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3 minute read • published in partnership with igus

Feature: Use, recycle, reuse – igus makes e-chain recycling even easier

Since 2019 igus has given old energy chains a second life by recycling them under the “chainge” recycling program. Now the motion plastics specialist is going one step further. Because an upgrade often means installing a whole new system, igus removes old energy chains and recycles them to avoid industrial waste.

Ultimately, every machine and every component will reach the end of its life. Manufacturing companies are then faced with the question: new machine or upgrade? According to the Global E-Waste Monitor, 53.6 million tons of electronic waste were collected worldwide in 2019 alone. Upgrade old machines is more environmentally friendly and means instead of buying new machines, companies can have existing systems and equipment converted or retrofitted in order to bring them up to date. But the challenge of what to do with the old components remain.

The igus chainge recycling program makes e-chain recycling even easier for manufacturers / Picture: igus

Recycling made easy: the igus installation service also removes old parts

Whether new installation, retrofit or maintenance of a machine, igus supports recycling instead of disposal – and this can begin during upgrade installation planning. With each new installation service order, the recycling service is automatically offered, with no additional cost or effort for the customer.

In four simple steps, igus takes care of the old material. First, it removes the old energy chain, dismantling it into smaller pieces for removal. igus can then organize the return transport and logistics. The customer only must collect the old material and prepare it for collection. The plastic parts are then recycled as part of igus’ chainge program, which applies to both igus e-chains and third-party chains from other manufacturers. Customers receive a voucher based on the weight of the chains. The discarded plastics are sorted, cleaned and re-granulated so that the raw material can be reused.

The customer receives everything from the manufacturer from a single source – including a 36-month warranty on the newly installed energy supply system.

With the igus installation service, customers save assembly time and costs, benefit from very short downtimes and use parts with a longer service life. This also leads to fewer long-term failures.

A special online tool even allows users to accurately calculate the installation time for their energy chain system. “igus’s goal is to save customers valuable time with the installation service, and at the same time offer them a sustainable solution for disposing of used materials,” says Justin Leonard, e-chain director at igus. “With this scheme, we want to make a further contribution to the more sustainable use of limited resources,”

igus recycling program picks up speed

A company that specializes in high-performance polymers, igus has launched chainge, a recycling program for energy and drag chains, which has already collected and recycled over 32 tons of material worldwide. So far, 13 countries have participated in the program: Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, France, China, Italy, Brazil, Malaysia, Hungary, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Spain.

“We are very pleased that the chainge recycling program is very popular with our customers and we’re confident that we will be able to increase the results achieved so far in 2022 by 100% – if not more – over 2022,” adds Leonard.

The chainge program, owned by igus, recycles old plastic into useful products or into the commercial recycling market, and promotes a circular economy.