How our production becomes more sustainable through smarter waste management

PFISTERER cares about sustainability – we abide by this philosophy in product development of dry, oil and gas-free cable accessories, and sustainability is also reflected in our manufacturing process: At our metal processing facility in Gussenstadt, we make production more sustainable and environmentally friendly through smarter waste management, which enables us to significantly reduce lubricant usage and CO2 emissions.

This concept is also very popular with our customers, who are increasingly opting for environmentally friendly solutions to implement their own projects.

Every year, the machining of hundreds of tonnes of aluminium and brass at the Gussenstadt plant produces an enormous amount of metal chips which are removed and recycled daily. However, the chips also contain residue of the oils and cooling lubricants that are used during machining. Consequently, PFISTERER put a lot of thought into how the oils could be recovered and how the vast amount of metal chips, and thus their transport costs, could be reduced.

Compressing aluminium – centrifuging brass

First, the oils used as cooling lubricants were homogenised. This allows the recently used oil to be returned to the production cycle and reused. As a result, less oil is required overall. Next, PFISTERER found a solution to optimise disposal of the aluminium chips: a new briquetting system compresses the chips. This process enables us to squeeze out the residual cooling lubricants, filter them and feed them back into the production cycle, while simultaneously reducing the volume of aluminium chips by 75 percent. Overall, this process reduces the amount of lubricant used in aluminium processing by more than 50 percent. For brass we use centrifuging instead of briquetting because the chips are already very dense. This centrifuging process allows for the adhering oil to break away, leading to the recovery of around 75 percent of the used oil. 

Sustainable and economical

Together, these measures lead to a considerable reduction in resources. Due to the lower amount of aluminium chips, we now only need two to three pick-up trips per month instead of the daily pick-ups required before. Moreover, recycling of the cooling lubricants considerably reduces their consumption. All in all, we use thousands of litres less oil per year, CO2 emissions are significantly reduced, and we simultaneously lower our internal expenses. A real investment in our future!