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

Jarden hiring for new plastics plant

December 19, 2014 1:45 pm ET

Consumer products conglomerate Jarden Corp. is hiring plastics technicians for a new operation in Erlanger, Ky.    More

Image

The return of HPM's big presses

December 19, 2014 11:47 am ET

HPM is back in big injection molding machines.    More

Image

Sabic: Rapid demand growth led to Ultem shortage

December 18, 2014 12:06 pm ET

Sabic Innovative Plastics has been increasing production capacity for its Ultem polyetherimide but it still got caught short by increasing demand for ...    More

Auto supplier M-Tek relocating headquarters

December 18, 2014 3:37 pm ET

M-Tek Inc., a subsidiary of Japanese automotive supplier Kasai Kogyo Co. Ltd., will build a new North American corporate headquarters in Murfreesboro,...    More

Image

Auto, medical, packaging all lead to solid sales for compounding extruders

December 18, 2014 6:00 am ET

Compounding extruder sales tend to be cyclical, but machinery makers report another solid year — thanks to automotive, medical, food packaging a...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events