Haidlmair How sustainable moulds help keeping shops competitive
Austria – After reviewing its entire mould production process, Austrian-based Haidlmair Group found many CO2-saving opportunities, including optimised, compact mould designs, mould-optimised cycle times and the use of technologies such as digital mould monitoring which enables significant energy savings in production.
The issue of sustainability and coping with the global climate crisis is one of the most burning challenges for our industry. Mould builder Haidlmair, Nussbach, has started many initiatives in recent years to do its part. According to the company, sustainability efforts include consistent investments in infrastructure in order to save CO2 and work more sustainably. A few years ago, for example, Haidlmair converted the lighting in the factory halls to modern, energy-saving LED technology, optimised all ventilation systems, and the largest photovoltaic system in the region supplies part of the company with environmentally-friendly electricity from solar energy. In addition, the production halls’ thermal insulation was optimized, and heat protection glazing was installed to minimise the need for air conditioning.
Managing Director Mario Haidlmair is particularly concerned with sustainability in his company. “It is particularly important to me that we preserve a healthy environment for our descendants in all its beauty,” he says. “I think that is our duty, both in the private and in the business sphere.”
Productivity for sustainability
“We have launched some initiatives that also make our moulds more sustainable, to ensure that, first and foremost, our customers benefit from this. For this reason, we have changed our company slogan from “For Higher Productivity” to “Productivity for Sustainability”, also to briefly and concisely underpin our objectives and our offerings,” Haidlmair explains.
Haidlmair technicians have carefully examined the entire mould production process and found many CO2-saving opportunities. These opportunities include, among other things, optimised mould sizes or compact design, mould-optimised cycle times and the use of technologies that, for example, favour the use of recycled materials, enable significant energy savings in production or contain digital mould monitoring systems that make individual business trips obsolete. Most of these technologies come from companies in the Haidlmair Group, such as the FDU hot runner system or the mould monitoring system developed by a joint venture with Hofmann Werkzeugbau, Digital Moulds.
Advances in hot runners, mould monitoring systems
There have been numerous incremental advances in hot runners over the last years, and one of the latest is the FDU (Flat Die Unit) hot runner system. As the name suggests, it passes melt through a long slit instead of a circular hole like a conventional nozzle. The result is said to be faster injection of more melt through a thinner gate opening, with lower shear and injection pressure, lower melt temperature and up to 25% faster cycle time in several projects.
Founded in September 2019, Austria-based company Digital Moulds offers a plug-and-play mould monitoring device, which takes intelligence into the tool without the complexity often associated with Industry 4.0, and helps mould owners who continue to struggle with monitoring their molds. The Mould Monitoring system is a small mould-mounted device the size of a mobile phone, which transmits data (via GSM or Wi-Fi) on location, number of mould cycles, cycle time, injection parameters (such as fill rate and pressure), production time, maintenance and availability. A personalised user portal allows access to all these relevant mould parameters regardless of location throughout the entire mould life cycle.
Haidlmair customers benefit from all these ideas and innovations in several ways, the company says. On the one hand, Haidlmair moulds help customers to achieve their own sustainability goals more easily and, on the other hand, increase productivity by investing in new, more powerful moulds.
Moreover, the investment costs can also be partially refinanced through new subsidies from the European Union and individual nation states. The experts from Haidlmair are on hand to provide customers with advice and assistance: “We are still waiting for the details of the funding that the EU has already presented in this area. But we see a lot of potential here in the coming months and years. The aim must be to jointly enable a more sustainable, but at the same time more productive production,” Haidlmair says, explaining another advantage of purchasing new moulds with the Haidlmair sustainability bonus.
However, all these efforts towards sustainability are far from being the end of the story. A few more steps are planned for the next few months, both operationally and in terms of moulds offered. “For several years now, our goal has been to become the best mould maker in the world and now we also want to become the most sustainable mould maker. We are doing all we can to achieve these goals.”