A European project to introduce labeling on injection molding machines that gives a rating for their energy consumption has completed the first stages.
However, it will be at least a year before the labeling system is launched by European machine makers.
The project was started in 2011 by Euromap, the European association representing plastics and rubber machinery makers. It forms part of the plastics industry's response to the European Commission's Energy Related Products directive, which seeks to reduce the energy consumption of industrial machinery 20 percent by 2020.
The project has worked on developing a standard approach to measurement of energy consumption in injection molding machines. This work has now been finished, announced VDMA, the German machinery association, at a forum on its Blue Competence energy-efficiency program, which it held during the Fakuma 2012 exhibition. The show ran Oct. 16-20 in Friedrichshafen.
Before the system is launched, machinery makers are being given time to improve the energy consumption of their product ranges so they can achieve an A rating at the launch.
“Everybody is being given the chance to get into the best classification,” said Karlheinz Bourdon, vice president of technologies at KraussMaffei.
The company is involved in the project.
Bourdon said there is no fixed timetable, but he hopes an announcement on the system can be made by the time K2013 takes place in October.
Bourdon said he expects non-European manufacturers of injection molding machines also to take up the energy labeling system after it has launched. Other Euromap initiatives have been adopted around the world, he said.
Peter Neumann, president and CEO of Engel Holding GmbH of Schwertberg, Austria, said the labeling system should encourage all machine makers to raise standards in energy efficiency.
“With such an initiative, you introduce a ‘push' into the industry. That's something I see as very positive,” he said.