Rockwell Automation to support Royal Mint’s precious metal recovery

Rockwell Automation is working with The Royal Mint to design, build, and commission a facility to safely recover valuable metals from electronic products.

The Royal Mint announced its new factory, a world-first, earlier this year. When fully operational in 2023, the 3,500m2facility to be built in South Wales is expected to process up to 90 tons of UK-sourced circuit boards per week.

Waste electrical equipment (along with electronics and collectively known as e-waste) is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK and the world, with less than 20 per cent currently recycled worldwide. In the UK we are throwing away over 300,000 tons of electrical items each year and hoarding another 527 million items. More than 95 tons of precious metals including gold, silver, and palladium – equivalent to £857 million – could be recycled from unwanted electricals each year.

The Royal Mint is using patented chemistry to recover more than 99 per cent of gold and other materials from electronic waste contained within the circuit boards of discarded laptops and mobile phones.

Building on a 15-year relationship with The Royal Mint, Rockwell Automation’s Lifecycle Services team is delivering a multi-million pound turnkey process design and PlantPAx distributed control system to help reduce the environmental impact of e-waste management in the UK, supporting The Royal Mint in meeting its broader sustainability goals. In the process, the circuit boards are fed via a conveyor system into a reactor and the resulting sludge then undergoes separation, sorting, and filtering to deliver the reclaimed metals.

Phil Hadfield, UK managing director at Rockwell Automation says: “The wealth of knowledge and capability that Rockwell Automation has allows us to ensure that this facility is as efficient, viable and user-friendly as possible. We are proud to continue our working relationship with The Royal Mint to create a new source of high-quality precious metals for the business and help with the global challenge of electrical waste.”

When fully scaled up the new purpose-built facility will ensure all e-waste processed on-site is handled in a controlled and regulated manner. Aligned with circular economy principles, the planned recovery of precious metals and other materials will help to preserve natural resources, reduce the environmental impact of smelting UK’s e-waste and foster new skills and employment in the South Wales.

“This technology provides us with the opportunity to make a genuine impact on one of the world’s greatest environmental challenges while helping to secure our future as a leader in high quality, sustainable precious metals,” Sean Millard, chief growth officer at The Royal Mint, said. “The potential of this technology is huge – reducing the impact of electronic waste, preserving precious commodities, and forging new skills which help drive a circular economy.”

Rockwell Automation

Kiln Farm
Milton Keynes
MK11 3DR

+44 (0)870 242 5004

More news
1 day ago
Servodrives help protect chair castors and cut packaging costs
Drives and motors specialist Yaskawa has played a key role in the development of an automated system specifically designed to fit protective plastic caps onto chair castors, using its Sigma-7 series servo-drives and a SLIO-series controller.
4 days ago
SKF streamlines bearing analysis for Ansys users
With the new SKF Bearing App for Ansys Mechanical, design engineers have instant access to accurate stiffness data on more than 10,000 bearing designations. The app is available in the Ansys Store free of charge.
4 days ago
Omron awarded platinum rating from EcoVadis for sustainability
Omron has been awarded the Platinum rating following a sustainability assessment by EcoVadis. A score earning a Platinum rating, which is the highest distinction, puts the company within the top 1% of all the businesses assessed for sustainability performance.
1 week ago
ABB Value Provider wins order for rolling mill DC drive solution
DC drive specialist Iconsys is set to deliver a bespoke drive upgrade solution comprising two 12-pulse drive suites from ABB for a UK steel mill’s payoff and tension reels, used to feed and recoil steel strip through a production line.
1 week ago
What are the design considerations when specifying lead screws?
The first in the new ‘Design • Engineer • Build’ series of video podcasts focuses on lead screws – components that are at the heart of countless engineering systems. We talk to Phil Jones at Abssac about the enduring popularity of these essential design products, and the design considerations in their specification.
1 week ago
Harting honoured with the ‘Best of Industry Award’
The industry media of the Vogel Communications Group presented their ‘Best of Industry Awards’ shortly before the turn of the year. The Harting Technology Group emerged as the winner in the ‘Electrical Equipment’ category with its Han-Modular Domino modules.
1 week ago
Quick ROI and 60% decrease in maintenance travel with remote access
Brazilian surface treatment systems manufacturer Erzinger was keen to limit service trips as much as possible to serve customers faster. By implementing IXON Cloud, it can now support its customers remotely, and work in an intuitive and secure way. It can even set up multiple simultaneous connections to work together on the same project. The result is cost reduction, quick ROI and happier customers.
1 week ago
Nord high up in the sustainability ranking
Nord Drivesystems was assessed by the rating agency EcoVadis and awarded the silver sustainability certificate in 2022. In the overall ranking, the North German company is in the top six percent of manufacturers in the industry assessed by EcoVadis.
1 week ago
Mitsubishi Electric helps door manufacturer triple its throughput
Renowned door manufacturer Profile Developments has seen a threefold increase in its productivity, thanks to its latest collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric, with a solution based on multiple FR-E series inverter or variable speed drives (VSDs) and other system-matched components, such as a GOT 2000 series HMI and MELSEC iQ-R PLC.
2 weeks ago
Idem Safety Switches presented with the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise
Idem Safety Switches has been presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade. Accompanied by the Mayor of Bolton and the Deputy Mayor of Wigan, His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Greater Manchester, Ms Diane Hawkins LL JP LLB presented the Queen’s Award to Medi Mohtasham, founder and managing director of Idem.

Login / Sign up