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Energy Efficiency in the Spotlight at CERAMITEC 2012

By the same token, in addition to the effective use of thermal energy, electrical and pneumatic consumption values are reduced by constantly optimising the process chain. These are measures the primary objective of which is to use less energy but with the secondary objective, for example, of using waste heat even more rigorously by closing consumption cycles. In addition to production efficiency, reliability and investment amount, reducing whole life plant operating costs for energy, water and raw materials has become a major decision-making criterion in selecting new machinery and ovens. Environmentally sensitive and cost efficient production is a critical competitive factor in being able to survive in the marketplace and safeguarding production locations. When it comes to ceramic production, water and raw materials management are just as important as the efficient use of energy. Basically, what this again comes down to is closing material handling cycles and avoiding waste and/or waste water. Secondary raw materials use has now become a relevant issue not just for primary raw materials, which are becoming scarcer. One of ceramic raw materials’ strengths is that they can also be reused in the slaked, pre-reactive state. This applies not just with regard to its recirculation within the process itself but also after it has been used. All that remains is to find solutions for how to make the reprocessing of ceramic products economically viable. There are now pilot projects in a number of ceramics areas. Ultimately it is not about minimising waste but avoiding it entirely, and with minimal use of energy into the bargain. This requires an end-to-end approach from raw materials’ selection, for example avoiding toxic substances, to recycling the end product. This may necessitate specific new developments as regards the manufacturing processes but also in the product design. The processes’ sustainability concept needs to be thought through to the next level, in order for example to comply with current energy efficiency and environmentally friendly building trends. The “Green Buildings” banner refers to the approach of reducing the buildings’ overall energy requirement and achieving the lowest possible CO2 emissions. In addition to building materials that are made in an energy-efficient way, this also requires an ecological product design to match, such as lightweight bricks. Nowadays, the brick manufacturers’ customer service also includes energy advice in designing a building. In this respect, energy efficiency is not just an issue in the manufacturing process itself but also when using products in the course of building or, putting it more generally, in the “system”. Energy efficiency and the avoidance of CO2 emissions are basic measures in refining the “green” manufacturing process. A complementary measures component is also required for sustainable development if the path that leads to “Green Manufacturing” or to “Green Products” is to be successfully trodden. This requires an interactive dialog between ceramics manufacturers and their suppliers. As an international presentation and communication forum, CERAMITEC 2012 provides the ceramics industry with the best opportunity for successfully developing this dialog. Further information available at CERAMITEC 2012 at www.ceramitec.de (9/2011).


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