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Energy Efficiency Made Comparable

09/07/2012 For die casting, energy efficiency is a topic with a lot of potential for development, since each kilowatt hour of energy saved is like cash in the hand. However, energy efficiency is not always the same and there is a lot of room for interpretation. Under the auspices of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), a standard has now been set for the measurement and calculation of energy efficiency for die casting. For the first time, we are now able to compare the energy yield of different die casting plants. Bühler played a significant role in designing the standard. The result is a procedure for measurement that defines the amount of energy used per standard cycle.

It is important to know that the energy consumption of a die casting machine, measured based on the total energy required to produce a die cast component, only represents a fraction of the total energy consumed. Nevertheless, Bühler die casting systems continue to be developed in terms of energy technology. Our approach of optimizing energy consumption is demonstrated when we compare the installed capacity of modern Carat die casting machines to that of previous series.

Thanks to “Energy on demand”, Bühler Datanet plant controls switch the drives of peripheral devices on and off as necessary, so that devices are only running when needed in the production cycle. A PQ2 diagram helps the operator to optimize adjustments to the casting process to ensure that the machine only uses as much energy for casting as required at the time. If the system is idling longer than a specified length of time, the “automatic stop” function shuts off the system drives.

The more we know, the less energy we use
Conserving energy is not just a matter of technology. A certain amount of knowledge is required as “hardware”. Bühler’s philosophy as a company includes supporting its customers with knowhow. This also applies to conserving energy. The emphasis here is on a comprehensive concept which shifts the focus onto the individual employee.

After all, it is the employee who keeps an eye on the processes on a daily basis. That is why information, motivation and training of personnel are of crucial importance. This kind of experience shows the huge potential of Bühler’s comprehensive approach. Saving up to 20 percent of the energy consumed by the foundry as a whole is entirely feasible. It is important to note that this can be achieved without affecting productivity; on the contrary, it helps to improve quality.

Contact: Ueli Jordi, DA3, T +41 71 955 20 60,
ueli.jordi@buhlergroup.com

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