Survitec manufactures air and sea rescue equipment at its plant in Dunmurry, Belfast. Previously known locally as RFD Beaufort the company was rebranded as Survitec in 2000.
Survitec Belfast has been a member of the Industrial Symbiosis Service since March 2008 in its quest to find alternative solutions for by-products generated through the manufacturing process.
Two by-products of the manufacturing process at Survitec were fibre-backed polyurethane (PU) offcuts and a quantity of end of roll PU material.
The end of roll material was generated during previous manufacturing campaigns and was no longer required. It was being stored off site in a warehouse. This space was needed for operational reasons and the rolls of fibre-backed material were destined for landfill.
The PU offcuts are generated on an ongoing basis and Survitec is paying for landfill disposal as well as the hidden costs of handling this material on site.
Survitec was keen to find solutions for both of these resource streams and asked the Industrial Symbiosis Service to introduce them to potential solution providers.
The Industrial Symbiosis Service visited the Survitec site and gathered samples of the two materials. These samples were shown to potential end users to help identify the most appropriate and cost effective solutions. Survitec was introduced to the Play Resource Centre and Mamukko, both of which were able to offer solutions. The end of roll PU was collected by the Play Resource Centre in Belfast and has been used for Hallowe’en related craft projects by several community and education groups.A sample of the PU off cuts was sent to Mamukko to see if the material was suitable in the production of bespoke bags for the maritime and leisure sectors. Mamukko is an eco–conscious venture established by Hungarian brothers, Levente & Attila Magyar. They use traditional leather craftsmanship & skills inherited from their parents to upcycle textiles into bespoke articles.
These synergies demonstrate the reuse potential for this type of material and its value as a raw material in the production of new products.
Survitec has now established regular contact with both Mamukko and the Play Resource Centre as solution providers for discarded manufacturing materials.
These seemingly small quantities of material have diverted 4 tonnes from landfill disposal and achieved cost savings to Survitec of £1,273
The Play Resource Centre has a valuable new material available to its members who will use it in a wide range of creative activities over the months ahead.
Mamukko designed a variety of sports and hand bags from the material it received and generated approximately £7000 in additional sales.
“Survitec is delighted that material that is no longer of use to us in the manufacture of safety equipment has received a new lease of life. The Industrial Symbiosis Service provided timely and innovative solutions. If the Industrial Symbiosis service had not been involved then this material would have gone to landfill at a significant cost to us”
Nigel Bell, Survitec Group, Belfast
The Industrial Symbiosis Service is funded by Invest Northern Ireland and delivered by International Synergies NI Ltd