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Putting systems in place for stronger industry

An EU-funded initiative set the wheels in motion for improving on a nation's polymer industry. A series of workshops and related activities helped pinpoint weaknesses and areas needing improvement.

Industrial Technologies

The 'Reinforcement the capacities of the Department of Polymer Engineering for characterization and testing polymers' (Recapo) project worked to develop research capacity at the Department of Polymer Engineering (DPE) and the Department of Chemical and Control Engineering (DCCE) at the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy Skopje in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The goal was to have the capacity to promote these facilities as certified reference bodies - it is the country's lack of such bodes that prevents it from exporting polymer-related products. To achieve the objectives and enhance the level of scientific activities, the Recapo team set out to establish links with similar, more developed EU institutions so as to benefit from their experience and knowledge. To this end, various workshops were organised as activities supporting core objectives. A workshop on polymer materials was organised, and experimental techniques, methodologies and results related to research in this field were published in scientific journals or presented at relevant gatherings. Project partners produced various reports, including one for monitoring and processing technological data of the polymer recycling pilot line and one for identifying and overcoming its weak points. A workshop was held on experimental modelling and modelling of plastic waste management. A survey of participants revealed that polymer engineers from plastic reprocessing companies are not well versed in the application of numerical modelling in the polymer industry. The reference laboratory was upgraded for characterisation and testing of polymers with the delivery of new equipment and introduction of methodologies used by EU countries for characterisation and testing of polymers. A final Recapo report was produced, noting that the project had succeeded in realising all planned activities. Project outcomes thus have the potential to open the way to necessary countrywide improvements in this field.

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2 October 2020