Recycling of steel
Vepa is firmly en route to a waste-free factory. In the series “Sustainable Solutions by Vepa” we demonstrate how we innovate, think and above all act sustainably. We replace harmful resources with sustainable alternatives, manufacture under excellent working conditions, use local suppliers and think of solutions for our own waste. That is how we make sure that the trash bin stays empty.
Our video explains in detail how we do this with our steel waste.
Steel waste is a global market
Everybody knows the scrap yard. Properly regulated right, but is it? According to figures from the Dutch Central Statistical Agency, a large part of the steel waste is not even processed in the Netherlands. The scrap trade is a global business that involves a lot of logistical movement and transport. We believe this can and should be different. This is one of the reasons why we choose to reveal our production chain and to let our steel waste be processed locally to create new products.
Choice for steel
At Vepa, we rather choose wood over steel. Still, we often use steel for specific purposes such as frames for desks and chairs. This is necessary for the construction and technical functioning of, for example, guiding systems. Modern CNC controlled laser machines and clever programming ensure an optimal use of tube and sheet steel, to make sure that we use this resource as consciously as possible.
Processing residual material
The residual material that is left is collected and pressed into large blocks by a machine that was especially bought for this purpose. These blocks are then transported to Gieterij Rademakers, a foundry near to our factory. Rademakers processes our residual material in an automated process into high-quality cast iron components.
The beginning of a new life
The pressed blocks are melted and then poured into special moulds. After the solidification and processing procedure, the various parts are ready for use in new Vepa products. The base of the chair in our Plastic Whale by Vepa collection is the first component that is made from our own residual material. Solid products as well as a sight for sore eyes. And the good part is, at the end of its lifespan we use the material again. No waste at all, smart, right?
More parts and products will certainly follow!
Research never stops
The research into processing and development of new components of our residual material never stops. We collaborate with other companies under the title Green Furniture Circle. We are currently researching the possibility to make base boards from recycled steel waste and we are exploring the possibilities of hemp and roadside grass as sheet material for new cabinets. Positive developments with a beautiful and sustainable product as a result.