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 first conference will take place on the 7th of July.

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 1 - 07.07.2020

  • 17:00 Welcome
  • 17:05 Remanufacturing Future – by Thijs Jasink
  • 17:25 Panel 1 - with Michael Hague-Morgan & Daniel Köhler
  • 17:45 Agile Production Control in Dynamic Remanufacturing Systems – by Sebastian Groß
  • 18:05 Panel 2 - with Michael Hague-Morgan & Daniel Köhler
  • 18:30 Wrap Up


Remanufacturing Future

The presentation will focus on the challenges encountered with electronic devices in the future and how the task of remanufacturing can be approached here. The latest developments of electronics, the opportunities following the COVID-19 epidemic and the future of remanufacturing will also be discussed here.

Agile Production Control in Dynamic Remanufacturing Systems

Flexibility is one of the primary goals in modern (re) manufacturing systems. To achieve this vision and to remain competitive in the future, it is necessary to implement an agile intralogistics. In addition, special systems for production control are necessary, which on the one hand take into account the special requirements of remanufacturing and on the other hand can handle the new flexibility requirements.
For this purpose, the Robotics and Control Group of the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld has developed a novel agile production control systems for dynamic remanufacturing systems.The system uses AI-based optimization algorithms for AGV and machine scheduling, resulting in a significant reduction of throughput time.  Furthermore, the system is able to react autonomously to unexpected events and uses real-life feedback from the shop floor.

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.

Thijs Jasink

Thijs Jasink, Alec GmbH

Thijs has about 15 years’ experience working in the remanufacturing industry. In that time he has been responsible for starting up several companies within the ACT-Group. With the knowledge he has, including that gained by keeping up with the latest developments in the industry, Thijs advises in the streamlining of Alec’s and the ACT-Group remanufacturing processes.
Due to his experience and knowledge Thijs has often been requested as a speaker at trade fairs and events. This includes well known events such as Circular Economy, ReMaTec and Automechanika.
As of recent, Thijs is part of the advisory committee for ReMaTec and member of the board at the APRA. His role lies in the electronics sector and his aim is to “drive” the electronics Reman into the future.
With great enthusiasm, knowledge and determination he is not only elevating Alec and the ACT-Group to the next level but the entire remanufacturing industry. Due to his position in the remanufacturing industry, and his commercial background, he is the perfect person to actively pursue new strategic partnerships.


Sebastian Groß

Sebastian Groß, Trier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental Campus Birkenfeld

Sebastian Groß graduated in 2017 in mechanical engineering at Trier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental-Campus Birkenfeld. Since 2015, he is a part-time research assistant and since 2017, a full-time research assistant specialised in human robot collaboration, AGVs, industry 4.0, cyber physical systems, scheduling optimisation and production planning and control. Besides that, since 2017 he is also a PhD candidate at the University of Luxemburg in the robotics group led by Prof. Peter Papper.

Mike Hague-Morgen

Mike Hague-Morgen, Autocraft Solutions Group Ltd

Michael Hague-Morgan is a co-owner of Autocraft Solutions Group Ltd which is a group of UK based manufacturing companies with sites in Grantham, Wellingborough and Birmingham. Autocraft Drivetrain Solutions in Grantham is Europe’s largest independent engine remanufacturer and supports leading automotive brands such as Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Volvo, Aston Martin and JCB on a global basis by providing them with new and remanufactured engine assemblies and related powertrain engineering services. The sites at Wellingborough (Autocraft Machining Solutions) and Birmingham (Vertex Engineering Solutions) offer complex machined components, tooling and prototypes to a wide range of industries.

A keen “petrol head”, Mike followed his hobby of rebuilding old Land Rovers into a BEng Mechanical Engineering degree at Cardiff University. Having initially started his career at Ford, Mike moved into the automotive tier 1 supply base working in the casting, forging and machining sector where he had roles in operations, engineering and sales at sites across the UK.

Mike was appointed Commercial Director of Autocraft in 2008, with a brief to turn the loss-making company around. This led to the MBO of the company from the US parent and Mike becoming a 45% shareholder. Since then Autocraft has grown from £8m to £30m turnover. In doing so, the company workforce has grown from 98 to over 200 people.

He is a keen supporter of developing engineering talent and champions the use of new technology in manufacturing businesses. Autocraft has been early adopters of Industry 4.0 technology which has radically improved the quality of products produced and the efficiency of processes to make them. This is despite Autocraft being an SME and having low volume and traditional “hand built” engine assembly processes. He is Regional Vice Chair of Make UK for the East Midlands, a Non-Exec Manufacturing Board Member of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Board Member of the SMMT and Chair of their Automotive Components Section. Mike also regularly supports Innovate UK, APC and KTN Workshops to promote Engineering, Manufacturing, Remanufacturing and the Circular Economy in the UK.

Daniel Köhler

Daniel Köhler, APRA Europe

Daniel Köhler is the former Vice President of TruckServices Technical Solutions at Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH where he was responsible for the remanufaturing business of Knorr-Bremse EMEA. He is also the former Vice President of Mingjie Group in Foshan. Currently he is the Chairman of the Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association Europe.

With his PhD thesis in the topic "Regenerative Supply Chains" Daniel Köhler earned his PhD in engineering at Bayreuth University. In his thesis he cooperated with BMW and Bosch to resolve the riddle of reman CO2-savings. During his researcher career at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Daniel Köhler took part as project and team leader in many consultancy projects in the reman industry.


In order to receive an invitation to the event, you must register below. The registration is free of charge.

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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