GreenTag’s Facilitated Audit team were met with an amazing LED light show under the carpet during a recent visit to the Desso manufacturing plant, south of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
The visit was fascinating; firstly to be welcomed by our names displayed on the floor as we entered the foyer with their innovative new “Luminous Carpet’ technology and then followed by a tour of discovery.
Desso are pushing the boundaries in several areas and it was an exciting experience to witness their factory system that follows a design led focus to manufacturing that is unique to the flooring sector and see their revolutionary step change recycling technology.
The foyer’s programmable LED messages, which they use to welcome visitors are projected from underneath the foyer carpet using technology developed with Phillips and now available globally to the market. The unique white backing to the EcoBase range of Desso tiles allows the LED lighting to shine through and facilitate a massive new flexibility in signage delivery right where people are looking when they need signage particularly in an emergency situation.
The Desso design led thinking manifested then in even more tangible ways when we were introduced to their designer studio. In the design studio are several different carpet tufting machines that allow designers to produce and sample their own designs. The significance of this became more obvious when we were shown two different sized tufting machines, one very small one that can literally produce a single tile at a time with totally flexible design capabilities and the other that can then upscale the design to create small customised batch runs of up to 200 square metres. Talk about impressive designer responsiveness.
During the second part of our Desso factory visit, we viewed the manufacturer’s remarkable new ‘Life’ bitumen backed carpet tile recycling plant, a patented new process that marks an innovation milestone in global recycling technology.
The Life plant design was developed by Desso with a substantial grant from the European Union and is able to recover all of the original materials from a used tile product and separate them back into individual materials of high purity suitable for re-use into a variety of products, including more carpet tiles.
The Life plant design is also modular and is intended to be installed in multiple locations worldwide where stockpiles of used tiles are in substantial supply. The modular plants will be available to take competitor tiles as well as those made by Desso.
Evidence of the innovative thinking behind the Life plant also includes a brilliant solution for packaging the resultant nylon fibre. This is cleverly executed by melting a thin layer of the fibre and as it is cools the recycled material is bundled into sausage like rolls ready for storage and transport using nothing but the bundled material itself.
The whole Life system represents a major breakthrough in the flooring sector and is a further significant step towards the circular economy. Congratulations on both of these new technologies Desso!