A Billund-Based Company Plans To Make Signs From Carpets Found on Cruise Ships and Luxury Hotels, but Customers Are Still Focused on Price, Price, Price.

November 6– 2023.

Can architectural signs be produced from carpets on cruise ships and luxury hotels? Although it sounds wild, that is exactly what is happening at Modulex in Billund.

Billund: Currently, very few signs contain carpet remnants, but at Modulex, the process of incorporating carpet remnants into signs is in full swing, and the hope is that demand and production will increase once the message is conveyed to customers worldwide.

For example, the factory produces indoor and outdoor signs for hospitals and schools, and factory manager Kim Pedersen has known for years that the ACM panels traditionally used for signs do not hold up over time. They end up being buried directly when disposed of, leaving the company with a significant carbon footprint.

Modulex’s chairman is also the director of Danish Wilton, a carpet manufacturer with an environmental focus. They produce carpets for luxury hotels and cruise ships. After 5-6 years, carpets need to be replaced, not necessarily because they are worn out, but because people desire a new or fresh look.

“The carpets were transformed into 20mm thick mats by another company, and initially, we investigated the possibility of using them for acoustic material in open-plan offices or private homes. It’s not a production we have, but it could become one”, Kim Pedersen explains.

The carpet can be distinguished; however, it didn’t turn out as he wanted. He eventually remembered how the industry uses the so-called ACM panels in sign production, which is not a very environmentally friendly solution.

“In 2015/16, we replaced part of the panel with a product made of compressed paper and wood fibres, which were waste wood from Finnish forests. This resulted in a 40% lower carbon footprint, but if we could further compress the panel made of wool fibres, we could replace the ACM panel with a recycled material”, says Kim Pedersen.

That’s where they are now. The carbon footprint is now 61% lower.

The panels with carpet remnants do not differ from the signs produced in the past. However, there may be traces of the material’s previous life around the edges of the sign.

“If it’s a red carpet that has been transformed, you can see hints of red at the edge”, says Kim Pedersen.

Everything can be disassembled. For him, it is crucial to rethink the production of signs:

  • There are millions of sign producers worldwide. This is a way for us to differentiate ourselves from our competitors, which means that today, we produce a completely different product from others, Kim Pedersen points out.

Although the new initiatives have not yet been fully integrated into production, Modulex has been working on modular sign production for the past 30 years, which means that each sign can be broken down into various smaller pieces, so there is no need to replace the entire sign, only what is necessary.

  • Here, we are far ahead of, for example, Hi-Fi and telecommunications companies, which are only now making it possible to insert new things without having to replace everything, Kim Pedersen says.

He has no doubt that the mindset comes from the Lego DNA from which Modulex has emerged, where things are taken apart and put together.

However, customer demand for greener alternatives is lagging behind.

  • It’s still about price, price, and that’s why we’ve started holding public webinars to tell our customers that they need to demand better manufacturing, says Kim Pedersen.

 

Click here to read the Danish version.

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Kim Pedersen stands on one of the carpets being transformed into wool fibres. When mixed with 25% binder, it can be used as the core of a sign. Photo: Lise Nørgaard