The CHIRON Group is pursuing ambitious goals for the coming years and intends to continue to grow profitably, gain new market shares and strengthen its global business. In order to support these aspirational targets, the company is finding ways besides its product range in which it can distinguish itself from its competitors, in turn providing customers and interested parties with more reasons to engage with the CHIRON Group.
The basis for this is the global »Sustainability@CHIRON Group« strategy program. Through this initiative, explains CEO Carsten Liske, »we are making sustainability a strategic factor in our business model, for us and our customers. We are building on this and continuing with this approach – to make the CHIRON Group carbon-neutral and, just as importantly, successful in the long term.«
The first milestone on the way to a balanced carbon footprint in the global production network was achieved at the end of 2022: Through investment in heat recovery and photovoltaic systems, as well as the procurement of additionally required electricity from purely renewable sources, the CHIRON Group production in Germany is now climate-neutral (Scope 1 and 2). The Taicang Innovation Factory will follow suit in 2023, while plans for a photovoltaic system are also underway at CHIRON Croatia in Zadar.
In Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany, the panels of the new photovoltaic plant have been producing part of the electricity required by the CHIRON Group Precision Factory since the end of 2022.
First sustainability report: »SUSTAINABILITY by Performance and Precision«
According to the german industry magazine »MM MaschinenMarkt«, pioneers in sustainability and climate protection are also characterized by the fact that they »communicate their strategies transparently and credibly«. To this end, the CHIRON Group published its first sustainability report for 2021 at the end of last year. In this report, titled »SUSTAINABILITY by Performance and Precision«, the Group presents its strategy, specifies data on its achievements to date and provides information on its activities in all relevant fields of sustainability: These include continual development of the product range, responsibility for staff and society, quality, supply chain and resource management, energy usage and CO2 footprint.
In his foreword, CEO Carsten Liske states: »As we demonstrate in this report, which has been drawn up in accordance with the official core guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), sustainable behavior is not only of huge importance when it comes to maintaining our economic performance, but is also part of our DNA.«
In addition to worldwide climate-neutral production by 2025, the CHIRON Group has also committed to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to play its part in achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement – namely, limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. Benjamin Kurth, Global Program Manager Sustainability, also notes: »Since December 2022, we have been one of the first companies in our industry to work with SBTi. This shows just how seriously we take the issue of sustainability.« The SBTi is a joint initiative undertaken by CDP, United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). As a next step, the CHIRON Group will submit its reduction targets for Scope 1, 2 and 3 to the organization for subsequent review.
The CHIRON Group represents sustainable mechanical engineering at the Vision 2045 Summit
Our commitment to sustainability was visibly embodied by our participation in the Vision 2045 Summit, which took place at the start of November under the umbrella of COP27, the 27th UN Climate Change Conference, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Business and industrial leaders came together at this multinational summit to share ideas and develop strategies that will make a positive contribution to the future of our planet. Participation was open to companies that were invited to the summit by the organizer on account of their pioneering role. In addition, certain participants were selected to take part in a sensational video campaign. The CHIRON Group is the only company in the mechanical engineering category to be included in this worldwide campaign.
GET GREEN. TO THE CORE. The video contribution of the CHIRON Group to the current Vision 2045 campaign. Visit www.vision2045.com for more information about the project in general and other inspiring clips from all over the world.
Sustainability and credible environmental balance also in the product portfolio
According to Benjamin Kurth, the CHIRON Group faces a dual challenge in its role as a machine tool builder: »It's as much about climate-neutral production at our company as it is about saving resources and operating machining centers and manufacturing solutions ever more efficiently, which is also becoming an increasingly important focus for our customers.« With its portfolio, the CHIRON Group convincingly satisfies these criteria. One example is multi-spindle systems, which give customers a competitive edge thanks to reduced investment costs, lower space requirements and optimized energy consumption. In addition, complete manufacturing processes from a single source offer the advantage that the various elements – machine, automation, workpiece handling and technology – are all optimally coordinated with one another, helping to ensure efficiency and process reliability. Furthermore, as a founding member of the VDMA »Blue Competence« initiative, the CHIRON Group actively advocates for sustainability concerns and systematically implements the defined criteria in its products.
»Machining centers from the CHIRON Group are energy-efficient because they produce high quality reliably and quickly. Multi-spindle machines are particularly good in this respect, since in relation to a workpiece, the power requirement is lower.«
Project Manager Technical Projects, Hansgrohe Group
All current machining centers are equipped with the latest »Premium High Efficiency« IE3 class motor technology. Frequency-controlled motors and power units are used that feed electrical energy back into the grid during braking in partial load operation, wherever it makes sense for this to occur. Using the motor as a generator results in energy savings of up to 30 percent compared to older machines.
Examples of improved sustainability and energy efficiency
Multi-spindle production for more productivity per unit area
High-precision five axis machining with low energy consumption with the Micro5
Productive complete system consisting of DZ 16 W and VariocellUno automation unit
Turnkey expertise for customized machining processes for example, for highly efficient manufacturing of electric motor housings
The machining centers are equipped with the latest components that contribute to low power consumption.
Power consumption and energy costs can be reduced further with PowerSave, which is available as an option for every new machining center and also as a »sustainability upgrade« for existing machines. With PowerSave, power units are systematically switched off during production pauses; the consumption of electrical power is therefore reduced by up to 20 percent and compressed air consumption by up to 25 percent. The total power consumption is only about two-thirds compared to the standby cycle of the control system. Currently, more than 1,000 machining centers are equipped with the energy-saving module and more and more customers are upgrading their existing machines – not just in light of increased electricity prices, but also in line with their sustainability goals.
»Although we use green electricity at all our manufacturing sites worldwide, which means that we no longer have any CO2e emissions from purchased electricity, we are constantly trying to increase energy efficiency and minimize electricity consumption. PowerSave helps us to reduce the base load on the machines during production-free periods and achieve our goals.«
Project Manager Green Company, Hansgrohe Group
In addition to PowerSave, a number of other features on new machines pay off in terms of improved energy balance: Energy-efficient cooling of the control cabinets, loss-minimized valve technology, efficiency-optimized hydraulic units and connection to central systems such as cooling lubricant and water-to-water heat exchangers are just a few examples of these. Furthermore, the individually combinable and scalable SmartLine digital systems ensure greater efficiency, availability and productivity. For example, thanks to online support via RemoteLine, on-site technician visits can be avoided in many cases. This reduces downtime to a minimum and prevents any CO2 emissions from being incurred by experts traveling to and from the site.
CHIRON Group as a partner more than ready for the future
In the course of their sustainability activities, more and more customers are turning their production »green« and ensuring as part of their purchasing process that – in the ideal case – their suppliers' products are also produced in a climate-neutral manner and that they are conserving resources in their operations. For example, the Hansgrohe Group, a leading manufacturer of showers, shower systems and faucets, vets potential suppliers with regard to »the improvement of environmental performance and energy efficiency. The supplier is encouraged to provide services and capital equipment that support this improvement.« The CHIRON Group is well positioned for the future in this respect, states Dr. Jens König, Head of Mechatronics, who is also responsible for the topic of sustainability at the product level: »As far as resource and energy consumption in the manufacture of our products is concerned, it's not just recently that we've been satisfying the relevant criteria. We also integrate sustainability-oriented solutions into our products and pass them on to our customers for their production.«
»With ›Sustainability@CHIRON Group‹, we have laid a solid foundation for making sustainability a strategic factor in our business model, for us and our customers. We are building on this and continuing with this approach – to make the CHIRON Group carbon-neutral and, just as importantly, successful in the long term.«
More information on the topics of environment and quality can be found here.
Where does climate policy stand in Europe and Germany?
»There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.« With this sentence, Christoph Bals, Political Director of the environmental organization Germanwatch, summarizes the recently published synthesis report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report is based on around 80,000 global studies and brings together the findings of six climate reports and three special reports from previous years. Looking at Europe and Germany, the expert is optimistic: »I consider the EU to be on a good path with regard to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If anything, the energy crisis has accelerated and strengthened the Green Deal. The new greenhouse gas allowance trading system will result in the European phase-out of coal combustion by around 2030. In addition, the transformation in industry is expected to be completed soon after 2040 at the latest. This puts the guardrails in place, so to speak.« Nonetheless, there's no reason to be complacent: »When you see how transformation is being pushed in China and the U.S. with huge subsidy packages, it seems clear that Europe as a business location can only hold its own if it defends its pioneering role in green technologies.«