This year's Arburg Energy Efficiency Award was presented for the first time as part of the Technology Days event at Arburg's headquarters. The prize, which is awarded in recognition of special activities in the area of energy efficiency, was presented to Wild & Küpfer AG from Schmerikon, Switzerland. This family-run company develops, produces and assembles high-precision plastic parts and assemblies for international customers from a variety of high-tech industries, such as medical technology.
Managing Partner at Arburg, Michael Hehl, welcomed about 40 invited guests to the exclusive evening event on 17 March 2010. In his address, he explained the goal pursued by Arburg with the Energy Efficiency Award: "Each year we present this award to companies who, like us, take an innovative and holistic approach to energy efficiency and who attract particular attention through their corporate philosophy and activities in this sector." He went on to explain that previously the award was always presented during the Fakuma in Friedrichshafen, because Arburg's exhibition appearances provided a suitable setting with their emphasis on "energy efficiency". "However, the event is of course much more suited to our headquarters in Lossburg. Here, we can clearly demonstrate that energy efficiency at Arburg extends far beyond the products themselves and plays a crucial role throughout the company," said Mr. Hehl, referring to the change of venue.
The topic of energy efficiency was also the focus of the speech by Dr. Manfred Wittenstein, President of the German Engineering Federation, who spoke about "The German machine and plant construction sector as a key industry for resource efficiency". In his speech, Dr. Wittenstein expressed his conviction that the industry would be able to cope with the worldwide ecological problems and consequent economic difficulties by taking a sustainable approach to business activities. He added: "We still hold the key in our hand - knowledge, technology and innovation. The German machine and plant construction industry is prepared. We have the technology and are driving innovations for resource efficiency and climate protection forward."
Award as recognition and motivation
The speech in honour of the prize-winner for 2010 was delivered by Herbert Kraibühler, Managing Director Technology & Engineering at Arburg, who highlighted the two companies' many years of cooperation and their joint development work: "Our close collaboration with Wild & Küpfer AG and their exemplary use of our fully-electric Allrounder Alldrive machines has produced not just an excellent business partnership, but also a bond of friendship. We particularly admire the consistent implementation of technology in conjunction with an ongoing evaluation of the entire process at Wild & Küpfer. This makes it possible to achieve optimum energy efficiency which, of course, involves not only the machines and their technology, but also a reduction in unnecessary additional costs through measures ranging, for example, from increasing the complexity of parts and advising customers on how to improve components to the constructive optimisation of functions."
In his acceptance speech, Managing Director Tobias Wild emphasised the importance of the Arburg Energy Efficiency Award for his company: "We are extremely honoured by this special award. At the same time, we see the prize as proof that we are on the right path with our strategy regarding the environment and energy consumption. This encourages us to continue investing in sustainable energy-efficiency." On behalf of the management and staff at Wild & Küpfer AG he thanked Arburg for its excellent cooperation, adding: "I am convinced that our two companies will go on to achieve much more in terms of energy efficiency in the future."
Wild & Küpfer and Arburg: a close relationship over three decades
Wild & Küpfer and Arburg have been working together successfully since 1979. Cooperation is based both on the high-quality, energy-efficient Arburg technology, which meets the stringent requirements of Wild & Küpfer in every respect, and on the values shared by the two companies. Both companies demand the best possible quality from themselves and their products, both are family-run, and both are characterised by above-average environmental awareness, which has been a cornerstone of their respective corporate philosophies for decades.
"We are all dedicated to observing ecological principles. This means that we can only enjoy long-term success if we avoid unnecessary consumption. In turn, this requires that energy-efficiency be valued highly," says managing director Tobias Wild, explaining the strategy. His fellow managing director, Peter Küpfer describes how this works in practice, "Our corporate policy involves a holistic approach, beginning with our knowledge of our production cycles, up to and including the disposal of waste or the return of waste materials for recycling. We always choose solutions that minimize negative environmental impact as well as the consumption of raw materials and energy on a sustainable basis."
Accordingly, Wild & Küpfer has been investing in trend-setting technology, energy-efficient machines and environmentally-oriented processes for over 30 years, as well as fostering a healthy corporate culture. The sparing use of resources and the reduction of emissions are always important criteria. Good examples of this are the recovery of waste heat, the use of free cooling or the decision not to use heating oil. It was also important to Wild & Küpfer that specific energy-efficiency measures should be implemented when it came to the planning of their premises in Schmerikon. The company invested in the latest facility management technology, involving environmentally-friendly heat recirculation and operating all cooling systems with ground water.
The prudent management of energy in production ranges from the automatic light control system through to the exclusive use of energy-efficient machines. These also include:
a current total of 21 electric injection moulding machines from Arburg. Wild & Küpfer installed the first Allrounder 420 A in 2002, becoming the very first Alldrive customer. From the outset, the arguments in favour of the investment were lower noise emissions and high energy efficiency, as well as higher product quality and process reliability. The fact that all the expectations have been met in this regard is demonstrated by a reduction in energy consumption by some 50 percent, which Wild & Küpfer achieved solely through the use of electric injection moulding machines. The Swiss company's positive experience with the first Allrounder A also encouraged it to take a pioneering role in two-component injection moulding on electric Arburg machines.