Green and sustainable production technologies are taking more and more space on industrial magazines, and for obvious reasons. Taking care of our environment is a responsibility of our generation, and I believe all of us need to do what is in our possibilities, to preserve it for our children.
At the same time, we are all working in a business environment and the question is: how do these technologies influence the bottom line?
It turns out, that innovative technologies for sheet metal production often have a profound positive impact on a company's bottom line and cash flow, for three main reasons.
Re-thinking the production cycle with innovative technologies such as the coil fed punching or laser cutting can allow for the production of the same amount of product, with the same quality, AND using up to 16% less raw material.
The same can be said for the manufacturing of rolling shutters, where the savings reach an average 10 to 15% less aluminum and polyurethane, increasing at the same time the productivity and the quality of the final product.
When we save 200.000 Euro per year in raw material, just with one production line, we are actually doing much more than that. In fact, not only we need to purchase less material (steel, stainless steel, aluminum, polyurethane etc.) but also we don't need to dispose of it. Apart from the mere cost of the disposal, we also eliminate all the internal labor connected to the disposal of the process waste material.
Sheet metal working machines used to have large hydraulic installations, in order to provide the punching and forming force to give shape to the final product. Traditional hydraulic installations, more than often keep the oil at high pressure, available for the requests of the system. In fact hydraulic installations have often large heat echangers to cool the oil during the operation.
This heat is all wasted energy.
Today servo electric machines can require less than 25% of the energy previously required by hydraulic machines doing the same job. This is especially true in countries like Italy, where the cost of energy is particularly high.
For some applications, hydraulic cylinders and pumps are still necessary because of their capacity to convey high forces in a very compact space; however machine manufacturers are applying these units only where it is strictly necessary.
Servo electric machines having eliminated the hydraulic installation, eliminate also the need to replace the hydraulic oil, something machine manufacturers recommend doing every 2000 working hours.
Disposing hundreds of liters of oil once per year is not only a huge cost, but also a harm for our environment.
Moreover, servo electric and modern machine are more and more connected and often allow simple troubleshooting via teleservice: this means lower downtimes AND less need for the intervention of the machine manufacturer's technicians. Which of course turns out in smaller operating costs for the manufacturing line.
We all have a responsibility towards our environment, starting from the small actions we take at home and at work. Printing less documents, of course, is a starting point.
Sheet metal manufacturers today, by employing green and sustainable technologies, have a great opportunity to reduce the amount of waste and energy required by the production processes, improve their cash flow and profits, and at the same time show all stakeholders that our metal working industry is responsibly committed to today's environmental challenge.