ST 001-12 Lohr, 2012-01-30

There Are a Number of Ways of Reducing CO2 Emissions

Image Dr Karl Tragl

Dr. Karl Tragl

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

As one of the primary causes of climate change, when it comes to using natural resources in a responsible manner, the focus currently rests on CO2 emissions. For this reason, the switch to renewable sources of energy is a topic that has prompted the global markets to take action. Rexroth has played a part in developing such energies from the very outset. However, there are still enormous global challenges to overcome before the energy demands of the industrialized world can be fully met using renewable resources. Until then, the efficient use of energy is the most effective means of reducing CO2 emissions. Modern automation technology plays a key role in ensuring this energy efficiency.

Since as early as the 1980s, Rexroth has been supporting technical developments to enable the use of wind energy with increasingly efficient and reliable drives. In doing so, it is bringing the costs associated with producing electricity using wind energy plants down to a competitive level. Through its tracking and mounting systems, Rexroth is enabling solar energy to be used effectively. And, as a long-term development and systems partner, Rexroth is even playing its part in the relatively new field of systems technology for harnessing tidal energy.

However, enormous global challenges must still be overcome before the energy demands of the industrialized world can be fully met by renewable resources: from developing sophisticated technology for producing and converting energy to transport and storage solutions, right through to addressing social issues such as the provision of the land needed. Until all of these conditions are fulfilled to enable renewable energy sources to meet all global energy requirements, the efficient use of energy remains the most effective, economically sound way of reducing CO2 emissions.

Industry: Lower Consumption Levels without Compromising on Productivity

For this reason, in addition to its work to gain renewable sources of energy, Rexroth is also pursuing a two-part strategy in the automation of industrial systems. On the one hand, all Rexroth plants around the world will cut their CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020. On the other, development work for all drive and control technologies is focused on products and system solutions offering greater energy efficiency. Both approaches follow the Rexroth 4EE universal system (see box). The system offers four concepts for achieving lower energy consumption levels while in some cases even increasing productivity; these concepts apply across all technologies and applications. Through its energy efficiency consultants, Rexroth is providing a service to share the expert knowledge gained through its energy optimization work.

Reducing Emissions for Mobile Applications

Rexroth is taking on a further challenge in terms of CO2 reduction: Mobile machines for extracting raw materials, agricultural applications and used in the construction industry must adhere to ever-more stringent emissions limits. At the same time, users faced with consistently high fuel are demanding lower consumption levels. Through its range of system solutions for working and mobile hydraulics, Rexroth is significantly reducing diesel consumption—and with it exhaust emissions—while at the same time improving performance.

Quote for Image Caption:

"Advances in automation offer enormous potential for reducing CO2 emissions across all industrial value-adding activities — whether in energy production, raw material extraction or in plant design and factory automation."

Rexroth 4EE Info Box:

Machines and systems should operate with the highest possible levels of productivity and, in doing so, should not use any more energy than is necessary. Bosch Rexroth has developed its own system to deal with this issue: Rexroth 4EE (Rexroth for Energy Efficiency). Rexroth 4EE provides four concepts that can be applied to all technologies and machine types with the aim of significantly increasing energy efficiency throughout the entire life cycle of a machine or system.

The first concept involves taking a systematic overall view of the entire automation process through project planning, simulation and consulting, both during initial construction and as part of modernization work (Energy System Design). Using energy-efficient products and systems with optimized efficiency (Efficient Components) provides another solution. The third concept (Energy Recovery) focuses on recovering, storing and using previously untapped sources of energy. These include hydraulic charging circuits and energy-recovery drives, for example. The requirement regulation (Energy on Demand), for example in the form of variable-speed pump drives, also enables significant savings to be made.

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