Festo has an eye on the issue of energy efficiency across the whole process chain – from engineering and energy efficient products through to the efficient layout of systems and the energy-saving operation of machines and installations in terms of “green” production.
This is also demonstrated by the new “Experience Energy Efficiency” exhibition at the headquarters in Esslingen-Berkheim, which turns the topic of energy efficiency into a tangible experience for customers and other interested parties with videos, interactive exhibits and exhibition islands featuring its own products. At the heart of it all is the four-stage approach, which describes the interplay of intelligent layout, energy efficient products and solutions, sustainable services and well-founded training.
Engineering concept for the layout design of installations
The engineering concept is used to show how installations can be laid out in an energy efficient way. A design object on the first exhibition station uses an electromechanical spindle axis and a pneumatic linear drive to give an insight into the technical complexity. The significance of the overall business management view – experts talk about total cost of ownership or TCO – is shown by the acquisition and energy costs of three different handling systems over an operating period of several years with different cycle times.
The visitor can set the preferred payback period for a pneumatic, an electric and a combined handling system and determine the most economic solution that works for him.
Energy efficient automation
In the second part of the “Experience Energy Efficiency” exhibition, Festo shows how the company's products and system solutions can be used to make automation functions reality in an energy efficient manner. At the centre is a system for sharpening pencils, which uses animated images to inform visitors about the twelve measures implemented and the possible savings that can be achieved. For example, how compressed air can be used more energy efficiently by means of shorter hose lengths is demonstrated by local valve terminals, which have been placed very close to the drives.
As a highlight of the exhibition, the comparison is shown between a standard system with an exhaust air flow control and a supply air flow control system that turns off the supply air in the end position. The energy benefits of this simple control system are illuminated and the different system performance presented in detail.
In the third part the visitor finds out how existing compressed air units and systems can be improved over the long term with the help of Festo Energy Saving Services. For this purpose, the model of a compressor block demonstrates very clearly how a screw compressor works. Pulsing light emitting diodes (LED) simulate the compressed air, current and heat here.
In addition, the issues of energy efficiency in needs-oriented compressed air preparation and leaks in the distribution network are illustrated in a clear manner. Using an ultrasound sensor system, leaks can be made audible and visible.
The fourth and final module is concerned with the activities of Festo Didactic. The installed Tec2Screen® with “Connected Learning” for schools, universities and industry produces a unique connection between the theoretical acquisition of knowledge and practical application. Interactive training content and control commands depicted on the tablet's screen are transferred directly to the training devices via a patented interface. The trainees can thus keep track of what effect monitoring and control commands have in an installation, especially with regard to energy efficiency.