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Aspects of Energy Efficiency in Machine Tools

In many branches of the investment goods industry, energy efficiency has developed into an important product characteristic. Geared motors for materials handling technology have been divided into efficiency classes for some time now. A multitude of ideas has been tried for increasing energy efficiency in manufacturing with machine tools. Potential savings result with regard to the base load of machine tools that require energy consumption even in nonproductive phases. The base load is determined substantially by the auxiliary components of a machine. Besides the use of energy-efficient motors in the auxiliary components, many possibilities for reducing the base load can be found in proper energy management. With energy management, consumers are specifi cally switched off by the machine control in nonproductive phases.

Measures to support the operator during setup also increase energy efficiency, because they shorten nonproductive phases and reduce the influence of the base load. Scrap inevitably increases energy consumption per good part. Manufacturing with accuracy starting from the very first part can therefore become a decisive factor for the energy efficiency of a machine tool. Machine designs with balanced thermal behavior and precise position measuring technology have a distinct advantage here.