Hermit Crab Initiative

When you build products that are designed to last two lifetimes, how do you manage technology evolution sustainably?

Our solution is nicknamed “Hermit Crab – never waste a perfectly good shell”.

The concept is simple, we have been delivering lighting controls for over two decades and whilst technology has evolved, our products often look as good as they did the day they were installed.

Driven by our insistence on the use of best-in-class materials, and a design philosophy focused on life-cycle maintenance by supporting backward compatibility, we can offer our clients the latest technology whilst re-using the bulk of their investment.

The Process

We have a unique challenge when our products are designed to last a decade, yet the technology our customers demand changes at least as often, if not faster.

Our solution, Hermit Crab, is a turnkey approach to upgrade encompassing recovery, renewal, recycle, return and recommission of client equipment.

We start by recovering the legacy hardware from the client site using electric vehicles, or transportation companies that have carbon neutral credentials.

The LCMs are also transported in re-usable crates avoiding the need for additional single-use packaging.

Often, despite their age, the vast majority of equipment is in excellent condition as seen in the image below of LCMs recovered from a client site after over 10 years.

The LCMs are brought back to our factories in the UK. They are then disassembled, and their enclosures checked for structural integrity. Any damaged elements are replaced, and the cases prepped to accept new, current generation electronics.

We have maintained a consistent form-factor over the years, keeping connections in common locations allowing new PCBs to be mounted inside legacy enclosures. Additionally, this allows all of the cabling infrastructure to be retained and reused, which again has massively positive carbon impact as well and saving time and cost to the client.

Once reassembled, the products are relabelled to current regulatory standards and fully electrically and functionally tested.

Finally, the LCMs are packaged into their reusable cartons for return to the client, where they are reinstalled and commissioned by our engineers.

The returned electronics are then broken-down to the constituent parts by specialist sub-contractors, with any elements that are not reused such are the legacy PCBs being recycled inline with WEEE directives to recover as much raw material as possible.


The Potential

We are deploying Hermit Crab on a major upgrade for one of our blue-chip clients and at completion, aim to yield a saving in-excess of 2500 KgC02e compared to a traditional upgrade. This is before we even consider the potential recycled material reuse and the ability to reuse existing cables, connectors and existing infrastructure in the upgraded system, all of which would have required change under a traditional upgrade.

We believe Hermit Crab, coupled with our commitment to the latest technology, design backward compatibility and local manufacture, puts Prolojik in a crucial position to support our customers aspirations for providing their users with leading edge spaces, without compromising their sustainability aspirations.