Megatrend at drupa: The Circular Economy
Global consumption keeps skyrocketing and subsequently, mountains of waste are being produced. To face this worldwide problem, a circular economy must be adopted. With reference to it, mechanical and plant engineering will make great contributions to this new production and consumption model, also in the print sector. The new megatrend circular economy is on the agenda for drupa 2024 as one of the main focuses. We will bring you closer to this topic by defining the term.
What is a Circular Economy?
We live in an era in which we witness the transition of linear consumption: We are moving towards recycling and supporting the reuse of materials to the maximum extent. On the recycling journey, threats and challenges are posed which might result for example in loss of quality. This megatrend of reuse is introducing innovations and solutions on how to recycle without downcycling effects: Be it reducing the essential virgin fiber supply in paper recycling or producing machines and plants usable for far longer than before by integrating the highest-quality materials on wear surfaces and via proactive maintenance. Under the circular economy, we understand the preservation of raw materials and minimization of waste production by initiating material and recycling cycles.
Digitization as The Booster of The Circular Economy
The implementation of the circular economy is fuelled by another megatrend: Digitization. The requirements of the market and the pressure from customers have a share in this transformation so as to implement circular economy principles into the product manufacture. In this day and age, consumers and recycling providers demand precise information: from the product production to its disposal and recycling. In other words, material development and cycles must be transparent throughout the entire product life loops. Digital solutions provide new opportunities for new value creation in circular business models. Via digitization and the circular economy, the gaps can be overcome since material and data flows are connected with each other in a loop.
Why is this Megatrend Important for The Printing Industry?
Fully networked machines, possibly monitored by AI, are a must for such business models to become efficient for all stakeholders as well as the overlooked environment. The circular economy aims to maintain products and materials at their highest use and value, extend life cycles and reduce resource consumption. Mechanical engineering keeps in mind principles, such as rethink, reuse and recycle, and thus positions itself as the solution provider for the manufacture of sustainable products. In addition, the print industry plays a significant role in this movement in which it develops new products and systems embracing the circular economy while raising the quality and minimizing waste.
What are your thoughts on the trending topic of circular economy in the printing industry? Have you already set off towards a circular economy? Feel free to let us know in the comments.