TechBlick 11 - Didier [EN]

So my name is Jos and I’m working on research in circular economy and automotive sector. And I would like to know your point of view. If you accept, I’m going to record our conversation, transcribe it and put the transcription with a pseudonym, not your real name, in a repository of text documents that will be used for the research. If you do this and you change your mind and no longer want to participate, get in touch with us and we will immediately remove your interview from the repository. I’m leaving you an information sheet with contact informations after the interview, so if you agree, please tell me your name and that you agree.

So my name is Didier Russo and I agree.

Merci. Thank you. So the first question, can you tell me a bit about your educational and professional background and interests?

I am. I am an engineer in electronics, and I’m the CEO of a company called Kellen Technology, and we are developing printed electronics machines and this is our focus. We love it. And there is a huge amount of technology in these technologies in this area. Sorry. And this may probably be the main point for us addressing this market.

And what is your area of expertise?

Personally? I’m quite old so I have different expertises sorry, electronics, software, mechanical engineering and 3D.

The theme of this conference is The Future of Electronics Reshaped. What does the idea of reshaping electronics for the future mean to you?

Okay, so my view may not be the view from other companies, I would say, but. I think you have to consider that everything needs to be produced with a different type of optimization, that it was done before. Additive technology is a way to do that. But there are other means, other ways that needs to be in addition to additive technology. And in our company we enforce. A a different rules, which are called the nine rules. It’s it’s been the description of that has been done by some university for recently. The first rule is refuse. So we try not to do anything which is which can be avoided in regarding the the impact on the environment. The second rule is reduce. So we try to do things which reduce waste for example as much as possible, grey energy as much as possible, materials usage as much as possible. Et cetera. Et cetera. And the last. And what shall I say? I’m not going to go through all the details of that. But basically the idea is refuse is zero energy, zero environmental impact. And the last rule is the most environmental impact, the one that you need to do, but only when all the others have not been done. And the last one is recycle. So, surprisingly, recycle requires you to use again all the value chain of the industry or the services, etcetera. So it’s it has to be done only after you’ve done everything. So the how to reshape the industry, how to reshape the world is to try to focus on the low impact environmental impacts of zero or 1 or 2, three, let’s say, or four. Okay. And this is the future. So the future is new technologies to reduce everything so that the environment is protected as much as possible.

What do you think is the relationship between electronics and sustainability?

Yeah, electronics is a problem for sustainability. So you should avoid electronics. Now once we’ve done that we are not helping the business and we are not helping people because electronics can help somehow as well. Simplify the process. I need to say, for example, our machines, they are designed with a lot of electronics so that by the end of the day the machines are smaller, more efficient, use less materials and simplify the overall process. Not just us, but the process of our customer to make it more compact. And of course, the the impact on the environment is then reduced. So this is of course the electronics benefits as well.

Can you define a circular economy in your own words? What is circular economy? Oh.

Um. Well, it’s linked with recycling, but actually, I think a good circular economy is something which is local, which is based on reuse as much as possible, with no waste and with the understanding of where does it come, where does come, the product or the materials that you’re using, and the back, the other side of the the, the problem? How do you use and what it is meant for? So if you have a clear conscience of all these, maybe the circular economy is moving forward.

Didier, do you participate in a circular economy yourself in any aspects of your life?

So for for the company, yes of course. So the company has all sort of small details linked with a circular economy. So some of our waste is reused. For example, we also turned for some of the products which are produced with our machines to. Help people. For example, we have local people who are doing some sewing. You will be surprised. Low tech sewing like you know, and these people are included into some high tech projects so that we can link all sorts of different types of people around us into some industrial projects. So instead of moving some of the production in Asia, for example, which is good, in some cases I don’t complain, but in some other cases we prefer then to move that into, for example, into France. But because of the the structure of cost, this is not going to work. And also we are more happy to see some local people be involved into this with a structure of cost which is lower, and help them jump into the business themselves and personally. Well, this is a bit of. I’m the CEO of the company, so it’s a little bit like in person. Now I can tell you another example. My wife is doing knitting and of course she’s buying the wool from dedicated persons who are producing the wool locally. And and these are the stuff that she’s knitting is sold in the area. And there is no as of today, she produced, I think, about 5000 parts. Okay. And none of them were thrown out. So we take care of every single customer. What they are doing with the, the, the thing that they are buying to help them keep them live. So it’s quite funny.

So do you think electronics can play a role in making the car industry more sustainable?

Yes. Somehow, yes. Not with car and for entertainment. You know, this is this is not the. Yeah. Typically if you can improve the life of the battery it’s more sustainable. And this is done through electronics as well.

And what about circular economy. Do you think electronics can play a role in making the car industry more circular?

This is not the point. Any technology will help. You can’t say electronics more than mechanical, more than chemistry, more than software. I think it’s you have to to to have a global view of what you’re doing. So it participates. But not more than the other sciences which are necessary to build a car.

You think the car or automotive industry is already promoting a circular economy?

No, no. No, I know that Renault, for example, is doing that, and I know very well what they are doing, actually, I mean, in contact with them. And I can see that they are trying, of course, to do some circular economy. Now you have to think of the disaster of the automobile, the automotive industry, what they’ve done to the to the earth. So how can you now change that so fast? It has to be so fast. So I don’t know of any I mean. My my fear. Okay, I think Renault is doing something nice. Okay, but it’s just so, so small. Because every single company should do that. Create new factories to recycle. But do you remember what I’ve said? Recycling is the last. Activity. But it’s the worst in terms of. Yeah. Sorry. It’s the worst activity in terms of. Environmental benefits. The best for example for the for the car the is reduce the number of cars. Reuse the cars in always reuse the car. Reuse means do not retrofit but start to extend the use of the car. Make cars last for 40 years. Let’s say for example I think this would be much, much better. Etcetera, etcetera. So recycle reuse. The recycling is not again the best solution for the environment.