Green foundry for more sustainability

Topic of the month - December 2014

© Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

„The Bright World of Metals” renewed with the ecoMetals-campaign

Casting, steel production and non-ferrous metal production are an energy-intensive business. Here, environmentally friendly technologies, as presented at the trade fair quartet of GIFA, NEWCAST, METEC and THERMPROCESS 2015, can make a significant contribution to climate protection.

With the "ecoMetals" initiative, launched by Messe Düsseldorf, responsible, environmentally aware actions on the part of companies are to be promoted, with companies presenting their innovative products and processes at the trade fair for the first time. The focus is on innovations and key technologies that contribute to the environment as well as energy efficiency and efficiency of resources. In the process, topics such as maximising efficiency, reduced CO2 emissions and sustainable climate protection define the market and specify the future direction.

In addition, savings on material help to protect raw materials and resources. Here, the outlook is good for casting, for example: In casting, material is used only where it brings benefit and is necessary – an important requirement for lightweight construction. This not only helps to reduce the petrol consumption of a vehicle, but also saves raw materials, energy and CO2 when a component is manufactured.

© Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

Intelligent recycling technology helps to save raw materials

Many cast components are manufactured from scrap and used materials and can be recycled in an environmentally friendly fashion with the appropriate technology after they have been used – into the next cast component, for example.

This also applies to steel and non-ferrous metals. Today, there are recycling infrastructures throughout the world for this. The ecological footprint of cast components and steel products thus decreases with each recycling stage.

The Bright World of Metals shows a broad range of highly developed technologies with which the positive sustainability balance sheet of cast components, steel products and non-ferrous products can be improved further.

Diet recipes for the steel kitchen

Today, steel is an indispensable material for such things as ships, cars and bridges. However, due to its energy and coal requirements, steel production is associated with significant CO2 emissions. On the other hand, steel products, in turn, are indispensable aids to energy-saving, for example as a key component of windmills, solar power plants or particularly efficient gas turbines.

When it comes to energy-efficient processes, systems and products for pig iron, steel and non-ferrous metal production, METEC is the top event. And at THERMPROCESS, the visitor finds the suitable sustainable solutions on the topic of thermoprocessing equipment.

© Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

Curbing the hunger for energy

In all pig iron, steel production or non-ferrous metal production processes, as well as in foundries, there are mostly also large waste heat flows that should not be released into the environment unused. Therefore, waste heat use is a central topic when it comes to smelting, holding and casting.

Today, iron and steel works can also - with the suitable technologies - be organised as a perfect energy network that ensures optimum energy use between the various aggregates.

Thus, unavoidably arising process waste gases in the coking plant, at the blast furnace and in the oxygen steelworks – coke oven gas, blast furnace gas, converter gas, waste heat and steam – can be fed into operations efficiently again, for the production of heat and electricity, for instance. This saves fossil fuels and prevents CO2 emissions.

Visitors can find such advanced, energy-efficient plant concepts at GIFA, METEC and THERMPROCESS; correspondingly produced cast components can be found at NEWCAST.

© Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

Focus on energy efficiency and resource conservation

If one asks the companies what topics were the focus of visitor interest at their stands at GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST 2011, the answers go clearly in the direction of energy efficiency and protection of resources in production processes. Messe Düsseldorf, organiser of the technology trade fair quartet, had already recognised this trend at an early stage and launched the "ecoMetals" campaign years ago.

Under the sub-theme "Efficient Process Solutions", solutions and processes of the exhibitors from this field are specifically summarised. The participants registered with Messe Düsseldorf for "ecoMetals" with a detailed description of their processes and products. However, the exhibits needed to fulfil one of the following criteria: Be energy-saving or material and resource-efficient in production, offer climate-friendly use of renewable energies or optimised energy controlling as well as innovative technologies.

Participating companies are specifically indicated on the websites of GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST, and in the printed trade fair catalogue as well as at the stands.

For the duration of the trade fair, there is a handy pocket guide with which anyone can put together their exhibitors of choice particularly quickly. And Messe Düsseldorf, in cooperation with the publishing house Stahleisen “ecoMetals Trails“, organises guided visitor tours to exhibitors participating in the ecoMetals initiative.

Moreover, the topic of energy efficiency will also be widely addressed in the supporting programme of the trade fair quartet, which has high-calibre participants. Since the four trade fairs are closely intermeshed with each other, the forums and conferences are meeting points, impetus providers and markers for an entire branch of business.

© Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

Production becomes “green“

Topics such as protection of resources, environmental impact and energy efficiency are topics affecting the steel-processing, iron and non-ferrous processing industry today and will do so in future.

Products and processes shown at the international trade fairs GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST 2015 in Düsseldorf can make a perceptible contribution to more efficient use of available resources.

In the process, the "eco Metals" initiative helps companies to develop towards low-carbon economy. Messe Düsseldorf considers this development - which aims at a more climate-friendly use of raw materials and other materials - to be of great importance.

Frank Lindner

Supported by: