Overall Concept

Process industries are working to find solutions to achieve low emissions and promote circularity through waste reduction and secondary raw materials use. The EU-funded DigInTraCE project will use innovative tracking, sensing and sorting techniques to develop a transparent and interoperable decentralised traceability platform focusing on the pulp and paper and chemicals sectors. The project will also develop dynamically updated DPPschemes supporting certification, quality validation, AI-based decision-making mechanisms for process and life cycle optimisation, and up-cycling, reuse and upgrade technologies for improved secondary raw materials use.

DigInTraCE will concentrate on composite wood and furniture, wood and pulp and paper, plastic parts from ICT equipment and the automotive market, and polymers and textiles.

DigInTraCE Methodology

DigInTraCE contributes to circular and low emissions value chains of process through digitalization. Digital tools and information systems will be integrated forming a multifunctional and interoperable decentralized traceability platform based on blockchain technology. End-to-end digitalization of the value chains will be implemented, as online monitoring, tracking and tracing of streams will be established via novel sensing (e.g. HIS) and tracking techniques (e.g. QR, smart tags) for automatically obtaining real-time information. Enhancement of DPPs through dynamic update of product information, is one of the project’s main innovations.

The specific innovations will be clustered into the below 4 main modules:

Decentralized Traceability platform –
Dynamically Updated Digital Product Passport

Based on Decentralized Traceability Platform and integrating the Dynamically updated DPP DigInTraCE expands currently applied traceability schemes, paying special focus to secondary raw materials and products and frequently neglected needs in existing practices. Thus, emphasis will be given on capturing information regarding secondary materials’ properties, composition and origin, not only to enable quality assurance but also to ensure more efficient and sustainable transformation into products. Extracting all the secondary materials transformation-associated data throughout the processing line and process them with the use data analysis and AI offers an opportunity to facilitate optimization of process efficiency, productivity and end-products’ recipes, and assist interested stakeholders’ decision-making related to circularity, environmental impact and economic viability

Novel sensing, Smart Tags
and Sorting Mechanisms

DigInTraCE offers digital tools that facilitate automated and high accuracy identification of secondary resources quality properties, characteristics and environmental conditions, that will be integrated to the platform. Novel spectroscopy techniques & algorithms for plastic waste & wood by-products: Online sensors that rely on spectroscopic techniques, involving novel functionalities customised in compliance with the key parameters that should be monitored within each process will be applied.

Data-driven process optimization for
increased uptake of secondary raw materials

Tools and AI based features will be included in the Decentralised Traceability Platform for process and product optimizations and facilitate decision-making using real-time measurements and related data. Optimal control and AI package for recycled plastic: during injection moulding designed to also control the process, in terms of auto-adapting to improve the quality of second life materials. AI based wood by products optimization algorithms will be developed, connecting materials characteristics’ and production process parameters, with final products’ properties.

Up-cycling, reuse, and upgrade
technologies of secondary raw materials

Project’s digital framework, transversal tools and data driven optimization described will be applied in 4 different value chains in relevant industrial fields combined with technologies for the upcycling, reuse and upgrade of secondary materials and replication potential. The value chains mainly involve wood-based industry and associated pulp & paper sector, as well as chemicals sector, in terms of plastic recycling and bio-based resin development.