Sustainability - A Key Driver Shaping Everything We Do

Renewable Energy or Green Energy is the number one megatrend ahead for the global Wire & Cable industry. The change is underway and it will continue to increase demand and cable volumes for the coming decades.

Renewable Energy or Green Energy is the number one megatrend ahead for the global Wire & Cable industry. Renewables are expected to provide approximately 30% of all electricity in 2024. The world capacity for renewable energies will more than double in the next 10-year period and grow by a factor of four in the next 30 years. It is a change that will drive increasing demand of cable volumes.

As a key technology provider to the industry, we strongly support this industry change and are providing new innovations to make it happen in a most sustainable way. For us, sustainability is driven by several deliverables.

Global use of materials is accelerating. It has more than tripled since 1970. Moreover, only 9% of the global economy is circular. Just 9% of the 92.8 billion tons of material that enters the economy is re-used annually. Modern manufacturing techniques enable the manufacturing of sustainable Wire & Cable and Pipe & Tube products. So, how can we transform regular goods into green products? There are two ways to do it. One is to focus on the cable materials, and the other is to focus on the manufacturing process of the cables.

Sustainable materials that are used for manufacturing are usually climate-friendly materials. They are biodegradable and modern materials, such as halogen-free jacketing. They are not made up of ingredients labeled as hazardous by authorities towards the environment.

Material utilization

Maillefer has several ways to improve material utilization in the manufacturing processes. Quality ramp-ups and -downs have been the basis for our line control for decades. Depending on the manufacturing process one can save several percent in raw material consumption, notably when quality production begins immediately once the extrusion line is ready to produce.

Controlling the overuse of plastics creates vast opportunities in raw material utilization. Maillefer’s modern extruders open that possibility when minimizing the difference between the nominal and actual product dimensions. Quality product manufactured within tight tolerances requires less plastic.

Manufacturing efficiency

Manufacturing speeds have always been the main target for production line development. Machine utilization rate is the second key efficiency factor. A well-maintained line, of high-quality, guarantees high manufacturing utilization rates. Also, quality production has been of interest. Advanced process and quality controls make sure the quality consistency is maintained.

Once the line efficiency is maximized, then the energy consumption per end-product kilometer is minimized, and as a result, carbon emissions lessened. Maillefer is committed to lead as a technology provider of solutions with the best efficiency rates, best material utilization rates, and minimum energy requirements.

Technological solutions

The productivity of manufacturing can be increased with higher line speeds. Higher speeds call for more precise process control. The manufacturing process contains several parameters that the line operator controls during production. The state of the process can be both estimated and controlled by process parameter adjustments. Maillefer offers a modern artificial intelligence-based control solution that brings value to customers by helping line operation and by optimizing the process parameters. This improves both the production efficiency and the product end-quality. Maillefer’s AI concept also leads to remarkable material savings.

Our technological solutions, on both a component and on a line scale, are based on long-lasting and reliable components. Our machines are designed to last for decades. Therefore, the life cycles of our offerings are extremely long, thus guaranteeing sustainable investments and an optimum carbon footprint.

The capability of working in far-developed virtual environments enables us to create digital twin development platforms, speeding-up the development cycle, and saving extensive material during the innovation process.

Our impact on sustainability

Maillefer offers technologically advanced production lines. This helps our customers to maximize production efficiency and reduce the scrap in their manufacturing process. Our installed base is huge – several thousand extrusion lines. Annually, from five to seven megatons of plastic material goes through those lines. The latest technology combined with upgrades can decrease the overuse and scrap amount by almost 10%. That corresponds to an annual plastic material savings equivalent to the amount of plastic material used for plastic bags in all of Europe – 550 kilotons. With Maillefer technology you save raw materials in remarkable ways and work towards building a more sustainable future.

Mikko Lahti
Director, R&D

Topics: Wire & cable manufacturing, Pipe & tube manufacturing, References, Extrusion, Value Corner, Maillefer, 2021

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