STADLER Anlagenbau GmbH, a global specialist in the planning, production and assembly of turnkey recycling and sorting systems, explained its strategic goals at a press conference at IFAT in Munich and presented an automated WireX bale dewiring unit and innovative digital solutions. As part of the corporate strategy to secure STADLER’s long-term future, Julia Stadler has already been appointed Chief Digital Officer in 2023. She is the first member of the eighth generation in the family business.

Managing Directors Willi Stadler and Julia Stadler chaired the press conference and explained the company’s short and medium-term strategy. The focus is on further progress towards a circular economy, the targeted use of digital solutions and the consistent implementation of the company’s own research program as part of the ongoing search for new opportunities to support the recycling industry in its further development.

Cooperation across the entire value chain

CEO Willi Stadler. Photo: Circular Technology

Growing environmental awareness among governments, businesses and consumers is the driving force behind progress towards a circular economy, which is gaining momentum. New regulations are constantly coming into force with the aim of achieving greater sustainability in practice, whether by avoiding single-use plastic or creating incentives for recycling. Technological advances are constantly opening up new recycling opportunities and reducing our dependence on primary plastics. In view of the importance for the company image and potential cost reductions, more and more companies are committing themselves to the principles of the circular economy.

Progress towards a circular economy

“We can see that the world is moving in the right direction,” says Willi Stadler. “But we continue to face major challenges in terms of cost-effectiveness, the complexity of product design and the need for global standards and cooperation. At STADLER, we are convinced that further progress towards a circular economy can only be achieved through effective cooperation between all members of the value chain. Industry associations, municipal and state authorities, the European Commission, research institutes and universities, designers and users of products and packaging through to the recycling industry and suppliers of sorting systems and technologies such as STADLER must be involved and coordinated.”

New ways for more and more efficient recycling

CDO Julia Stadler. Photo: Circular Technology

“As a plant and equipment manufacturer, we see our primary task in the value chain as supporting the recycling industry with our high-performance sorting systems,” adds Julia Stadler. “We are constantly looking for new ways to help the recycling industry increase its applications and effectiveness. To do this, we not only implement our in-house research programs, but also participate in other research projects to explore solutions to recycle more materials from the various waste streams. And we are convinced that we can make a significant contribution by acting as a link between the key elements of the value chain.”

Digitalization to promote the circular economy

Digitalization is playing an increasingly important role in the industry and is therefore one of STADLER’s strategic priorities. “The direction is clear,” explains Julia Stadler. “The future will be about using more and more machine and material data to minimize plant downtime, reduce costs for recycling companies and make processes more transparent – ultimately helping the industry to become more efficient. At STADLER, we focus on developing and prioritizing digital solutions that bring tangible added value to our customers. We have already successfully implemented digital solutions for dynamic plant control, maintenance and visualization of production data at various customer sites. In addition, we are implementing a continuous development program and testing prototypes both in our own test center and at customers’ facilities to ensure the effectiveness and adaptability of our technologies.”

Consistent integration of digital solutions

STADLER plans to increase its investment in digital technologies in both the short and medium term: “The consistent integration of digital solutions into our extensive range and the continuation of our own research work are an integral part of our strategy,” says Julia Stadler. “We are currently working on a new innovative platform, STADLER Connect, which will integrate all our digital solutions to create a coherent and optimized user experience. With this platform, we want to improve connectivity and functionality and thus maximize the benefits for our customers.”

STADLER is also examining the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in the recycling industry and is already using it to improve material recognition in quality analysis. AI is also used in the new WireX, where it is used to recognize the alignment of the wires. Julia Stadler explains: “Our future plans in this area are focused on improving our AI-based technologies while making the most of our existing solutions. To this end, we are working with a group of selected start-ups in this area.”

“This strategic partnership enables us to integrate state-of-the-art technologies without having to start from scratch and thus remain at the forefront of our industry,” concludes Willi Stadler.

The first of its kind: the new WireX

At the center of STADLER’s stand at IFAT was a holographic representation of its latest innovation: the WireX automated bale dewiring machine. At the press conference, Rok Mežič, Head of Development at STADLER, explained how this machine makes it possible for the first time in the industry to dewire cross-wired bales in a single pass. “The WireX uses specially developed wire detection and bale measurement systems that use AI and sensor technology to determine whether the bale is single or cross-wired and to position it precisely so that the wire can be removed efficiently in one step. This fully automates and speeds up the dewiring process, achieving an impressive capacity of up to 60 (single wired) bales per hour. The WireX is fast, efficient and safe and significantly increases the capacity of the sorting line.”

Picture at the top: At the press conference at IFAT (from left): Julia Stadler, CDO, Rok Mežič, Head of Development, Willi Stadler, CEO. Photo: Circular Technology

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