Plastics

Analysis of energy and material flows in the manufacture of plastic injection moulded parts

A simulation of energy and material flows identified ways of saving energy. The measures can be implemented without any investment.

Summary

Fried Kunststofftechnik GmbH of Urbach develops, manufactures and sells plastic injection moulded parts.

The company is one of Europe’s leading providers of engineered precision parts made of plastic in small, medium-sized and large series for use in all major sectors of industry.

 

Project objectives

  • A transparent record of operating energy and material flows
  • The project focused on analysing the energy used and developing suggestions for better energy efficiency in the field of injection moulding
  • Development of a model to simulate proposed improvements for economic viability

 

Findings

A model simulating current on-site energy and material flows was built, providing the company with a tool with which to assess the economic and ecological impact of proposed improvements.

The following courses of action were identified:

  • Introducing a heat pump to heat the administrative offices with waste heat from the machine cooling cycle
  • Increasing the mould cooling temperature
  • Introducing a cross-flow heat exchanger for the factory ventilation system
  • Cooling the moulds would bring the best improvements to energy efficiency

The following alternatives to the current compression cooling system were considered:

  • Ground-source cooling using a heat pump
  • Solar-powered cooling using an adsorption heat exchanger
  • Cooling with waste heat from a cogeneration unit via an adsorption heat exchanger

The immediately exploitable potential would bring savings of €65,000 p.a. with a payback period of 0 to 13 years. This is equal to a reduction in CO2 equivalents of 450t per annum.

Preliminary testing identified the potential to save an additional €75,000 p.a. with a payback period of less than two years. This potential is equal to a reduction in CO2 equivalents of 640t per annum.

The measures are suitable to meet the company’s operating environmental objectives under its existing environmental management system.

Project Participants

Implementing Institution: Fried Kunststofftechnik GmbH

Cooperation Partner: LCS Life Cycle Simulation GmbH

Further Project Information

Project period: 2005 - 2007

Project region: Germany (Baden-Württemberg)

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Source: Landesanstalt für Umwelt Baden-Württemberg