As a leading technology company, we are always focused on the entire life cycle of our products and, of course, the basic production conditions. This is achieved by regularly checking potential resource savings and by avoiding impacts on the environment during production. Every individual employee is asked to make use of the opportunities available to him at his place of work to contribute to further improvements.
Our products are used throughout the world in a variety of application areas. It is our aspiration to develop and manufacture durable and sustainable products. All Diehl locations worldwide attach the same great importance to energy efficiency and CO2 savings. With best-practice examples we underline the knowledge- and technology-based approach of our efforts. We regularly exchange views and learn from each other throughout the group.
The classical combustion engine will continue to define our streetscape in the coming years, even if the move towards electro-mobility is pushed strongly. Therefore, it is necessary to continue to develop this technology from an ecological and economical perspective.
The company Diehl Metall is participating in these endeavors in the framework of its material development for more efficient engines.
The automotive industry faces special challenges with ever more stringent regulatory requirements to reduce CO2emissions by combustion engines with increasingly higher performance. The alloys used till now for valve guides, synchronizer rings and bearings as important components of the combustion engine are not optimal anymore, considering these challenges.
The special brass materials by Diehl Metall come into play here, to enable more efficient, wear resistant and smaller designs. This concept called downsizing is already enabling compliance with future guidelines and, beyond that, it is also leading towards consistent modernization of the combustion engine.
Diehl Metall brings together commercial and technical progress as well as environmental requirements in the development of materials. The special state-of-the-art brass lead-free alloys by Diehl Metall are already setting impressive standards which the automobile market will undoubtedly have to face in the future.
New LED lighting at the Berlin location ensures energy saving
Good illumination matters at the workstations of Diehl Metall (and here especially in surface finishing). Fluorescent tubes have therefore been a familiar sight in our production for many years. Due to the rapid development in LED technology, nowadays LED light sources can also be used for challenging applications. As compared to the conventional light sources, LEDs have a clearly longer service life. They are also more efficient and powerful.
As part of the setup of four new strip electroplating systems at the Berlin location, we consistently focused on modernizing the lighting system. Around 130 modern LED lights ensure that the workstations now shine in a new light. The greater energy efficiency guarantees that 58 MWh energy can be saved annually in a three shift operation. This corresponds to the consumption of about 13 four-person households.
We consider it our duty to continually review the environmental conditions of our actions for their economic and ecological implications. Whenever there are technically mature options for improvement, we keep them in sight to enable efficient implementation.
Recycling of special waste containing heavy metals
Hazardous waste that is difficult to recycle is rather often produced in the manufacture of high-tech products. Despite all optimization, waste is left from heavy metals, such as mercury, cadmium, tellurium and their compounds, which usually has to be disposed of as hazardous waste. Waste products which cannot be reused are an expensive waste of resources and an avoidable burden on the environment. This is why we constantly work on solutions to avoid or recycle waste.
In coordination with the manufacturers of these basic materials, we have established a recycling process enabling heavy metals to be returned to the production cycle. Thus, no waste harmful to the environment is produced after all and no expensive landfill fees have to be paid.
Through optimization of the relevant processes, our hazardous waste volume could be reduced by approx. 12% since 2013. To us, this is a visible success of our ongoing efforts to better comply with both ecological and economic requirements.
Climate control through air-geothermal heat exchangers
All employees value constantly pleasant temperatures at their workplace. This applies to laboratory workstations in particular, where a constant climate control is necessary to ensure the desired results of work. However, this continuous climate control demands high costs in terms of energy, which must be questioned constantly for commercial as well as ecological reasons.
A modern solution to this problem are air-geothermal heat exchangers, which use the temperature difference between the ground and the space that requires climate control. Thus, in a pilot project at Diehl Defence in Röthenbach, we installed an antimicrobial piping system at a depth of about 1.5 meters, in which the required fresh air was precooled in summer and preheated in winter. In combination with the heat/cold recovery unit in the central ventilation equipment, it was possible to reduce the energy consumption by about 4000 kWh per year in this manner.
These energy savings naturally have a significant impact on the CO2 footprint as well. In all, they amount to more than 20 tonnes annually. In just one laboratory. We are therefore examining the possibility of a conversion at other locations as well.
Saving power with new transformer stations
In most cases several approaches are available to save power. Checking the connected consumer systems or devices, and exchanging them for more economical variants is naturally one of them. But also the production of power and its supply to the consumers have potential. For example, the location of a transformer station matters. The further away it is from the main consumers, the lower is the power that is transferred. Moreover, further valuable energy is lost due to transformation losses.
The saving potentials for energy are always considered in the overall context at Diehl Metering in Ansbach. Consequently, it was established long ago that the construction of a new transformer station 350 meter closer to the production plants along with the new transformer technology would lead to significant energy savings. A new station was therefore planned and realized. The energy losses have up until now been reduced by an impressive 55 percent, thanks to the new transformer. This corresponds to savings of around 120,000 kWh per year in energy requirements. Furthermore, the reduction of CO2 emissions amounts to over 60 tonnes.