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AMK wins Arburg Energy Efficiency Award 2013
- Arburg honours specialist in innovative drive and control technology
- AMK manufactures efficient products for and on energy-efficient Allrounders
- Partnership in the development of specific energy-efficient electric drives
AMK from Kirchheim/Teck, Germany, was presented with this year's Arburg Energy Efficiency Award on 12 March 2013. The specialist in innovative drive and control technology earned this prize in a number of ways: not only does AMK use energy-optimised Allrounders in its own injection moulding plant, it also uses them to produce components for servo motors. These, in turn, contribute significantly to the energy efficiency of Arburg's electric and hybrid machines. Moreover, AMK and Arburg are jointly involved in a strong development partnership in the field of specific electric drives.
The Arburg Energy Efficiency Award was brought into being in 2008 and since then has been presented each year to companies which, like Arburg itself, take an innovative, integrated and global approach to the topic of energy efficiency. "Prize-winners attract particular attention by virtue of their corporate philosophy and activities in the area of energy-efficiency," explained Michael Hehl, Managing Partner and Spokesperson for the Arburg Management in his address. The list of previous award-winners ranges from Wago and Tyco Electronics, through Wild & Küpfer, to the Lego Group and Continental.
The Arburg Energy Efficiency Award 2013 was presented in the context of a gala evening for some 50 invited guests, held at the Arburg headquarters. In keeping with the special occasion, a seven-strong delegation from AMK travelled to Lossburg to receive the award.
Joint developments enhance energy efficiency
During the presentation speech, Herbert Kraibühler, Arburg's Managing Director Technology and Engineering, emphasised that the 2013 winner had earned this award on two counts: "We are united with AMK in a very close partnership. Our collaboration encompasses both the consistent development and implementation of energy-efficient electric drives on our machines, as well as the use and optimised application of Allrounders."
Joint development activities in the drive sector began almost 20 years ago. The philosophy of advancing new technologies in terms of energy and production efficiency, as well as quality enhancement, unites the two companies and has been the starting point for their joint innovations such as water-cooled converters. AMK was involved in the development of the electric Allrounders from the outset.
Cooperation in the injection moulding sector followed in 2007.
Through the use of Allrounders, AMK enhances its efficiency in the manufacturing sector with process and quality optimisation, shorter throughput times and process conversions. A production concept involving an automation solution was developed jointly with Arburg for the production of stators and rotors in the injection moulding process, enabling significant improvement in the efficiency of the downstream production. Advantages include the high-strength joining of the components as well as the reliable, precise production of the parts with a high repeat accuracy, including automated and therefore cost-effective downstream processing.
Energy efficiency always in focus for AMK
In his speech, AMK Managing Director Eberhard Müller emphasised that, for his company, this award represented both an affirmation of what has already been achieved and an incentive for the future. "It's a great honour for AMK to have been bestowed this award. It affirms our long-standing and unequivocal approach and our objective to conserve resources in an environmentally compatible manner. Our extremely successful co-operation with Arburg, our joint developments and the associated challenges have further reinforced our goals."
For AMK, the topic of energy efficiency has played a vital role since the company was founded in 1963 and this is reflected in all its activities today. These also include the e-mobility and regenerative energy generation and storage segments. The product portfolio consequently also includes solar inverters. These are also used in the company's own photovoltaic plant, which supplies around 80,000 kWh annually. Future objectives of AMK in terms of energy and production efficiency include further improvement in the efficiency of its products and in production using new technologies and even better utilisation of waste heat for service water and process heat.
Energy efficiency as life insurance
The award ceremony was given even greater significance through the presence of Prof. Christian Bonten, Director of the Institute for Plastics Technology at the University of Stuttgart, who spoke about energy efficiency as the key to economically successful social change. He focused on the key role of energy as the scarcest commodity in the world. "The consistent increase in energy efficiency is our life insurance against rising energy and electricity prices. Ideally, this will even compensate for the increased costs," explained Prof. Bonten. He was consequently delighted that Arburg has committed itself so firmly to the topic of energy efficiency and expressed his hope for the entire world that the dedication of Arburg and of this year's prize winner, AMK, would find many imitators.
Energy efficiency always a concern at Arburg
In his speech, Michael Hehl explained the great significance of energy efficiency for Arburg.
He highlighted certification according to ISO 50001 as a key milestone, with which Arburg commits itself to the efficient use of energy in areas of the company. He also stated that because environmental protection and the sparing use of resources and energy has always been an integral part of the corporate culture, this certification and the introduction of an energy management system were a logical step. Previous activities meant the company was not starting from square one, but was developing in a targeted manner within the sector. A key component of the energy management system will be systematically planned, detailed and continuous energy measurements for the purpose of establishing precisely how much energy is used and where it is consumed in the energy-intensive production process in order to identify hitherto unexploited potential for savings.
In addition to the optimisation of energy requirements, strategic objectives include the further development of energy generation. In this context, during 2012, the company's photovoltaic systems were extended by almost 50 per cent, increasing the total connected load to 845 kW peak. In February 2013, a third block-type thermal power plant was commissioned with an electric output of 637 kW, also increasing capacity in this area by almost 50 per cent.
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