“We were very glad to have GF Casting Solutions on board,” says Dominik Widler, Team Manager R&D Mechanical at Bühler, who was part of the development team for ServoDrive. “With their sophisticated setup, GF was the perfect sparring partner to test our ideas with and find out if they are feasible.” A fruitful and ongoing exchange started at this point, with regular meetings, on-site tests, and a bilateral knowledge exchange. Since 2018 the ServoDrive modules have been rolled out and tested for different machine sizes and are delivering on their promise. The new drive unit design enables customers to save up to 40% of energy compared to the reference cycle, decreases the wear on the pumps therefore increasing their lifetime, increases pressure stability, and opens the possibility of predictive maintenance which in turn can increase the uptime of the cell.
The ServoDrive is being deployed at GF’s Suzhou site and contributes significantly to making the process there more sustainable. And this is not a one-off, but rather part of an ongoing relationship between GF and Bühler. After finishing the development and implementation of the ServoDrive both companies are staying connected: “We are still doing regular review meetings where we look at opportunities to collaborate further, on innovations, technologies, and technical performance,” says Teich. “We look at the whole portfolio, at the complete cell. And having an honest and trustful exchange is what makes this partnership so unique and fruitful, which will enable us to solve these challenges together.”