AES Engineering’s £29 million by 29 investment pledge continues to take the lion’s share of my attention right now but I cannot resist taking time out to spotlight some work under way by two Betterworld.Solutions partners - the Engineering Technology Group (ETG), a leading supplier of advanced machine tools and robotics, and Powerstar, which specialises in energy-saving technology such as super-efficient transformers.
Both companies have adopted investment policies aimed at preventing global warming, based on the Betterworld.Solutions template. Now they have put their heads together to produce a breakthrough deal that could have a very significant impact on the carbon footprint of global industry.
As many of you will know, ETG is a leading supplier of advanced machine tools and robots - working with AESSEAL they are developing a robotic system that will eventually transform our ability to produce customised short-runs of sophisticated seals.
However, many of the machine tools start their lives in Japan and are designed to run on a different 3-phase voltage. That means that in Europe and other regions they need to have transformers, which have traditionally been very wasteful of energy.
Powerstar is a specialist in green energy systems and its products include Amorphous Core Transformers that significantly cut the energy required, drastically reducing machine running costs, emission and improving efficiency. They are a supplier of choice for AESSEAL.
The fact that these two companies are working more closely together to bring higher quality transformers to the wider machine-tool market is good news for all the companies that use these tools. As I mentioned in my previous articles ‘What the Scope is that?’ and ‘Offsetting- the wood for the trees’, when companies reduce the energy they use in their processes it helps the planet and puts them on the path towards Net Zero. They will have less CO2e to offset (which could eventually be a very expensive proposition).
According to Powerstar’s figures, while the initial cost of Amorphous Core Transformers is slightly higher than conventional transformers, over a 10-year period, they yield an average saving of £25,500 with a CO2 emission reduction of almost 40 tonnes.
With in excess of 84,000 machine tools sold globally every year (2015 figures), if they all used the most up-to-date transformer technology, this could result in savings of up to 3.4 million tonnes of CO2. That’s the equivalent of taking 740,000 petrol cars off the road.
Unfortunately, based on the information available to us, the vast majority of these machines are currently specified with cheaper transformer technology. I cannot imagine any company proposing an investment, potentially of several million pounds, for an advanced machine tool, that would baulk at paying a small increase in the up-front cost, if they knew about the longer-term benefits for their reputation, bottom-line and the planet.
Follow the journey and keep up to speed with the updates in our Betterworld.Solutions magazine and the #29millionby29 campaign on Chris Rea’s LinkedIn.