The production company in Essen, Germany, is the first unit within the Epiroc organization to be certified to the stringent ISO 50001 Energy Management System. Since the factory’s initial certification in 2016, continuous energy saving initiatives have led to substantial reductions in energy consumption and the plant has 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. The production in Essen involves large-scale manufacturing using heat treatment and other energy intensive processes.
The strictest of all the ISO standards, ISO 50001 certification requires documented yearly reductions in electricity and gas consumption, and at the Essen factory a number of effective energy saving initiatives have been implemented.
The heat treatment process has been optimized to avoid wasting energy, with ovens only being operated when they are filled to capacity. 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.
The management at Essen strongly believes that “there is always a better way”, and activities to save energy never stop. 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.
There are clear benefits for both the environment and the Essen plant. During 2017-2018, the plant achieved a 9 percent 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.
Other ISO certifications held by Epiroc are: ISO 9001 Quality; ISO 14001 Environment; ISO 45001 Labor, Safety.