Promoted by ISTMA Europe, 'Technology drives sustainability' sought to alert companies of the mouldmaking and plastics industries to the role that technologies can play in the development of more sustainable manufacturing methods and products. The initiative, which counted with the online participation of industry professionals from several countries, is part of a series of actions that ISTMA intends to carry out throughout this year, emphasizing and stimulating good practices in the sustainability area.
Markus Heseding, President of ISTMA Europe, pointed out that sustainability is one of the biggest challenges currently facing the industry, recalling the urgency of reducing pollutant emissions and carbon footprint in value chains. He also drew attention to the European legislation that is being prepared and that will include a set of guidelines and standards that, in terms of environmental protection, will have a huge impact on the industry.
"[I]t is essential that we share ideas and information, in order to find, together, good practices to successfully overcome this enormous challenge", he emphasized.
Guest speaker Steffen Rapp, from EDEGS, shared the example of his company that, by investing in new techniques, managed to reduce the amount of steel in the molds it manufactures for silicone injection (RSI).
He highlighted the importance of mold makers positioning themselves at the beginning of the value chain, working together with their customers, in order to introduce, right at the moment of mold design and planning, techniques and methods that increase their performance and, at the same time, reduce waste and production steps, with benefits for the environment. His company, he also revealed, has some patented technologies, betting on the development of solutions that improve efficiency.
Yolanda Rubio, from the steel company Rovalma, presented some special grades of steel that, in her opinion, ensure improvements in production cycles and energy savings, and, with that, make the mold manufacturing more environmentally friendly. "The choice of steel makes a lot of difference in the process", she considered, presenting practical examples of situations where the exchange of a 'normal' steel for one with improved characteristics, ensured a reduction of cycle time in the order of 20 %, increasing productivity. In addition, the range of 'special' steels has greater durability and, since it ensures faster cooling, it also reduces energy consumption. Questioned about the price difference, she admitted that the range of improved characteristics is more expensive, but this difference, she argued, "is ultimately offset by the performance it guarantees".
The next session of this set of webinars promoted by ISTMA will take place later this quarter, and both face-to-face and online sessions are being prepared.