Automation solutions may enable faster, more flexible and more cost-efficient production, but they also consume a great amount of energy – whether to generate compressed air in pneumatic systems or to operate electric components. We help you to make your automation as energy-efficient and CO₂-neutral as possible, for example with the energy efficiency modules MSE6 or our Energy Saving Services, which are certified by the German Technical Control Board (TÜV). You can potentially save up to 60% on energy. Why not do something positive for your business and for the environment? We’ll show you here how you can do this.
Festo has been promoting the topic of energy efficiency across all sectors for decades: in the company itself, through research projects, in cross-industry committees and with a range of solutions geared towards sustainability.
We support you in four core areas to achieve greater sustainability:
Your applications are most efficient when they are tailored exactly to your individual requirements. By selecting the right technology and optimally sizing components, you will create the framework for long-term energy savings. And by using our numerous engineering tools this process is made even easier.
Sustainability in automation starts right at the design stage of your system. By choosing the right drive technology, you can ensure that the system is as energy-efficient as possible throughout its service life. Criteria such as dynamic response, force, control characteristics, load stiffness and, of course, economic efficiency always play an important role here. An appropriate combination of both technologies is, in many cases, the best solution.
Electric – energy-efficient for dynamic motion
Electric automation technology offers energy-efficient solutions for highly dynamic, linear or rotary multi-axis movements in flexible configurations – with excellent accuracy and great force.
Pneumatic – energy-efficient holding, tensioning and clamping
This cost-effective and low-maintenance technology enables energy-efficient movement between two end positions, for example in holding, tensioning, clamping and pressing applications. The simple and robust pneumatics technology can be found in nearly all segments of the automation industry.
Servo-pneumatics – energy-efficient for large loads
If you need to position heavy loads from 15 kg to 300 kg, servo-pneumatics is an energy-efficient and attractively priced solution. Drive packages based on this technology are characterised by fast switching from position control to force control and gentle travel to different positions.
Before choosing the technology for your system, you should know how high the CO2consumption will be in the operating phase and what you can expect the total cost of ownership (TCO) to be in the future.
Our CO2 & TCO Guide enables you to compare electric and pneumatic drives from our product portfolio. The tool provides a clear comparison of the energy consumption, CO2emissions, the procurement costs and the total cost of ownership and so offers you a valuable decision-making support based on the key factors.
Intelligent engineering design focuses on perfectly adjusting the size of components and on selecting the optimal control concept.
Our digital engineering tools make it easier to create an energy-efficient design for your systems. Tailoring the size of the pneumatic drives to fit the requirements can save up to 40% of an application’s air consumption. Evaluation matrices, cost calculators and simulation software help you to make the right decisions from the start and to optimise the systems for your specific applications.
Energy efficiency and sustainability start in the minds of your employees. Festo Didactic is the world’s leading specialist in technical education. We teach the specialists of today and tomorrow the knowledge and skills they need to identify potential savings in their work and implement them systematically, from the design of your systems through to day-to-day operation.
There are many ways to significantly increase energy efficiency and thus also the productivity of your systems, from the comprehensive planning of new systems to simple measures during operation. The following energy-saving tips for pneumatic and electric automation solutions will help you move much closer to the goal of CO2-neutral production.
Energy efficiency measures start at the planning stage. Carefully selecting the right drive type for the application is crucial. Single-acting cylinders or a pressure-reduced return stroke can noticeably decrease compressed air consumption. Or use pressure regulating plates and pressure regulators. For long standstill periods, servo/stepper motors with a holding brake are recommended, for example.
Festo engineering tools help you to select the right product for your application.
Energy consumption is heavily influenced by the design of the drives. Oversized drives must be avoided at all costs. The smaller the drive, the more energy-efficient it is.
It takes energy to move weight. You should therefore keep moving masses low, for example by ensuring everything is correctly sized, by combining components and by choosing lightweight products.
The lower the friction, the lower the energy losses and the longer the lifespan. It is best to use low-friction components to ensure sustainable operation.
In many applications, electric drives not only have to accelerate loads, they have to actively decelerate them too. The braking energy can be reused under certain circumstances to save electrical energy, for example with a DC link coupling.
In applications in which the acceleration and deceleration phases of different drives take place simultaneously, you can couple the intermediate circuits of the controller and store the braking energy there. The motor controller CMMP-AS helps you with this.
In some work cycles, the energy supply can be temporarily stopped – for zero energy consumption and zero leakage.
In electric automation technology, optimum controller settings with flat acceleration ramps reduce energy consumption and minimise vibrations.
Constant vacuum pressure is not absolutely necessary for reliably holding objects. Continuous air consumption can be avoided by using an air-saving circuit, especially with smooth surfaces and non-porous material. The aim is to use vacuum only when needed.
The vacuum generator OVEM and the vacuum generator VADMI with intelligent vacuum monitoring generate a vacuum only when it is needed and can switch off automatically. The savings amount to roughly 60% of previously required compressed air volumes.
There are various ways to reduce the pressure level and therefore also reduce energy costs.
Correct compressed air preparation not only increases the service life of components and systems, it also increases productivity and energy efficiency. This is where care and attention pay off in the long run. Our service unit series MS offers suitable solutions, including in a mix of sizes.
You can find out more about selecting the optimum service unit combination in our white paper "Compressed air preparation in pneumatics (PDF)"
Many tubes between valves and actuators are too long and increase the compressed air consumption through what is known as dead volume. This non-productive air also has a negative impact on the system's cycle times. The dead volume in the tubing frequently accounts for a large percentage of overall consumption, especially in drives or grippers with a small volume.
Always remember that undiscovered leakages cause unnecessary energy costs around the clock. We know from experience that leakage rates can be reduced by up to 20% in existing systems. It is therefore important to check the compressed air system regularly and check for leakages.
You can find even more potential energy savings for compressed air systems in our white paper "Reduce energy costs in compressed air systems by up to 60%" (PDF)
Install a permanent energy monitoring system and monitor your use of compressed air. In principle, every single form of energy should be monitored by sensor technology – in pneumatics primarily with flow sensors.
Would you like to know more? Then you can download our 144-page Energy Saving (PDF) brochure with tips and tricks for each product category.
Simple and advanced application solutions help you to make optimum use of your compressed air components and keep your energy consumption down.
You can rely on the technical experts and efficient technologies from Festo to ensure that your machines and systems consume fewer resources and less energy in future. This will reduce not only CO2emissions, but also your operating costs – while simultaneously increasing the sustainability of your production processes and your company’s productivity. You can find our knowledge, our experience and our products in the Energy efficiency@Festo (PDF) manual.