Online Symposium on Innovation and Automation in Remanufacturing

The Environmental Campus Birkenfeld, in consultation 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 7th of July.


Session 6 - 07.07.2021

17:00 - Welcome
17:05 - Remanufacturing of end-of-life wind turbines in a closed-loop supply chain: Design and applications - by F. J. Ramírez
17:25 -
The pathway to circular wind turbine blades - by H. van der Mijle Meijer
17:45 - Panel Disscusion 1 - with R. Waugh
18:00 - The Wind industry’s green dilemma - by J. Barry
18:20 - Bolting technologies needs intelligent tightening and loosening tools - by F. Hohmann
- Panel Disscusion 2 - with F. Weiland
19:00 - End of the Symposium


Remanufacturing of end-of-life wind turbines in a closed-loop supply chain: Design and applications - by F. J. Ramírez

This research is focused on the analysis of the alternatives to recover wind turbines at the end of their useful life after several years of operation: a) Dismantling for recycling or disposal; b) Lifetime extension or revamping, after a high investment in maintenance to keep the wind turbine under operation and control; or c) Remanufacturing combined with repowering in order to reuse, remanufacture, recycle or disposal of the different components according to their condition and the most convenient recovery option from an economic and environmental point of view. In addition, the design of a closed-loop supply chain and an effective reverse logistic network are considered to maximise the benefits of remanufacturing.


The pathway to circular wind turbine blades - by H. van der Mijle Meijer

With the current wind farms, 80% to 90% of the wind turbines can be recycled. Apart from cost reduction, sustainability including material circularity is an increasingly important driver and challenge to the wind industry. To realize the circular wind turbine, the design philosophy must be adapted to the circular economy thinking. Today's thermoset composite wind turbine blades are very difficult to recycle. TNO has analysed various circular solutions for a wind turbine blade based on both the business case and the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).


The Wind industry’s green dilemma - by J. Barry

The presentation will focus on the lifecycle of a wind turbine and the opportunities it presents to the application of circular economy technology.  It will be an exposition of the present status for refurbishment and remanufacture within the sector, and the work we are doing to change a predominantly linear culture of procure only new, to one where owner operators seek a reuse as a preference.  Fundamentally it will be about how we make the Aftermarket more sustainable while improving cost and performance.


Meet the People Involved

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.

Wolfgang Gerke

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

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Gerke is a Professor at the Trier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental Campus Birkenfeld and 'Assistant Professeur Associe' at the University of Luxembourg. He is an expert in robotics and control and studied mechanical engineering at the University of Duisburg. Before becoming a professor, he worked for more than 12 years in various companies such as Thyssen Engineering, ThyssenKrupp Encoke and Robert Bosch GmbH. He gave numerous presentations at international conferences and published articles in many journals.

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.

F. Javier Ramírez

F. Javier Ramírez, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

Dr F. Javier Ramírez is Assistant Professor at the School of Industrial Engineering, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Albacete, Spain. Ramirez’s research focuses on operations research and manufacturing engineering. He has participated in more than 120 R&D projects and has co-authored over 50 research papers in journals, specialized conferences and book chapters. He is co-inventor of 6 patents with industrial exploitation. Dr Ramírez is Associate Editor of Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, and Cogent Engineering.

James Barry

James Barry, Renewable Parts

Following a career spanning 25 years with Aerospace Corporate, Rolls-Royce, James moved to lead Renewable Parts to become a global player in parts supply chain solutions.  An engineer by background, during his time with Rolls-Royce James had roles within Sales & Marketing, Service Development and MRO working with global giants that included Airbus, Boeing and Cathay Pacific. Prior to leaving the business in 2015, James led Rolls-Royce’s Marketing division for Civil Aerospace.     

Rachel Waugh

Rachel Waugh, European Remanufacturing Council

Rachel Waugh has been working on remanufacturing for nearly 8 years as part of her role as Senior Consultant at Oakdene Hollins, a Circular Economy consultancy based in Buckinghamshire, UK.  She joined Oakdene Hollins after completing her PhD in Engineering at the University of Cambridge as part of the WellMet2050 project, which aimed to explore all credible means for reducing the global CO2 emissions of the steel and aluminium industries and was her introduction to remanufacturing.  She has been involved in a broad range of remanufacturing projects, including remanufacturing markets studies for Malaysia, Scotland, Canada and Europe.  In 2014, she co-ordinated the successful Horizon2020 bid to run the European Remanufacturing Network, out of which the European Remanufacturing Council was established in 2017.  She is married to a real life rocket scientist and her free time is currently spent homeschooling her two young children! 

Harald van der Mijle Meijer

Harald van der Mijle Meijer, TNO

Harald is senior consultant wind energy at the Dutch research organization TNO and has more than 15 years of experience in wind energy research and development projects at an international level. With his passion for the wind and the sea and background in materials science, his focus is on sustainability and circularity of offshore wind turbines. Within TNO he is responsible for the research and market combination cluster circular wind farms with a focus on wind turbine design for circularity and recycling of wind turbine blades.
He has worked for various companies and the Royal Netherlands Navy in the field of material application and maintenance in aerospace and marine applications and corrosion protection of wind turbine support structures.
In his spare time he uses the wind as a sailor and with kitesurfing.

Past Sessions

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