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Fairfactory opening

Fairfactory: Advanced Materials Recycling behind-the-scenes

FAIRMAT inaugurated a robotized plant near Nantes, France, with customers, partners, investors, and the teams in attendance.

Between the keynote address by Benjamin Saada (CEO, FAIRMAT), the factory tour, and networking — there were also some moments of frantic note-taking and posing for pictures among the audience. Beyond the day’s fun and great company, we could also take home several inspiring ideas from the fraternity.

This article is a summary of the day’s events and highlights.

Watch the video below to learn more about how FAIRMAT’s Fairfactory project builds on a bigger vision.

Opening Remarks

“Who wants to live in a world where you cannot have the best medical prosthetics — or the safest plane?”, Ben (Benjamin Saada) posed the question. 

Advanced materials (specifically engineered to exhibit novel properties) have delivered life-changing innovations, and this progress must not be curbed.

FAIRMAT recycles and repurposes Carbon Fiber Composite materials. Originally manufactured for decarbonization, the excess carbon fiber quantities now end up in landfills. Recycling carbon composite will allow us to supply materials with exceptional mechanical and durability properties for centuries. 

The ‘Fair’ in the Fairfactory

In their article about ‘Infrastructure startups,’ Freya Pratty and Eleanor Warnock wrote, “Instead of building its own factory to produce its materials in, FAIRMAT decided to rent a factory…motivated by environmental concerns — building a new factory would have created emissions….”

Our factory or any of our future establishments must adhere to our mission to ‘close the loop’. Although we plan to expand globally, we will stay local in operation — because only ‘multi-local’ recycling can be called eco-friendly! 

Because as Ben pointed out the irony, “During the COVID pandemic, when everything stopped, the Earth Overshoot Day fell in August.”

Indeed, prevention alone cannot guarantee sustainable development — and we will always need technology. “…We think of our factory as a software — our tech team develops our manufacturing process through a firmware update (like in your phone) without any physical intervention,” Ben explains in this regard.

“This exact factory you’re in (Fairfactory) will allow saving 15,000 metric tons of CO2e every year,”. Our facility’s development includes implementing a self-sufficient energy plan, around one hundred robotic arms, and an R&D investment of €7-8 million per year, as reported by Composites World.

Fairfactory as FAIRMAT’s innovation hub

We want to build a manufacturing ecosystem that is prepared to reuse what they produce.

And we will walk the talk by helping this ecosystem’s forward-thinking manufacturers — not compromise their expectations for material quality and performance standards.

FAIRMAT’s product range (FAIRMAT Quest) is a new category on its own. Or, as Ben puts it, “Creating affordable materials that were designed to go to space.” Quest materials are twice as light as aluminum, up to 10 times cheaper than virgin composites, stronger, more durable, and ecologically efficient. 

However, our innovation only concludes with the repurposing of this material. The repurposed material has a lifespan of about 20 years and can be recycled up to 5 times without performance loss.   

The Fairfactory project will continue to grow. But our anchor throughout will remain — as Ben described best — “We are fortunate…to see (carbon fiber) waste arriving every day by the factory door…being transformed into fantastic materials by the robots, before heading out to our customers. It’s very inspiring!”

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