Continental Automotive wins Arburg energy award

David Vink

Published: March 15, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Automotive, Injection Molding, Design, Machinery, NPE 2012

LOSSBURG, GERMANY (March 15, 1:15 p.m. ET) – German automotive components supplier Continental Automotive GmbH is the winner of this year’s Arburg energy award, for its work on a head-up display (HUD) unit for the 2011 Audi A6.

The key plastic part in the HUD is a high precision free-form mirror made of coated polycarbonate. The mirror takes the form of several prism lenses which follow the contour of the windscreen and are produced to tolerances in the order of 1/1,000mm.

Karlheinz Boguslawski, production manager at Continental Automotive in Babenhausen, Germany, says the company’s cooperation with Arburg resulted in “reversing” the level of in-specification parts from 15 percent when the project started, to a 15 percent reject rate today, with 86 percent of all parts within specification. This improvement contributes to lower specific energy consumption per good part produced and is in-line with Continental’s aim to optimize both energy consumption and resources.

Arburg technical director Herbert Kraibühler says that the special handling system, developed for the project, also contributed to high production efficiency, from the part removal gripper system through all other handling systems used throughout the entire process chain.

Upon receiving the award at Arburg’s Lossburg headquarters on March 13, Boguslawski said: “We need a synthesis of innovation and complex processes, but without upsetting the environment.”

He said the HUD addresses four major mega trends; safer mobility, intelligent “networked” driving, environmentally friendly driving and mobility in worldwide markets. In regards to the latter trend, countries such as China and Brazil have quite different needs, Boguslawski said.

Kraibühler continued by saying that aspects such as control of molding tool temperature, integration of ancillary equipment in the molding machine control system and efficiency of the entire clean room injection-compression process (which is used to produce the prism mirrors) all play their part here.

The companies “had broken new ground” in optimizing the entire production process and production planning, he said.

“But we do not restrict efforts in energy efficiency just to production but apply them also to infrastructure,” Boguslawski continued.

For example, the company installed a combined heat and power (CHP) system in Babenhausen in 2009 which has already produced 7m kWh of electricity. And the firm has added heat pumps, heat exchangers and solar collectors throughout the Babenhausen site over the past two years.

Arburg managing partner Michael Hehl said that Arburg itself generated 16.6 percent of its own electricity in Lossburg in 2011; 15 percent from a CHP unit and 1.6 percent from photovoltaic panels.

Overall, Continental has an objective of reducing energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, water consumption and waste generation at its plants by at least 3 percent annually. The company therefore aims to have cut specific energy consumption in relation to the volume of components by 15 percent in the 5-year period leading up to 2015.

Already, energy efficiency in Babenhausen increased 16 percent between 2009 and 2010, Boguslawski said.

Boguslawski commented that although Continental is known mainly for its tires, the company’s automotive electronics business unit accounts for around 60 percent of its total sales.

Continental is the fifth winner of the Arburg award. Previous winners include plastic toy producer Lego A/S, Swiss molder Wild & Küpfer, electronic components producer Tyco Electronics and electrical/electronic components producer Wago Kontaktechnik.

European Plastics News is organizing a Plastics in Optical Applications conference in Brussels, Belgium, on Oct. 24-25. For information contact Pranita Nangia at +44 (0)20 8253 9623.


Comments

Continental Automotive wins Arburg energy award

David Vink

Published: March 15, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Cambro investing $30.4 million in new N.C. injection molding plant

April 18, 2014 2:36 pm ET

Foodservice products manufacturer Cambro Manufacturing Co. Inc. plans to set up a satellite production and distribution operation in Mebane, N.C., to ...    More

Image

Increased orders prompt Georg Utz to add capacity, equipment in Indiana

April 18, 2014 12:20 pm ET

Plastic totes and tray orders have picked up to the point where manufacturer Georg Utz Inc. has added machines, silos and material feed systems to...    More

Image

Ascend targets nylon for auto applications, opening propylene monomer unit in Texas

April 18, 2014 10:57 am ET

Materials firm Ascend Performance Materials Inc. is in full operation at its new nylon 6/6 compounding line in Florida and will break ground by the...    More

Dutch company launching $100 million PP, PE recycling plant

April 18, 2014 10:42 am ET

Quality Circular Polymers is building a new plastics recycling operation in Geleen, the Netherlands' Chemelot industrial chemical site, with a...    More

MGS buying N.Y. medical molding plant from Hospira

April 17, 2014 10:19 pm ET

MGS Manufacturing Group is purchasing the Buffalo, N.Y., injection molding facility and related product line of Hospira Inc., effective July 1. Terms ...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events