The drill rigs, rock excavation and construction equipment manufacturer says that environmental protection is one of its key priorities.
The Essen facility is the first unit within the Epiroc organisation to be certified to the stringent ISO 50001 Energy Management System. Since the factory’s initial certification in 2016, Epiroc says that continuous energy saving initiatives have led to substantial reductions in energy consumption and the plant has now been re-certified in 2019.
The Essen plant manufactures hydraulic attachment tools for excavators, such as medium and heavy hydraulic breakers and silent demolition tools. Production in Essen involves large-scale manufacturing using heat treatment and other energy intensive processes.
Epiroc says ISO 50001 is the strictest of all the ISO standards and requires documented yearly reductions in electricity and gas consumption. It adds that a number of effective energy saving initiatives have been implemented at the Essen factory.
"The heat treatment process has been optimised to avoid wasting energy, with ovens only being operated when they are filled to capacity," the company states. "Optimum quantities of parts and materials are used at all process steps, and a new powder coating which works with lower temperatures is currently being tested. Also, LEDs are used wherever possible."
At the plant a team representing different functions within production and SHEQ is responsible for making continuous improvements, and energy consumption is monitored 24/7, allowing the results of the ongoing initiatives to be measured immediately.
Epiroc says there are clear benefits for both the environment and the Essen plant. During 2017-2018, the plant achieved a 9% reduction in electricity and gas consumption, while at the same time increasing its output. Lower energy consumption lessens the plant’s environmental impact and helps reduce operating costs. Another benefit for Epiroc is that ISO 50001 certification makes it easier for the company to obtain external financial support for environmentally driven investments.