Member profile: TeTechS
Reducing resin waste in an effort to reduce plastic in environment
Two trillion plastic containers are manufactured every year, consuming 100 million tons of resin worth $150B. At least 10% of that resin is overused: wasted during production due to a lack of real-time resin distribution data to control and eliminate its overuse. This is a significant loss and must be avoided, both for environmental and cost reasons. Resin cost is the number one cost driver for plastics packaging production lines. Hence this loss has a significant impact on the profitability of a production plant and their product sustainability and carbon footprint.
“In a production line, when the plastic resin gets converted into a container, operators take samples to measure the thickness distribution. The measurements are taken manually – which is slow and only done infrequently - and then the data is entered by hand into a computer. And they use very small batches of samples that do not generate enough data. This leads them to put in more resin than necessary, simply to make sure they achieve minimum coverage everywhere and the quality of the product does not get rejected by their brand customers,” explains founder and chief executive officer of TeTechS, Daryoosh Saeedkia. “Without proper data, they run blindly and end up overusing the expensive material.”
This is where TeTechS comes in to address these problems. TeTechS has developed an industrial-grade resin-saving solution to incorporate IoT sensors into the production lines for automating the quality control process in a non-disruptive hands-off manner. It has been one of the missing pieces in enabling plastic packaging to be at the standards needed while preventing resin waste. For the first time, manufacturing organizations can digitally connect in real-time to measure the amount of material being used. This enables manufacturers to make better-controlled measurements of the amount of resin they put into their products.
“Ten to twenty percent is being overused. We need to cut the amount of plastic used at its source before it gets into the hands of people. Then the recycling process must be in place to close the loop, to reduce plastic getting into nature,” says Saeedkia. “The circular economy for plastic starts with resin saving.”
TeTechS recently dealt with a plastic packaging manufacturer that was facing difficulties in its production of high-value major brand drinking bottles. “They had a lot of customer complaints about the bottles they were producing. They would send them out to the customer who filled them and the bottle would leak,” explains Saeedkia.
The solution to this issue was to implement TeTechS technology to gather the data necessary to allow this company to figure out how to fix this problem. “They integrated our solution into their plant, and all their customer complaints went to zero,” says Saeedkia.
“Sometimes you have to think differently rather than adding more to what you’re already doing,” says Saeedkia. “They can benefit from saving on the labour and raw materials, which adds a lot to their profitability while mitigating their environmental impact. Everyone wins.”
TeTechS started at the University of Waterloo when Daryoosh was doing his Ph.D. studies in electrical and computing engineering. Developed in a lab, Daryoosh would take his new and innovative technology and bring it to market in 2010. As this technology did not exist before, TeTechS is not only creating a new service, but is also developing an entirely new market category in resin saving.
TeTechS continues to rely on the University in the production of their industrial solution. Accessing fab facilities and the research talent to assist in the evolution of the technology. Keeping connected to UWaterloo is important to Daryoosh, which led TeTechS to join the GEDI Exchange.
“We wanted to be part of the Exchange for opportunities to collaborate with a community of companies that also came from the University,” says Saeedkia. “Be exposed and learn about companies that might not know each other.”