The project will contribute to the re-manufacturing processes, services and products that develop after the project can be applied in the companies production so that:
- The number of innovative companies working with circular economics is increasing
- Exports and internationalization of the region's SMEs are increasing
- Efficient production of companies and improving competitiveness
- The supply of energy and raw materials in production is decreasing
The so-called "produce-use-throw" model is common practice in small and medium-sized companies that have not yet begun to apply environmentally friendly and sustainable methods. In large companies, however, sustainable development is associated with the company's values, methods and reputation. Part of the circular economy is re-manufacturing which involves an industrial process in which used products or components are restored to become new. By re-manufacturing, you can save resources, raw materials and energy as well as work that is invested in the product.
The methods used today for re-fabrication mean that the original dimensions of the worn component are restored by adding material to the worn area. Today, this is often done manually with traditional arc welding processes where the heat supply to the product is large, the productivity low and the quality uneven. By using more sophisticated methods, such as laser coating, CMT coating and automation, the quality and productivity of the re-fabrication can be significantly increased.
In the heavy industry, there is a desire to move from the “produce, use and discard” concept to a more circular economy where materials and components are re-manufactured using additive methods. A paradigm shift will thus occur and for this to be possible, specialized SMEs are needed to manage the re-manufacturing for the basic industry with the help of new surface treatment technologies. Since these are new methods, development work, tests, demonstrations and simulation are required to prove that the methods benefit both SMEs and the basic industry. In many cases, completely new business models must be developed in order for the transition to circular economy to be possible. The SMEs who choose to switch to circular economics must specialize in a certain surface treatment method due to large investments in development work and machinery. Through the project, participating companies will gain improved knowledge of the possibilities and methods for repairing and re-manufacturing components in a cost-effective way.
The project is aimed at the target group SMF, which is an OEM manufacturer as well as outside service providers in the metal and process industries, the energy industry, the mining and wood processing industry and the transport industry.
Centria AMK and Tampere University have experience in research and development of various and coating methods, and LTU has experience in laser machining methods. The project will thus combine knowledge that is not in a single country into a cross-border cooperation.