Epson Atmix Corporation, Aomori, Japan, an Epson Group company, has announced plans to invest several billion yen to build and equip a new metal recycling facility. The company will process used metals from within Atmix, as well as external sources, to use as raw material for the production of its fine metal powders.
Atmix produces a range of metal powders for a variety of manufacturing processes, including Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) and Additive Manufacturing. The company also produces magnetic powders for use in power supply circuits, as coils for IT equipment (e.g., smartphones), and for hybrid cars and electric vehicles.
The Epson Group has set a goal of becoming non-renewable resource-free by 2050. In addition to this, Atmix believes it necessary to establish a closed-loop metal powder manufacturing ecosystem to address potential issues with the future supply of metals due to resource depletion and rising prices.
Atmix has stated that it plans to invest in an induction furnace for melting metals, refining equipment for removing impurities from metal, and a pig casting machine for forming ingots. The used metal will come from sources such as out-of-spec metal powder products in Atmix’s manufacturing process, metal waste from its factory, metal scraps and used moulds and dies discharged by Epson and others.
Operations are scheduled to begin in 2025, and within three years Atmix expects recycled metal materials to meet about 25% of its total raw metal material needs. This new Atmix factory is positioned as the first step toward becoming ‘underground resource-free’ and is expected to be a crucial part of Atmix’s efforts to develop a sustainable metal powders business.