The fifth Arburg Energy Efficiency Award, presented during a ceremony on the evening before the start of the injection molding machine manufacturer’s annual “Technology Days” open house event, went this year to leading automotive supplier, Continental Automotive.
The company, described by Michael Hehl, managing partner and spokesperson for the Arburg management team, as an “enterprise that consistently pursued environmental objectives,” has long viewed energy saving and energy efficiency as a priority—a decisive factor in Arburg’s choice of Continental as this year’s winner. “Each year since 2008, we have shown our appreciation for a company that excels on account of its corporate philosophy and activities in the field of energy efficiency. For us, it is important that the winner, like us, takes an innovative, holistic and global approach to the topic of energy efficiency,” said Hehl.
Karlheinz Boguslawski, production manager at Continental Automotive in Babenhausen, accepted the award on behalf of the company. “This recognition is a further encouragement to us to use environmentally compatible products in the manufacture of innovative products,” he said. “Around the world, a key concern for Continental is the responsible use of resources and energy in all its various aspects during the manufacture of our products.” He pointed out that some 15% of the energy consumed at the plant in Babenhausen goes into the production of plastic products. The aim is to reduce power consumption for each plastic part produced by at least 10%. The choice of processing machine—and machine supplier—can make a big difference in this area.
According to Arburg’s Managing Director for technology, Herbert Kraibühler, the collaboration between Arburg and Continental was “extremely close and intensive,” as the companies together strove to achieve the cost-efficient production of an advanced optical part with extreme demands in terms of part quality, availability and the minimization of rejects. “Our cooperation is built on a very high level of mutual trust in terms of the exchange of information, which was a prerequisite for the success of this project,” he said.
The project concerned the latest generation of head-up display in the Audi A6, containing free-space mirrors with tolerances of a few thousandths.
Continental's worldwide energy management program is characterized by clear targets for reducing consumption, and, in this respect, has much in common with Arburg. Between 2009 and 2010, the Continental Automotive Group succeeded in increasing energy efficiency by 16% in relation to the volume of components manufactured. Said Boguslawski: “At Continental, we believe the best energy is the energy that never gets consumed.”