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Atlas Copco is committed to developing solutions that support global sustainable development. Our innovative products and services support our customers’ productivity, reduce cost and help them meet their sustainability ambitions.
Energy consumption in the use-phase of our products has a significant impact on our environmental footprint and on the cost for the customer. Therefore our product development projects increase energy efficiency in a wide range of products and applications.
For instance, we have developed new efficient LED light towers for use in construction and mining sites. Our award winning LED light towers are capable of illuminating a 5 000 sq. m area, using four lamps of 350 Watts each, resulting in dramatic reductions in fuel consumption of up to 75%. The extended lifespan of LED lamps, compared with conventional light sources, is another big advantage. The share of LED of total sales amounts to close to 50% in 2017.
The Henrob SPR Controller, which is used for quality assurance and monitoring for self-pierce riveting assembly tools in the automotive industry, has been developed using an eco-design process. The most significant achievement is the possibility to equip any older or future controllers with an optional energy efficiency module which reduces electrical consumption per rivet for the customer by on average 20%. The new controller also has a smaller package and weighs 40% less compared to the existing controller, saving material in production and potentially impacting the footprint from transportation positively.
The manufacturing process of semiconductor devices (chips) is conducted in a vacuum environment to ensure quality, cleanliness and control. The vacuum pumps can represent up to 20% of the total energy consumption of a semiconductor manufacturing facility, driving the need to innovate more efficient and sustainable vacuum products. Our most recent generation of Edwards-branded dry vacuum pumps (iXM) and its variants give customers up to 60% less energy consumption with the new lower power iXM product when compared to the previous generation product. In addition to the significant electrical energy savings, the iXM also features reduced nitrogen purge and cooling water requirements further reducing plant energy consumption. The physical size reduction and performance increase also saves on critical space and infrastructure in the manufacturing plant.
We pioneered the variable-speed drive (VSD) technology for compressors as early as in 1994. A VSD compressor automatically adjusts its motor speed to the air demand. The VSD allows for energy savings of 35% on average, compared to a fixed-speed compressor. Considering that 70–80% of a compressor’s lifecycle cost comes from the energy consumption, this is key for the total cost of ownership. Our VSD+ technology, launched in 2013, has revolutionized the compressed air industry around the globe. With this breakthrough technology our customers are able to lower their compressed air energy bill by 50% on average. Today, the GA VSD+ range of oil-injected compressors is available from 7 kW all the way up to 110 kW, bringing this award-winning innovation to a very wide range of sectors and applications. The relative number of variable-speed drive units on the total number of compressors sold, has seen significant growth over the few past years.