Attending to the needs identified in the Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) sector, the aim of this project is to improve and optimize the actual management model of the wastes derived from the end-of-life EEE, which is mainly focused on reusing and recycling practices. For this purpose, eco-design and eco-innovation concepts will be introduced at the EEE design and manufacturing stages, and RFID identification technologies will be employed to increase the efficiency of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) management..
There are several results of this project, all of them aimed at obtaining higher efficiency in the WEEE management processes and better reuse and recycling ratios. On the one hand, an Eco-design tool for evaluating the environmental impact of the EEA during the manufacturing process has been designed and developed, which will allow simulating and assessing different alternatives to select the most environmentally friendly. On the other hand, with the aim of improving WEEE’s reuse ratio, a system capable of reading RFID tags placed on the apparatus in the factory has been developed. This system will allow that, when the EEA turn into wastes, wastes managers have available key information about equipment disassembly, location of hazardous components, etc. that facilitate their repair, thus entering into the second-hand market. Finally, regarding recycling, this project has included the design, development and integration of a system for the automatic classification of the WEEEs in the treatment plants, to carry out an individual treatment of each of the apparatus instead of the global treatment concept that is currently being used. The individual classification will allow optimizing the final recycling process, both in the usable ratio of each apparatus and the quality of the different component streams to be recycled. To carry out this classification, the information contained in the RFID tags placed on the apparatus during the manufacturing process will be employed.