Market News Green Deal can put German production technology in pole position

Editor: Steffen Donath

What defines a successful economy? According to Prof. Brecher there is more to it than just growth. Read here how the President of WGP views the Green Deal as a chance for the industry.

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Prof. Christian Brecher, President of the WGP, Head of the Machine Tool Laboratory (WZL) of RWTH Aachen
Prof. Christian Brecher, President of the WGP, Head of the Machine Tool Laboratory (WZL) of RWTH Aachen
(Source: WZL Aachen)

Prof. Brecher, President of the WGP (“scientific society for production technology”) and Head of the Machine Tool Laboratory (WZL) at RWTH Aachen University, comments on the Green Deal: Brussels has shown the way forward with its trillion-euro climate finance package for the EU Green Deal. Production technology research and industry are innovative enough to create a closed-loop economy with longer product life cycles, with re- and up-cycling, and to develop new business models from this. Germany, in particular, with its strong innovative capacity, could benefit from this new concept. We are certain that the country will once again be able to reinvent itself and thus secure the prosperity of all in the future.

Creating new export opportunities

The WGP has been demonstrating for some time that production can also be much more resource-efficient and environmentally friendly. And the European machine tool industry shares the view that a successful economy does not have to define itself solely through growth; its association Cecimo has already positioned itself in this regard. But not only that; comparable to the term and concept of Industry 4.0 coined by Germany, which is now used worldwide, we could also become international pioneers in industrial recycling management and create new export opportunities. This would make it easier to overcome economic crises. Production technology research and many companies are already well positioned in this area.

Considering various fields of action

For the industry itself, there are various fields of action, such as energy-efficient lighting, heating and ventilation of factory buildings. The ETA model factory in Darmstadt, for example, is showing completely new ways of thinking about the building. Up to 40 % energy can be saved in industrial production in this way. Machines and processes also offer a lot of potential for savings by being lighter, more efficient and more sustainable — an area in which WGP has always been very active. There are also important fields of action for politicians, such as the choice of location for a factory. A sustainable recycling economy works best when, for example, a hydrogen-powered steel plant is located exactly where the resource hydrogen can be produced in large quantities, e.g. near large wind energy parks.

Do not stir up fears

To reduce CO2 emissions, we must not least extend the useful life of our products. This will reduce consumption, but we must not create unnecessary fears. After all, less consumption does not mean the demise of countless companies and lower prosperity. Instead, completely new business models are conceivable. The EU seems to have recognised this. The WGP will do its part to make such fundamental innovations possible.

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