A lot of companies have added solar panels to their factories to improve their carbon footprint. Wittmann Group is taking the solar experiment even further, creating a solar-powered press that can operate without going on the power grid at all.
At K 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany, the Austrian company is showing an all-electric EcoPower press that it says is a concept machine but can be built if a customer requests it.
"The idea is that the company can run the machine on its own grid, using wind energy or solar energy, and allowing it to be independent from the public grid," Wittmann CEO Rainer Weingraber told Karen Laird from our sister paper Sustainable Plastics.
Wittmann worked with electrical systems specialist Wago so the press can use continuous current generated by solar cells directly into the injection molding lines, without first passing through inverters, transformers and high-voltage power lines.
There are, of course, many other considerations at play. Such as the logistics of keeping a machine within a protected area or at least a roof, while still having independent solar panels. But it is interesting. And as Weingraber says, K is "always the place to demonstrate innovations."