ST 007-12 Lohr, 2012-10-17

Free contest of ideas for most effective increase of ecological efficiency


Dr. Karl Tragl

Dr. Karl Tragl, Chairman of the Board at Bosch Rexroth AG

Industrial production is sustainable only if it consumes as few energy and resources as possible: this requirement has long been attained in machinery and plant construction.

Many companies take on the responsibility of aligning economic and ecologic requirements - and many machine users demand it as well. In this, they must consider the particularities of the industry. Unlike in the consumer goods industry, the European machinery manufacturer industry in particular is highly specialized and characterized by mid-size businesses. Small batches and customer-specific solutions in a plethora of different machine types dominate the field. Detailed technical specifications are fairly meaningless in this extremely heterogeneous market. Moreover, the example of machine guidelines shows an approach that is sensible for machinery construction: it has displaced machine-specific standards and replaced them with an objective and systematic as to how to achieve this objective. The specific implementation is the responsibility of the machinery manufacturer.

A similar image emerges when it comes to energy efficiency. The new efficiency categories for electrical motors have surely contributed their part, but machinery manufacturers have achieved the greatest effects elsewhere, with innovative solutions: they use variable speed pump drives to lower the energy consumption of hydraulics by up to 80 percent. Innovative software functions for intelligent energy management ensure an equal increase of energy efficiency and productivity. These innovations are the result of a free contest of ideas. Therefore, objectives drive competition for ecologically efficient solutions much more strongly than detailed requirements. This sustainably strengthens the global competitiveness of European machinery manufacture and protects the environment.

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