Energy efficiency continued to play an important role in the automotive industry in 2018. As a global supplier and key partner in the global supply chain, Feintool is supporting manufacturers to build low-emission vehicles.

People’s awareness of and political attention to environmental issues increased in 2018. Above all, the focus is on climate change and the reduction of emissions from fossil fuels.

This will be challenging, especially in the automotive industry, Feintool’s largest and most important customer group. On the one hand, demand for SUVs and premium vehicles continues to be high, on the other hand, end customers attach importance to low-emission vehicles. Last year, 51.97 % of German consumers considered low carbon emissions to be a “very important” or “important” argument when buying a car. According to the consumption and media analysis of the VuMa 2019 working group, the figure was as high as 73.8 % of those surveyed – a consistently high figure compared with the previous year. At the same time, demand for the expansion of e-mobility is also increasing.

The environmental awareness of customers in North America and Asia is developing similarly. The market research institute Nielsen Scarborough found that 81 % of people in Asia are “very concerned” or “concerned” about air pollution. In the USA, 61 % of respondents considered air quality to be a problem. To address this, consumers want countermeasures from industry and commerce. 69 % of Americans consider the implementation of environmental programs in companies to be very important or important, in Asia even 83%. Growing worldwide environmental awareness is also having a political impact: From 2020, for example, new cars in the EU will be subject to a new maximum limit of 95 g CO2/km (previously 130 g CO2/km).

Well prepared for new demands and technologies

The automotive industry is experiencing a period of transformation. In 2018, manufacturers again produced more electric vehicles and cars with hybrid drives. Although the total number of these vehicles is still comparatively low compared to conventional drives, the trend towards e-mobility is likely to continue. In Germany, the number of electric cars has doubled within two years. In China, the automotive industry sold 1.27 million electric vehicles in 2018, an increase of around 64 % compared to 2017. The trend towards electrification and electric vehicles will enable Feintool to be a key partner in future. The company offers exactly the technologies needed to supply customers with the components they require. At the same time, Feintool takes steps to ensure that it contributes to the conservation of resources. All manufacturing processes, products and services are continuously analyzed and optimized. Through these measures, Feintool is fulfilling its responsibility as a specialized supplier to leading OEMs, by reducing energy consumption and thereby contributing to an efficient overall process.

“FB one” sets new standards in energy efficiency

One example is the “FB one”, the latest generation of hydraulic fineblanking presses. After three years of development and construction, the prototype was presented in mid-2018 and the first models are to be delivered from 2019. In terms of energy efficiency, the “FB one” clearly beats previous press generations. Energy consumption is up to 30 % lower, and the “FB one” requires around 50 % less hydraulic oil than its predecessors. Wear and tear will also be lower in future. “FB one” is thus contributing to reducing the consumption of resources in the production process.

Plants all over the world promote sustainability

The worldwide Feintool plants are supporting sustainability. In China, comprehensive measures have been taken in the area of waste management. The aim is to achieve European waste disposal and recycling standards as far as possible. The high standards are making an impact both in terms of waste oil and water used in the production process. Both raw materials are recycled after use and can therefore be reused to a large extent. Various sustainability projects are also underway in the US. For example, rainwater is collected in collecting basins and can then be used in production. European plants are also expanding their environmental standards. At the company headquarters in Lyss, buildings have been running on district heating since the end of 2018. For Feintool, the switch from gas heating to the more sustainable form of energy is part of the measure to further reduce oil and gas emissions. At the Jena plant, a newly established energy team is to ensure that environmental awareness continues to increase. The team will meet four times a year in future, to decide on suitable measures. Employee training will also be promoted. In addition to special training courses and to heighten their environmental awareness, employees can borrow energy meters and use them to test the power consumption of various devices, both at work and at home.

Code of Conduct

Customers, suppliers, business partners, shareholders, media and the public: trust and good cooperation between Feintool and the aforementioned players are crucial. Feintool attaches great importance to an honest, transparent and trusting corporate culture in order to meet expectations. In order to communicate this culture, the Group formulated a Code of Conduct some time ago and has been providing regular training for its employees ever since. These defined guidelines and goals are valid and binding for all plants. The establishment of the Code of Conduct is intended to communicate an important concern to employees: the active fulfillment of Feintool's responsibility for the environment and society.