Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is convinced that a broad collaboration within the whole value chain of plastic packaging will gain the biggest impact to transform the linear to a circular economy. Furthermore, the use of digital product passports can leverage benefits to many areas of our daily business. Digitalization is key for a circular economy and can transport the necessary transparency to the different process steps in the chain – regardless of whether for the more effective sortability of plastics in the recycling process or as an information carrier in the communication between different machine and processing operations in the context of Industry 4.0 applications.
Christoph Wynands, Product Manager for packaging machines at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, explains: "As a specialist for thin-walled packaging in the food industry, most of the products manufactured on our machines are made of PP or HDPE and our customers want to significantly increase the recycled content in their products. In order to do this economically, they are particularly dependent on clean recyclate streams. Unfortunately, the corresponding approvals for the broad use of mechanical recycled polyolefins in the food sector are still lacking in Europe. Accordingly, we want to provide support here and see in R-Cycle a fantastic opportunity to improve the purity and quality of PP and HDPE recycling streams to such an extent that the necessary food approvals for the use of this recyclates can be achieved. Here, we want to contribute our expertise with technologies such as In-Mold-Labelling (IML) and Injection-Compression-Moulding (ICM) to generate convincing applications and make them available to all stakeholders in cross-industry projects. In this way, we will generate new knowledge to be able to competently consult and convince as many packaging manufacturers as possible.”
Last but not least, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will use the digital product passport technology to provide detailed transparency about the footprint of their machines in the future. Christoph Wynands stated: “We review and analyze our internal value chain and discuss with partners and suppliers in our network the carbon footprint of our own machines and improve the supply chain whenever it is possible and necessary to reduce the carbon footprint. Furthermore, sustainable measures and ecological conducts are our very DNA since many years. The ecological impact and sustainable aspects are two of the highest rated criteria in our scoring charts when we evaluate and prioritize all our new developments. For this reason, we have streamlined our machine portfolio to all-electric injection molding machines and powerful services, for example, to support our partners and customers in the responsible use of virgin material and to enable them to increase the recycled content in their products. Or – even in near future - to halve the energy consumption of their packaging production by upgrading from a conventional hybrid injection molding machine to our all-electric PAC-E without losing a single millisecond of cycle time.”