I part one (refer to the October 2020 issue of the magazine) of the two-part environment series, SIAM provided an overview of the supplier and the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) function, regulations and policy, and the economic impact of recycling ELVs. Taking it forward, the second and the final lecture focussed on the technological imperatives in design and material eco-efficiency of ELV recycling. The focus was on vehicular designs supporting vehicle refurbishment. It outlined the role of material designers in incorporating the material advancements at the component design stage and in the manufacturing process on the whole. Dr Hans-Rainer Lotz, Recycling bei Volkswagen AG drew the attention of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to the possible means of turning recycling into an easier and less hazardous process. Averred Dr Lotz, “As per the directive of the European Parliament and the council on ELV (2000), treatment-related requirements include environmental and technical standards for pre-treatment ( removal of fluid and airbags ) and dismantling.” “Less use of hazardous substances in vehicles has been suggested by the directive with restrictions on Mercury (Hg), Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb) and Chromium (Cr),” he cited. Dr Lotz admitted to the process challenging OEMs and also expensive to deal with.
Recycling at Volkswagen
As per the European Parliament directive, the design requirement for new vehicles must take into full account and facilitate the dismantling, reuse and recovery, including components and the materials used. Dr Lotz cited the Volkswagen policy - ‘Internal Standard 99000’ claimed to make dismantling an easy process, in compliance with the legal requirements. On challenges, he called upon the need for OEMs to liaise with material equipment manufacturers. There is a need to integrate the high-quality recycled materials and other parts to help the market mature, he opined. Citing the European parliaments’ European circle plastic alliance, he highlighted the Volkswagen groups’ commitment through active participation in group activities including supplier exhibits of recycled materials complying to group standards like the component and material coding suited to reuse and recovery. Dr Lotz also highlighted the International Dismantling Information System (IDIS) initiated by 10 European OEMs encompassing safety guidelines and key requirements.
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