Bielefeld. The industrial remanufacturing of used drive components has played an important role at the ZF Bielefeld location for many years. The city of Bielefeld has now recognized this commitment to sustainability and resource conservation and awarded the ZF location there its 2018 Environment and Climate Protection Award.
“We are delighted to receive the Environment and Climate Protection Award from the city of Bielefeld,” says Jörg Witthöft, head of the Bielefeld location of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, on Friday during the award ceremony. “With the award, the city has honored the efforts of our employees at the location and motivates us to work more intensely on a sustainable and conservation-oriented recycling economy; and, moreover, to recycle products after they have exceeded their service life by putting them back into the economy instead of scrapping them.”
“ZF has many years of expertise when it comes to remanufacturing and recycling,” explains Bielefeld’s mayor, Pit Clausen, when he spoke at the ceremony. “It was therefore obvious to us to honor this commitment because we have to handle our raw materials carefully and we want to encourage companies to rely even more on such concepts in the future.”
More Cradle-to-Cradle certification
The Environment and Climate Protection Award from the city of Bielefeld is not the first time the ZF Bielefeld location has received such an award. The Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute, which is headquartered in the U.S. city of Oakland California, also recognized the ZF location for its commitment to remanufacturing clutch pressure plates and torque converters with its Cradle-to-Cradle certification. “Cradle to Cradle” refers to the idea of “from origin back to origin,” one way of describing a consistent recycling economy. The certificates are awarded every two years and take into account whether environmentally-friendly or uncontaminated chemicals were used for the products. Now the remanufacturing of clutch disks has been given gold-level certification. This is the second highest certification level and indicates, in terms of a recycling economy, that 95 percent of the materials are reused. “With the clutch control system ConAct, we are planning to have another product certified,” adds location head Witthöft. “This is an entirely new challenge because, for the first time, there are electronic components containing many different materials that are subject to the test procedure. But we are confident that with our experience we will successfully master it.”
ZF at the Bielefeld location
As one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers, ZF has been committed to industrial remanufacturing for many years, both as an OEM manufacturer and also in its aftersales activities. The roughly 250 employees at the Bielefeld location primarily work on remanufacturing clutches and converters. Worn-out units are returned and new products manufactured from cores. This saves resources and consumes fewer raw materials; waste and CO2 emissions are also reduced. Moreover, there is a special remanufacturing service for classic car parts, particularly clutches and automatic converters.