The CIRCOTRONIC project is a pioneering effort to address the environmental impact of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) manufacturing.
With the rapid increase in EEE manufacturing, the sector’s negative environmental and climate impacts have become a pressing concern. As a partner in the project, ELVEZ, a company focused on wire harness production for the automotive industry, has undertaken the crucial task of analyzing the material flow of wire harness production and its waste, with a focus on minimizing waste and implementing sustainability and circularity into its business model.
The project involves exploring solutions for improved circularity in EEE manufacturing, particularly focusing on materials, design, and business models. ELVEZ’s use case in the automotive industry specifically targets wire harness production for AdBlue modules for diesel engines. Through comprehensive analysis, ELVEZ discovered that significant waste was being generated in the production process. However, this waste presented an opportunity for reuse, either within the current production or for sale as scrap material, potentially creating additional income.
To bring this idea to fruition, ELVEZ recognized the need to change its business model, a goal for which the CIRCOTRONIC project proved instrumental. By undertaking a pilot project as part of the CIRCOTRONIC initiative, ELVEZ aims to validate the feasibility of incorporating waste materials into its production processes.
The specific activities involved in implementing waste materials for the secondary life of the wire harness production revealed several challenges. These included the need for samples receipt and analysis, managing twisted and varying wire lengths, addressing unexpected operations of metal holders, and dealing with damaged connectors due to disassembly. Despite these challenges, ELVEZ remains committed to breathing new life into its waste and optimizing the production process.
The challenges faced in the implementation process are being meticulously addressed, with a clear focus on revitalizing the wire harness for diesel engines. By exploring strategies to overcome issues such as uneven wire lengths, manual cutting, unstable crimping, and problematic assembly tables, ELVEZ is striving to ensure a seamless transformation of waste materials into valuable resources.
The journey of ELVEZ within the CIRCOTRONIC project stands as a testament to its commitment to sustainability and circularity. By actively seeking solutions to repurpose waste and integrating circular economy principles into its operations, ELVEZ is pioneering a new approach within the automotive industry.
In conclusion, ELVEZ’s participation in the CIRCOTRONIC project exemplifies the potential for collaboration across industries and regions to drive sustainable change in EEE manufacturing. As the project progresses and the pilot initiatives are implemented, ELVEZ aims to showcase a successful model for the circular transformation of EEE manufacturing processes. Through such endeavors, the CIRCOTRONIC project is not only addressing the challenges of waste management but also laying the groundwork for a more sustainable and circular future for the EEE sector.
Written by: Žiga Gosar, PhD, ELVEZ, Director of Research, Development and Technology