Pneumatics & Hydraulics

Festo assists in reducing CO2 through sustainable engineering

January 2023 Pneumatics & Hydraulics

The key to a carbon-neutral future is to assess CO2 emissions from the product and then reduce these emissions with innovative solutions. Festo supports this process through free engineering tools.

“Together with our customers, we are actively designing the sustainable and carbon-neutral industry for the future,” explains Rebecca Sacher, project manager for CO2 reduction in Sales at Festo. “The focus is always on how the customer uses our products,” adds Julia Bikidis, project manager for CO2 reduction in the product portfolio at Festo. The company supports the energy-efficient use of products right from the engineering phase. CO2-efficient engineering revolves around two fundamental questions.

Which technology is the most efficient?

The engineering tool “CO2 & TCO Guide” from Festo compares how much energy the various automation products consume when in operation and how this influences the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Users can enter the parameters of an application, and the tool proposes solutions for pneumatic and electric drive technologies. On the basis of critical deciding factors such as costs, energy consumption and CO2 emissions per year, machine builders can decide which parameters are the most important and on the drive technology.

 What size is required?

Apart from deciding on the technology, sizing is crucial in reducing CO2. “Automation solutions are most efficient when they are tailored to the specific customer application,” says Sacher. The many intuitive engineering tools developed by Festo enable customers to tailor solutions for their specific applications and thus reduce CO2 emissions in the long term. Festo provides the tools “Pneumatic Sizing” and “Electric Motion Sizing” or system configurators like the “Handling Guide Online” for selecting and sizing pneumatic or electric products. These tools use evaluation matrices, cost calculators and simulations to show the users a range of clear solutions to make decisions. Needs-based sizing makes good sense since optimally sized pneumatic drives reduce air consumption by up to 35%.

In addition to these engineering tools, the Festo Online Shop provides a filter function allowing customers to find sustainable products easily. The selected products feature energy-saving functions such as compressed air reduction or switching, which actively contributes to reducing CO2 emissions.

 CO2 reduction in the product portfolio starts with transparency

The principles of CO2-efficient engineering also apply to the product portfolio. That is why Festo starts by creating transparency. “Looking at the CO2 emissions in the use phase of our products, the CO2 produced during their manufacture becomes a baseline value. We are working flat out on this calculation,” reports Bikidis. The CO2 produced during the manufacture of Festo products depends mainly on the raw materials used. By using aluminium with 78% secondary aluminium (Festo Sustainability Report 2021) and implementing material reductions that are already considered in the product design, the company can reduce the CO2 produced during manufacturing.

 Digital product passport

The product’s carbon footprint, which includes all of a product’s CO2 emissions, will be incorporated into the digital product passport in the future. The digital product passport will be crucial in managing sustainability throughout the product lifecycle. “We expect the digital product passport to become the standard within the next five to ten years. We are proactively preparing for this with our activities around the digital twin based on the administration shell,” says Bikidis. Festo is involved in various projects and associations such as the Industry 4.0 platform, Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) and the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association (ZVEI). 

 Visionary software for energy savings

Festo is also driving the vision of a carbon-neutral product portfolio. As part of this, they are currently working on a software program for energy-optimised pneumatic motion. This software is expected to enable a significant energy saving of up to 70% when using pneumatic solutions without any reduction in performance. This approach illustrates how a carbon-neutral industry’s future is becoming a reality. “The biggest help to us here will be the technological advantage of controlled pneumatics,” emphasises Bikidis.

“Our transparency about CO2 emissions, both in terms of how they are manufactured and used, and the support we provide on the design side, as well as our continuous pursuit of carbon-efficient product innovations, enable our customers to manufacture in a carbon-neutral way,” conclude Sacher and Bikidis.


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