Sandviken, Sweden – Sandvik Coromant, a metal cutting and machine tools expert, together with the wider Sandvik Group, is launching an upgraded tool recycling scheme. Building on the success of its existing buyback program, the new recycling scheme will make the process of repurposing worn carbide machine tools easier for customers and will help boost material circularity across the supply chain. The company has encouraged the recycling of cemented carbide for several decades.
Sandvik acquired Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten, a world-leading tungsten powder and tungsten carbide producer, in 1997 and launched a buyback scheme to recycle carbide material through the division that is used by Sandvik Coromant to this day. Since then, the program has become a core part of Sandvik Coromant’s production cycle. With the scheme, customers can sell their worn-out tools to the company. The materials can be extracted and reused in the production of new cutting tools; the program creates a closed loop in manufacturing.
This powder then undergoes chemical purification, which helps to retrieve materials that have the same properties as the tungsten originally extracted in the Wolfram mine. Additional elements in the cemented carbide are also managed sustainably. For example, cobalt that is retrieved from used tools is sent to a third party for recycling. Carbide tools from all manufacturers are accepted into Sandvik Coromant’s recycling programme.
Now, with upgrades to the program, Sandvik Coromant customers will benefit from a more streamlined and data-driven recycling process. Customers wanting to sell their recycled tools to the company can log onto an online portal and receive an instant price quote for the volume they are looking to recycle, as well as secure an order pick-up time and receive recycling boxes in advance. To help customers understand the impact their recycling efforts have on the environment, the portal also provides data on the amount of carbon emissions that have been reduced by the metal they have recycled.
To make the logistics of sending recycled tools simpler, Sandvik Coromant has collaborated with market-specific carriers to manage the transportation of tools. Users of the service can order containers, receive an automatic price quote, and automatically book transport with an authorized carrier. The goal is to make recycling as simple as possible.
“95 percent of a used carbide insert can be recycled. Of this carbide, tungsten makes up around 75 percent,” revealed Antonia Dåderman, Program Manager EPMO, Sandvik Coromant. “Sustainability is important for Sandvik Coromant and our customers; we provide an opportunity for our customers to contribute to their sustainability targets and sell back used carbide tools in a smooth process. Together with our customers and partners, we take responsibility for the environment.”
“We know, for example, that estimated reserves of tungsten are around seven million tonnes tons, or 100 years of consumption. As a result, we must find ways of preserving our supply of this vital ingredient of cemented carbide while keeping its environmental impact to a minimum,” he added. “With the upgrades to our recycling program, we aim to make customers more aware of the benefits of recycling. They will be able to see how much money they can make from recycling tools while also gaining insight into the carbon emissions they will reduce by doing so. It is all about highlighting the gains of recycling, for profit and for the planet, in the most effective way possible.”
Image Source: Sandvik Coromant