Automation in the Recycling Industry : Recycling of Plastic and Large Liquid Crystal Displays

Abstract: In a world of growing population and increasing prosperity, the demand for new high-technology products is increasing together with the demand for rawmaterials. To be able to deal with the demand for new raw materials and the increasing amount of waste, the recycling industry needs to prepare itself to cope with these changes. If the waste can become the new raw materials, then the recycling industry has a bright future. The implementation of new ways to recycle products can be the solution to succeeding in this challenge.The objective of this research is to investigate, from a technical perspective, automation in the recycling industry. More specifically, the objective is to identify problems and solutions in the recycling of plastics and large liquid crystal displays in order to better cope with current recycling requirements.This research was inspired by the research methodologies of industry-aslaboratory, action research, experimental research and two concept development methods.The results related to the recycling of plastics come from a theoretical investigation of the possibilities for a plastic sorting facility. The investigation resulted in two concepts for recycling systems, implementable with today’s stateof-the-art technology and a more futuristic concept for sorting and separating the different plastics of interest. The systems are designed with standardised processes and are arranged in a flexible way to be able to manage with current industrial requirements.The results related to large liquid crystal displays include a clarification of the requirements for an automatic recycling plant, concept generation, and practical testing of different technologies. Two preferred processes for dismantle large liquid crystal displays are the circle saw and band saw. Additional results are the semi-automatic process structure to manage with current industrial requirements for large liquid crystal displays.