Drives and Controls Magazine
US firm developing tech to recycle drives wins $30,000 prize
Published:  29 January, 2024

A US company, Molg, which is developing robotic microfactories that can autonomously assemble and disassemble complex electronic products such as variable-speed drives, is one of three winners of ABB’s 2023 Accelerating Circularity Startup Challenge. The competition attracted entries from more than 100 start-ups from around the world. Each winner receives $30,000 to develop their concept in collaboration with ABB.

Molg, based near Washington DC, is tackling the growing electronic waste problem by making manufacturing circular. It is partnering with electronics manufacturers to design new products with re-use in mind, so that one product’s end is another’s start. It uses proprietary software to design bi-directional assembly into products, using techniques such as press-fits and latches, instead of screws.

Molg points out that most electronic products are still designed to be assembled with hand tools and little to no consideration is given to how to take them apart.

ABB runs several Startup Challenges each year in different categories. UK-based Quantum Power Transformation (QPT) won this year’s Power Density Challenge for Motor Drive Products for its gallium nitride power semiconductor technology which could make drives smaller and more efficient.

Molg prefers connection technologies that are easier to take apart at the end of a product’s life

ABB has been running the Startup Challenges for four years and more than 10 winners have already gone on to work with it to commercialise their offerings.

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