Written by Erik Sorensen Ruiz
April 12th – 2021.
Modularity: Upcycling and Upgrading
Modularity is part of our corporate DNA and has been around for over 50 years as a core foundation of Modulex.
Modular design means that our signage products, both interior and exterior, are manufactured so that they can be easily assembled and disassembled. Because of their adaptability, signs are designed for long-term use and are easily repairable and reusable. Customers can replace single components without having to buy a brand-new product and old parts are reused or recycled, closing the material loop. By applying modular design, our products contribute to a circular economy.
Signage is vital in reinforcing our customer’s corporate identity. Changes in the corporate image are a key way to increase customer’s trust and engagement as they ensure that a brand is recognized and remembered. Through modular updates, our signage can be upcycled or upgraded, making corporate re-branding much easier, quicker and cheaper to implement.
As opposed to ‘downcycling’ or recycling, upcycling consists of transforming old products or by-products (i.e., panels, aluminium frames) into new products of better quality and added environmental value. For instance, paper cannot be recycled eternally, as the fibres degrade after every recycling process until it has to be thrown away. Upcycled products do not lose quality during the process; in fact, they acquire added value by saving waste and giving obsolete materials a new life. Modulex signage can be upcycled by updating components and giving obsolete signs a brand-new design.
Most of our modular products have been unchanged for decades (i.e., Pacific, Macer, Messenger…). This opens up a business opportunity, where we can go back to old customers and offer them to renovate their sign systems through ‘upcycling’: updating panels and reusing structures that would otherwise be discarded. Upcycling is cost and time-efficient and reduces overall waste while increasing the longevity of products.
Before, when products were obsolete or damaged, they were simply thrown away and customers had a budget to buy a replacement. However, this has changed. Environmental consciousness influences the decision to replace products when unwanted. Sustainability is increasingly present in our customers’ demands and through upcycling, we offer them an eco-friendly and competitive way to renovate their signs.
Through modularity, it is also possible to upgrade signs by adding LED-illuminated panels. Modular upgrades are the same as upcycling, except products acquire new improved capabilities such as internal illumination. New illuminated panels have been manufactured to replace old panels like puzzle pieces. This allows customers to enhance their Modulex products through a simple change of panels. With minimal waste and expenses, the user is no longer stuck with an outdated sign and large replacement costs.
Supporting UN Sustainable development goals
UN sustainable development Goal 12 urges ‘Responsible consumption and production’. It encourages corporate practices such as sustainable sourcing, resource efficiency and material recycling.
By implementing modular design, we are shifting towards a circular business model, where waste is used to generate value and materials resources are used more efficiently. Modularity opens up the opportunity to develop innovative business models such as moving from selling products to selling services, such as upcycling or upgrading, where we retain ownership of our product and help close the material loop.
Modulex supports environmentally friendly practices and sees the UN SDGs as the blueprint for sustainable development. Upcycling and upgrading assist our customers and extend our commitment to act sustainably and engage with a circular business model.
Do you want to learn more about this topic? Contact us