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UKIVA Machine Vision Conference



Join us on 15 July 2021 on the MVC Technology Presentation Hub and explore eight online seminar theatres. (more)

PPMA Show 2021

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

28/09/2021 - 30/09/2021

PPMA Show 2021 will be the UK’s largest ever event dedicated to state-of-the-art processing and (more)

Southern Manufacturing

Farnborough, Hants(GU14 6TQ)

06/10/2021 - 07/10/2021

Southern Manufacturing and Electronics is the most comprehensive annual industrial exhibition in the (more)

Advanced Engineering 2021

NEC Birmingham(B40 1NT)

03/11/2021 - 04/11/2021

Join us in our 12th and most important edition to date, as we invite engineers and management from all (more)

Dad's Army, and the art of recycling...

In the last couple of years at the cinema, I've seen remakes of Total Recall, Godzilla, Carrie and The Day The Earth Stood Still, not to mention reboots of Spiderman and Superman - all of which I'd argue were totally unnecessary. Now they've brought the remake syndrome to Warmington-on-Sea, with a host of stars lined up for a 2014 film adaptation of Dad's Army.

Misplaced apostrophe notwithstanding, I always liked Dad's Army. You'll still find it on TV somewhere on any given day and, like Fawlty Towers, it's still funny. Predictable, yes. Formulaic, of course, but any programme where the whole family can laugh together is surely a good programme. At its peak between 1968 and 1977 it drew audience figures of over 18 million viewers, and even today it can attract two million or more.

The 2014 film will feature Bill Nighy, Sir Michael Gambon, Toby Jones and Sir Tom Courtenay among others in the Home Guard, along with Catherine Zeta Jones, Sarah Lancashire and Mark Gatiss. And the film comes courtesy of the writer and director who brought us Johnny English Reborn.

What I think we can learn, then, is that there's plenty of mileage in recycling, as long as you get it right. Importantly, while the exploitative rehashes on the big screen of the past few years have been all about extracting more of our hard earned cash while promising very little in return, recycling can, at its best, be a highly innovative process.

I'll give you two examples: first is Jaguar Land Rover, which has developed a new aluminium alloy, which means that up to 50% of the body of the new Jaguar XE is made from recycled aluminium. The new lightweight alloy, which is made from processed scrap, is not only better for the environment - the lighter car will also produce less CO2 emissions - but it also has the potential to be used by other producers in the transport sector. The development came about as part of a collaborative R&D competition launched by Innovate UK that led to the REALCAR (Recycled Aluminium Car) project. A second project, REALCAR 2, is now working on increasing the percentage of recycled aluminium.

In a second example, a Swindon based manufacturer of machines that convert waste plastic into oil has received funding from seed fund specialist EcoMachines Incubator. The machines, designed by Recycling Technology, convert mixed plastic waste (MPW) destined for landfill or incineration into an oil that may be sold or used as a fuel. At a time of flux in the waste industry, and when plastic waste is one of our major environmental pollution problems, these new machines provide an innovative and practical solution. Because it is mixed, MPW is currently not recycled; some 30 million tonnes currently go to landfill or incineration in the EU every year.

So perhaps we should frown less upon the art of recycling, and celebrate it for the innovation and vision it delivers. When recycling can solve real world problems like this, we can all put up with the odd movie misfire. Who knows, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may turn out to be a thoroughly enjoyable romp - perhaps even the film of the year. Cowabunga!
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