Business

Swansea team help Welsh printer company recycle old products into new toner cartridges

The ASTUTE 2020 operation based at Swansea University has provided industrial Research, Development, and Innovation (RD&I) support to help Brother Industries (U.K) Ltd. produce their first Brother branded toner cartridge manufactured from recycled materials recovered from End of Life products.

Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd., based in Wrexham, has produced their first “new” Brother-branded toner cartridges with frames moulded using 100% recycled material.

With world-class academics at Swansea University and a team of highly qualified technical experts, ASTUTE 2020 supported the Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd. team in investigating the technical difficulties of using recycled materials.

The research conducted was based on closed-loop recycling systems. For closed-loop recycling, Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd. receives products back at the end-of-life and either remanufactures them or recycles them to make new products.

ASTUTE 2020’s extensive expertise in advanced materials focused their research on the effects of multiple cycles of recycling plastic, the upcycling of the material, the impact of mixing different materials from a range of manufacturers and batch-to-batch quality control.

Following production and quality tests, the 100% recycled material cartridge frames are now in full production.

Brother Industries (U.K) Ltd., Quality/Environmental Manager, Julian Cooper, said: “As a leading supplier of technology solutions, Brother Industries (U.K) Ltd. is adopting the principles of ‘Circular Economy’, placing the business at the forefront as an ethical and sustainable manufacturer of plastic components and becoming the Recycling Technology Centre (RTC) for the global Brother Group.

We are committed to minimising our environmental impact, providing the best working conditions for our employees and making a positive contribution to the communities where we work.

Collaborating with the ASTUTE 2020 team based at Swansea University on our first industry-academia collaboration has strengthened the profile of Brother’s Recycling Technology Centre as well as the company’s long-term strategy to operate in North Wales.”

Professor Johann Sienz, ASTUTE 2020’s Operation Director, said: “This highly successful collaboration between ASTUTE 2020 and Brother Industries (U.K) Ltd. will have a direct environmental impact, reducing the use of raw materials, saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions from manufacturing and landfill. This will contribute to Government targets, the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

The ASTUTE 2020 (Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies) operation, supporting manufacturing companies across Wales, has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and the participating Higher Education Institutions.


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