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Sustainable thinking – innovative action

Posted on 02 Aug 2022 and read 915 times
Sustainable thinking – innovative actionMany manufacturing companies are aiming to ensure their production processes are environmentally conscious and ultimately climate-neutral. With its latest sustainability strategy, the Chiron Group and its UK partner, the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) are both playing a role in these efforts.

The Chiron Group will soon be CO2-neutral, it will expand its existing capacity for machine refurbishments and it will use additive manufacturing (AM) to broaden its range of applications in the automated repair of forging dies — all of this technology is now available in the UK via Wellesbourne-based ETG.

From manufacturing a hundred watch cases to large production runs of structural components for e-mobility, all manufacturing consumes resources and energy in proportion to the machining volumes, both in terms of manufacturing the machinery and using the machinery for production. The objective of the Chiron Group sustainability strategy is to continuously improve energy efficiency at all levels.

With long-term investments in heat recovery and photovoltaic systems and the commitment to cover any additional electricity requirements exclusively from renewable sources, the Chiron Group has reached a major milestone and created a sustainable basis. The company's manufacturing and assembly processes will be climate-neutral by end of 2022. This means that Chiron machines purchased from ETG will be supplied from this environmentally sustainable manufacturing business.

‘Refurbishment’ expertise

Conversion and retrofitting, partial and complete refurbishments and component repair - there are many options for increasing efficiency and extending the lifecycle of a Chiron or Stama machining centre. Regardless of the feasibility of a given renewal measure, the processes covered by the ‘refurbishment’ expertise are always a more sustainable alternative to purchasing a new machine. A complete machine refurbishment provides average savings of 40-50% of the total material required for a new machine.

A further component of this sustainability strategy is expanding and actively promoting this business area. The comprehensive range of services offered for all Chiron and Stama machining centres is unique and demand remains stable at an encouragingly high level. Specific plans include expanding the assembly and storage area by 80%, increasing personnel to match and preparing employees appropriately for the new challenges and concepts.

The AM Cube 3-D metal printer is the only product in the range that does not remove material but instead stacks it up using laser metal deposition (LMD), with powder, wire or both in combination. AM for coatings, repairs and 3-D printing is still a recent technology for the Chiron Group. That said, the technology has matured further with experience and the range of applications has broadened to include repairing forged cutting rings among other processes.

This results in triple the service life in comparison to previous repair methods. Crucial factors for achieving this include selecting the correct material, ensuring high procedure quality and an automated process.

In day-to-day use, the AM Cube provides users with the ability to repair even large tools and moulds. It also boasts reliable spare parts logistics and, as experience and expertise in its use grows, it enables the implementation of proprietary product innovations and services – fully in line with sustainability goals.