Energy and Resource-Efficiency
Energy and resource-efficiency are currently the issues, to which politicians’ greatest ambitions are attached. So the sector has to adopt a concomitantly unequivocal position in this regard, because avoiding waste by designing its processes for ever-higher efficiency and enhancing productivity levels are what constitutes the core of its mission statement.
Back in 2010, the VDW had already taken up the topic of sustainability for the German machine tool industry by creating the attention-grabbing Blue Competence® brand. This was transferred to the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) in July 2011, and has since then been available for the entire field of mechanical engineering and plant construction. It has been possible for all member companies to take part in this initiative free of charge since 2017. You will find further information under: Blue Competence.
EUP/ERP: European regulation
Since 2009, the machine tool industry has been part of the European Commission’s work programme on regulating Energy Using Products and Energy Related Products respectively.The very same regulation that was responsible for the death of the light bulb or of energy labels on household appliances is intended to be transferred to one of the most complex capital goods in the industrial environment. Together with the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries (Cecimo) and the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), the VDW’s stance is that the relevant European regulation with its product-based approach is not suitable for this type of industrial commodity.
There are some good reasons for this: the goods made by, and the processes used in, the sector are so heterogeneous, and the products so complex, that it is impossible to draw up a simple, transparent, enforceable regulation. If due to the high degree of customised one-off articles, there is no product available that is amenable to proper comparison, then it is in actual fact impossible to provide proof that its energy-efficiency could be improved upon. In the final analysis, resource-efficiency, thanks to increased productivity and falling unit costs, or the efficient mastery of new process requirements (for hybrid machines, for example, the production of which incorporates a large number of those) is in fact the sector’s core competence.