“If you don’t move, you don’t move anything”

A motto could not describe the “pensioner” and his new sphere of activity in the Source One team more aptly: Helmut Helms, Engineering.

What is your task at Source One?
“In the field of engineering, Source One takes on the concept as well as the design, planning and realisation of new and, above all, innovative plants for the waste disposal industry from a one-stop shop. We also optimise existing recycling plants in terms of process and control technology in order to get more out of them. I am part of Source One and the electrotechnical link in this construct, one might say.”

Where does the circular economy know you from?
“After thirty years and more than five hundred projects, I have achieved a certain level of recognition in the industry. As a project manager for recyclables processing, I started designing the first commercial waste plants in Germany in 1993. In 2014, I went into business for myself and founded Westphal Elektrik GmbH. For ten years, we installed recycling systems all over the world. The best-known project during this time was probably the Linz recycling plant. The biggest project, however, was the world’s largest plastics processing plant, which we built in Motala, Sweden, in 2022/23.”

What do you represent?
“Safety. I can write it on my banner: Every plant that I have built was up to the latest safety standards with high plant availability at the time it was handed over. Safety technology is my absolute passion.”

Source One instead of retirement – why?
“Kai Hoyer asked me if I would be interested in working with him to advance the field of electrical engineering in sorting systems. And I did. IIt’s a great challenge to drive forward the plastics processing market and its value in society. Source One is much more free in the design, planning and realisation of new plants than I was before. With my own company, I was involved in the execution. Since Source One also takes on the engineering, it has other opportunities for involvement. Now I can work much more freely and creatively to make a difference.”

What would you like to sustainably achieve?
“My goal is to ensure that plastics processing is widely accepted in society, both politically and commercially. I want us to enable the next generations to have a better future through effective recycling and to conserve primary resources. As a first step, it would be important for the packaging industry to enter into more intensive dialogue with disposal companies in order to coordinate plastics in such a way that they can be reasonably recycled. However, the market hardly needs regranulates at the moment. The oil price is low. Only when the price rises again or new laws require higher proportions will the market demand larger quantities of high-quality processed secondary raw materials. It is important to be prepared for this moment. I would like to make my experience available for this. I look forward to working constructively on new projects so that they can be realised in a modern, future-proof and energy-efficient way.”

14. June 2024