Online Symposium on Innovation and Automation in Remanufacturing

The Environmental Campus Birkenfeld, in cooperation with FJW Consulting, organizes a series of bimonthly online conferences on the topic of innovation and automation in remanufacturing. The next conference will take place on the 4th of November.

In industrial remanufacturing, particularly in the automotive sector, old products are very successfully collected, dismantled, inspected, cleaned, reprocessed and reassembled. At the first edition of the online conference, two presentations will present best practices and new research findings. In a subsequent panel discussion, participants will be able to raise any questions they may have about remanufacturing.


Session 3 - 04.11.2020 - 17:00

The program will include the following 2 presentations:

Passenger Car Electrification & key challenges for the Remanufacturing

By Francois de Ribet, Valeo Electrification Systems, Aftermarket & Off Road Products Line Director

"The electrification of the Passenger Car is a leading market trend due to regulation and low emission cities zone extension notably. Car park will be impacted differently according to the geographical area and will open new challenges for the Remanufacturing industry"

Disassembly research of Lithium Batteries at the University of Applied Sciences Trier

By Professor Matthias Vette-Steinkamp, Umwelt Campus Birkenfeld

In the presentation, we discuss the challenges of disassembling electric vehicles. Especially the handling of charged high voltage batteries in accident vehicles. The aim is to use robots for the high-risk and dangerous tasks.

Following the presentations, to animate the discussion, invited to comment is:

Jirka Horvath, Director ZF Aftermarket, Operations EMEA & Operations Remanufacturing. Apra Europe Director.

Meet the People Involved

Fernand Weiland

Fernand Weiland, FJW Consulting

Fernand Jean Weiland has spent 30 years in management positions with Bendix Automotive, Lucas Automotive, Magneti Marelli Automotive and TRW Automotive.

Fernand Weiland founded the APRA ( Automotive Parts Remanufacturer Assoc.)  European Division in 1989, serving as the division’s first chairman for more than 20 years.  Between 1990 and 2010 he organised a considerable number of APRA forums, workshops and exhibitions across Europe.

A co-founder of the biennial ReMaTec remanufacturing exhibitions in Amsterdam, Fernand Weiland has written numerous articles for the ReMaTecNews magazine as well as editing five books about automotive remanufacturing in Europe. He was also instrumental in setting up APRA’s Asia-Pacific Division. Fernand was the 2019 winner of the ReMaTec Ambassador Award.

Wolfgang Gerke

Wolfgang Gerke, Trier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental Campus Birkenfeld

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Gerke is head of the Department of Robotics and Control as well as Professor at the Trier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental Campus Birkenfeld and 'Assistant Professeur Associe' at the University of Luxembourg. He also teaches at the AKAD University.  He is an expert in robotics and control and studied mechanical engineering at the University of Duisburg. He worked there for 5 years as a research assistant in the department of measurement and control engineering, where he acquired various research projects. In his doctoral thesis he developed methods for collision avoidance control of industrial robots. Before becoming a professor, he worked for more than 12 years in various companies such as Thyssen Engineering, ThyssenKrupp Encoke and Robert Bosch GmbH.  In the context of EU funded research projects he worked as a project manager at Roboter Bosch GmbH in the development department of robot controls. In industrial projects he developed sensor-guided robot controls with computer vision.  As head of the department for technical informatics at ThyssenKrupp Encoke, he developed information technology solutions for large industrial plants, such as the final assembly line for the Airbus 320/321. He gave numerous presentations at international conferences and published articles in many trade journals. He has written textbooks on assistance robots and electrical machines and actuators, and works as a reviewer for various research projects and papers. In 1997 he became professor at the University of Applied Sciences Trier, Environmental Campus Birkenfeld, where he established the department of robotics and control.

Matthias Vette-Steinkamp

Matthias Vette-Steinkamp, Trier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental Campus Birkenfeld

Matthias is currently setting up a working group for remanufacturing system technologies at Trier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental-Campus Birkenfeld. From March 2012 to February 2020, he was head of department at ZeMA - Center for Mechatronics and Automation Technology in Saarbrücken. At the same time, he is a lecturer for industrial robotics and human-technology interaction and head of the international research cluster Robotix-Academy. His research focuses on the automotive and aerospace industry as well as agile production.

His research interests focus on the application of robotics and automation in industrial production. In this context, he leads and contributes to a broad portfolio of innovation and technology transfer projects aiming at the introduction of robotics technologies in the production sector according to the Industry 4.0.

Jirka Horvath

Jirka Horvath, ZF Aftermarket

Jirka Horvath has spent nearly 20 years in different roles in ZF Aftermarket, TRW Aftermarket before acquisition. Jirka is actively supporting the industry as Director in APRA Europe. He started in finance and through several management positions including plant management now responsible as ZF Aftermarket Director for Operations EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) consisting of several spare parts distribution centers across whole region. In his role he is also covering Operations Remanufacturing – factories in Frydlant CZ and Wrexham UK. In ZF, remanufacturing has strong pedigree and is covering purely mechanical parts through mechatronics up to electronics remanufacturing. ZF has remanufactured in 2019 almost 1,5 million automotive parts (clutches, gearboxes, brakes, steering etc.) and saved more than 50.000 tons on CO2 emission by reusing its key components. This is an equivalent of 300 million km driven by an average passenger car! This is Jirka’s passion. His free time he spends with family and sport activities.


Francois de Ribet

Francois de Ribet, Valeo Electrification Systems Aftermarket & Off Road Products Line Director

  • Since 2004 within Valeo Group occupying several positions in Purchasing, Project management and industrialisation within different product's lines as Lighting, Clutches, Starters & Alternators.
  • Since 2012, responsible for the development, production and sales of the Aftermarket products for Electrical System product's line  which regroups the production of Starters, Alternators and 48V applications for Hybrid technology.

By consequence, fully involved in the Remanufacturing operations and in his development across the Valeo Group.
Today the Remanufacturing portfolio of Valeo covers: Compressors, Clutches, Dual Mass Flywheel, Starter, Alternators, E-Motors, Brakes .... and, surely, others products to come


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The conference will be conducted via the video conference tool Big Blue Button. Detailed instructions on how to use the tool and a link to the event will be sent out the day before the conference.

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