An even more circular product with the support of Hydro EcoDesign
Ritswand BV is a new customer in using the expertise of Hydro EcoDesign. The technical support the Dutch company has received from its aluminium solutions provider is a great start.
Ritswand, a Red Dot Design winner in 2021, produces a modular wall system for flexible workspaces. The system is based on free-standing aluminium frames that are connected via a system of zip fasteners – zippers. These create partition walls or cubicles equipped with their own power points and lighting, as well a variety of ventilation solutions.
The entire concept, called Zipperwall, is detachable and reusable, just as Ritswand wants it to be. The buy-back possibilities they offer customers also support the company’s circularity ambition.
And when they decided to switch from steel to aluminium for the frames in their newest product series, they looked for help from a local supplier with the same sustainable objectives. They found Hydro.
Lower carbon footprint and improved circularity
“Because of our sustainable approach, Ritswand invited us to have a talk,” says account manager Rinus van Meer of Hydro Extrusions Benelux. “They are so focused on circularity that they thought about every process, and how these could improve. Decreasing wall thicknesses. Smart joining, as part of the design.”
Sasja Fransen, an inventor and one of the founders of Ritswand, explains that the company needs “durable materials that will last, and we look for the lowest footprint possible. But the design is key. We want to reuse 99% of our products. Aluminium will last for 50 or 100 years, and that is the heart of reusability.
“With the Hydro EcoDesign concept, we started with a clean sheet. We now have less weight with aluminium and the design is more smart. With the joining, we have gotten the benefits of the flexibility and the opportunities that extruded aluminium provides. We have also lowered our carbon footprint by using the low-carbon aluminium Hydro REDUXA. I think the concept we have is really good.”
Hydro EcoDesign and low-carbon aluminium
The framework of Hydro EcoDesign is based on procedures and requirements. Its concept supports customers by combining technical excellence with creative design to improve the functionality of a product, as well as its social and environmental footprint. This collaboration between customer and supplier brings together product designers with engineers schooled in the Hydro EcoDesign methodology.
Hydro EcoDesign complements the products and services that Hydro offers in line with its sustainability strategy, including the low-carbon aluminium brands Hydro REDUXA and Hydro CIRCAL. The latter contains at least 75% post-consumer scrap aluminium.
Fransen says he has been pleasantly surprised by the benefits of Hydro EcoDesign. “It fits perfectly with what we are doing,” he says.
“Everyone shouts about sustainability and circularity, but not everyone does like we do.”
All products have an environmental impact, starting with material extraction, then to production, transportation, usage, disposal and recycling.
Hydro EcoDesign can help you make products with increased functionality and a smaller environmental footprint.