The yellow-blue furniture leader goes green
As part of the development of industrial lines, STI engineering has been involved for some years in an innovative project developed by ETS - Energy Tech Service S.r.l. for a big Scandinavian furniture producer, which has seen us involved in the design, testing and inspection of the electrical plant engineering and automation part for a revolutionary green project.
The customer has long been committed to sustainability and environmental protection. As part of a much broader plan of strategies to fight climate change, unsustainable consumption and promote the recycling of materials, the yellow-blue brand is developing the prototype of an industrial line to give its furniture a second life, so that it can be recycled furniture, so that it can potentially be recycled indefinitely.
The customer, which to date is the world's largest individual wood consumer with an
annual consumption of 15 millions of m3 (RWE) wood, has begun a green revolution process with the goal reducing the consumption of fresh wood, and to achieve complete circularity by 2030, i.e., to have all its products being recyclable or renewable, in order to respect the environment.
This process started in 2021 with the announcement of the Scandinavian firm of the sale of spare parts for its furniture and is carried out by the Swedes by committing to use only wood from sources certified for environmental sustainability (or recycling) and through improved energy consumption for lighting and the use of renewable energy in production and transport.
Aiming at this goal, the ETS - Energy Tech Service group designed and built a first prototype for the reuse of production waste and old furniture, which, starting with wood shredded into small pieces, makes it possible to produce a light and volatile fibre that can be used to create new panels. The industrial process devised involves the sole use of steam and pressure: it develops through a chamber where the shredded material is brought to an operating at a pressurised environment and from where it then passes into the process cylinder, also under pressure, where a long auger cleans it and transforms it into a kind of fibre very similar to cotton, making it reusable for the creation of new furniture panels.
The prototype, created as part of a four-year research and development project involving STI engineering over the past two years, has a production capacity of 250kg/h of material and successfully passed technical acceptance at the end of May 2022. The customer did not stop developing the project even during the pandemic, expects to have this machine operational in one of its plants in Poland by August 2022. This second phase will serve to gather the information necessary for the realisation of a larger twin with much higher production capacities than the prototype plant.
The extraordinariness of this project, apart from the surprisingly simple but effective technical aspect, is the idea of spreading a community culture that is attentive to recycling and sustainability issue, where everyone is committed to reducing human impact in environmental dynamics.
Always attentive to environmental sustainability issues and guided by a management and business approach aimed to the generation of common benefit (Benefit Corporation), STI engineering is proud to have collaborated with ETS and the customer, contributing to the realisation of this project that aims to save the forests of our planet through the recycling and reuse of wood and wood derivatives within a potentially infinite virtuous cycle.
Thank you to: Michele Cargnelutti, ETS - Energy Tech Service S.r.l.