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With energy prices rising dramatically and the need to reduce CO₂ emissions becoming more urgent, it’s more important than ever that we all look for ways to reduce our energy usage. Discover some of the recent creative innovations we’re implementing at Bosch Rexroth to reduce our energy usage. Below you’ll also find some practical steps that manufacturing companies can take to become more energy efficient.
At Bosch Rexroth, we believe that we have a responsibility to act against climate change. And, like other businesses, we’re facing the pressures of rising energy costs ourselves, too. So we need to find ways to reduce our own energy usage. It may be challenging, particularly against the backdrop of economic gloom, but it encourages us to think outside the box when it comes to energy efficiency.
Our GoGreen initiative – in which we have been systematically identifying how we can reduce energy usage across our plants – is an example of how we’re trying to save energy and become more sustainable.
But we’re not going to stop there. We’re constantly looking to develop new energy-saving initiatives – two of which are currently happening in our manufacturing plant in Lohr, Germany. Not only is this helping our business and the environment, it’s also benefiting our customers. By becoming more resilient, we can provide them with greater certainty, reliability and value.
Our plant in Lohr produces hydraulic castings in several different grades of cast iron. A large volume of the foundry production needs a special heat treatment (called annealing) where the castings are heated to over 900 degrees Centigrade and then cooled down according to precisely defined specifications.
An enormous amount of energy is used as part of this production process. Our experts have been running a series of tests that show that by adjusting the chemical analysis of the liquid iron, in conjunction with slow cooling after casting, annealing isn’t needed.
So in May 2022 we started constructing a cooling house, which will enable us to eliminate the annealing process. This will improve the carbon footprint of our products, as well as reduce the production costs for the cast parts. This high rack is used to store the casted molds before they’re taken out and emptied again after a defined period of time. By eliminating the heat treatment in this way, we can reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of our products by more than 2,000 tons per year. 200,000 trees would be needed to absorb the same quantity of CO₂ from the atmosphere. And by modifying the production process, the cast parts can be used “as cast” in the future.
Manager of the Lohr plant
At our foundry in Lohr, we’ve also installed our third new medium-frequency melting furnace, enabling us to shut down the three old style melting furnaces. The new furnace is state-of-the-art in melting technology and everything is designed for maximum energy efficiency.
By digitizing and automating processes, restructuring the flow of materials and reducing the transportation of iron – and thus the resulting temperature loss – we’re further reducing our energy usage. The new setup in our melting shop will enable us to save up to 2.8 GWh of electrical energy per year in the future. As a comparison, that’s the equivalent to what around 965 average homes in the UK would use in a year.
While sustainability is vital in the long term, manufacturers are also besieged by the immediate issues of rising running costs, increased energy prices, fluctuations to the workforce and the unreliable availability of materials. However, at Bosch Rexroth we believe that these two themes are interlinked. So we’ve put together a short list of tips that will help you to reduce your factory’s energy usage, reduce costs and reduce CO₂ emissions.
Member of the Executive Board
Installing our electrical energy management system gives you a clear picture of your energy consumption, enabling you to avoid peak loads, shut down plant components when they’re not in use or put devices into sleep mode. Installing this simple solution could save your business up to 20 percent in electrical energy costs.
Only use the energy you need with our frequency converters, which control speed as you need them to – significantly reducing the energy consumption of the pumps, compressors, and fans in your factory.
Ensuring you have the right motors and drives for the task can make a real impact on your running costs. By investing in higher efficiency motors, switching off motors when you’re not using them and fitting auto sensors to control operations, you can significantly cut down your energy usage.
Waste is energy that’s been transformed but not used, so by recycling this energy, you’re turning it into something useful. Take the time to work out how your production waste can be recycled. It might be that instead of buying new machines, you look at extending the life of your existing ones. Our retrofitting services enable you to conserve resources and help your older machines to become more energy efficient.
By implementing changes that reduce our energy usage, we can all do our part to enhance the sustainability of our own operations, while also making sure we’re better able to cope with the higher energy costs.