fabbrica_evolutiva_riconfigurabileTitle: Highly Evolvable E-waste Recycling Technologies and Systems

Area: 2 – Evolutionary and Reconfigurable Factory

Call topic: 2.1 – Optimization of the co-evolution of production systems

Coordinating Institute: ITIA-CNR


  • Politecnico di Milano,
  • Università di Parma,
  • LOT Quantum Design,
  • Seltek,
  • Siderrottami,
  • Valmatic srl,
  • MH Systems,
  • Idealtec

Industrial Interest Group:

  • LOT Quantum Design (Roma),
  • Seltek (Udine),
  • Siderrottami (Pesaro),
  • Valmatic s.r.l. (Arosio (CO)),
  • MH Systems (Misinto (MB)),
  • Idealtec (Bottanuco (BG))

Abstract: The recycling market is one of the key industries for closing material loops and achieving a global sustainable development. Waste from Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is the fastest growing waste stream in EU, with 5% increase per year. The WEEE flows are in continuous evolution as new products and materials are entering the WEEE streams. Furthermore, the high volatility of the price of recovered materials and the variability in the input material compositions are posing serious challenges on the current rigid designs of mechanical recycling systems. WEEE ReFlex will develop the technological solutions to address the product, process, system co‐evolution problem at recycling system level. The WEEE ReFlex solution will integrate and demonstrate in–‐line WEEE characterization hyperspectral technologies, new reconfigurable particles’ routing modules supported by integrated process, system and strategy–‐oriented models for profitably driving the recycling system evolution.

Ideas and solutions:

  • Recycling strategy under uncertainty
  • Design and control of modular and evolving recycling systems
  • Hyperspectral imaging for in-line materials characterization
  • Flexible disassembly of electronic components from WEEE

Follow up:

Cyber-Physical System (CPS) for reconfigurable e-waste recycling processes (WEEE ReFlex CPS)

One of the developed key enabling technologies in the Sottoprogetto 2 was an integrated hardware/software system, aimed to ensure the recycling process reconfigurability. Following these results, a Cyber-Physical System (CPS) platform, to support the control, operation and reconfiguration of advanced multi-material recycling system at industrial level has been developed.

The developed CPS platform ensure both flexibility and reconfigurability of multi-products recycling system at industrial level, by integrating HyperSpectral Image (HSI) System, Multi-Body Simulation Model and Optimization/Control Module. This technology will consist of a two-layer architecture focused both on the process level and on the system level, considering the interconnections of both physical and virtual entities. In particular, data about the mixture (composition, geometrical attributes and dimensional distribution) will be gathered in real-time by HSI system. These data will feed the two-level modelling platform to enable the control of technologies and the reconfiguration of the recycling process chain according to the specific material state.


Download brochure