A circular economy is becoming increasingly important globally and the need for technologies and solutions for a closed-loop circular model is increasing - using resources more efficiently, questioning consumption and recycling resources. Having this in mind, the industry group Circular Economy from India visited German companies during the BMWK program Partnering in Business with Germany to exchange ideas on a circular economy. The manager group consisted of representatives from companies to innovative start-ups and sustainability organisations. They all represent the model of the circular economy – from sustainable product design in packaging, to biopolymers or bioplastics, to reuse, for example in the field of wastewater treatment and the recycling of batteries, plastics, or hazardous waste.
Cutting-edge technology in wastewater treatment at Kuhn GmbH - water experts-world wide
The company visit of the Indian delegation to Kuhn GmbH in Höpfingen was initiated by the cooperation between the Competence Centre India of the Rhine-Neckar Chamber of Industry and Commerce and AHP International as the training centre. Gabriele Borchard, Head of the Competence Centre India, emphasised: "The company visit to Kuhn GmbH shows that we are excellently positioned in our region in the future-oriented field of wastewater technologies/ circular economy. It is precisely in these areas that Indian companies can benefit from the expertise and technology of German companies and that business relations between the two countries can be further expanded." Dr Michael Kuhn, Managing Director of the German company Kuhn GmbH and renowned expert in water management, emphasised the importance of clean water for the world's population and referred to his company's more than 40 years of experience in the field of water management, which was founded in 1926.
Small steps towards a major transformation
"India has a huge backlog demand for wastewater treatment plants and water treatment technology," said Dr. Kuhn. A key message from Dr. Kuhn was the need for a long-term investment plan for wastewater treatment. He explained that such projects need to be planned for the next 80 to 100 years. "You can't change everything at once, but you should at least start doing it," he added. India is currently planning to introduce a training system for specialists in the field of wastewater technology based on the German model, as qualified specialists can ensure professional maintenance of water treatment plants. However, the current challenge is the high salaries of qualified specialists, with the Indian government launching billion-dollar subsidy programmes for water treatment, particularly for drinking water treatment.
Kuhn GmbH's formula for success: quality, innovation, and sustainability in water treatment
Kuhn GmbH has established itself as a pioneer in water treatment and its tireless commitment to quality and innovation is evident in the individual components right down to the wastewater treatment plants themselves. The biomethane gas obtained from sludge is used for the company's complete energy supply in water treatment. In addition to sustainable models, the focus is always on quality. One member of the delegation reported on bad experiences with alternative systems from a cheaper competitor, whereupon Dr. Kuhn emphasized that Kuhn GmbH guarantees the highest quality through its own laboratory, simulations created by 3D printing and test facilities. In the area of international project and quality management, there were therefore also numerous starting points for a very lively discussion for the participants. Digitalization in the field of logistics and warehousing provided the participants with fundamental insights and ideas for cost savings in production processes in their companies.
In exchange with international specialists, it is important to emphasize and strengthen the importance and awareness of clean water and water treatment. Networking opens up business opportunities for Kuhn GmbH, which already exports water treatment technology to numerous countries, including India, and sees these company visits as a good multiplier. Ashish Manubhai Mehta, Indian manager in the field of water management, has already shown interest in Kuhn GmbH's technology and is aiming for a long-term collaboration. He describes his impressions in detail: "During the company visit, I had the opportunity to convince myself of the technical performance. Kuhn GmbH, which focuses on Archemedis twin screw pumps and automatic screens for dirt/waste disposal, presented a remarkable pilot plant that demonstrated the significant effects of clogging the wastewater stream downstream. The effects of throttling and pressure drop were shown, and the impressive effect of the live demonstration on screen inclination and pressure drop, as well as the remarkable screening efficiency, were highlighted. It was really worth getting to know these companies."