© Photo | ebm-papst

Which prod­ucts lead into the future, Dr Lindl?

Managing Director Dr Bruno Lindl on the mate­rials of tomorrow

What tasks does research and devel­op­ment have at ebm-papst?

The first priority is expanding our compet­i­tive tech­no­log­ical lead­er­ship world­wide: in basic devel­op­ment, we create the basis for new prod­ucts and inno­va­tions, while appli­ca­tion devel­op­ment comes up with market-specific and customer-specific solu­tions. With some 600 highly skilled employees world­wide and state-of-the-art labo­ra­tory facil­i­ties, we are able to develop marketable prod­ucts that are ready for the future in the areas of aero­dy­namics, drive engi­neering and elec­tronics.

How does the Green­Tech philos­ophy influ­ence your objec­tives?

The compre­hen­sive view in terms of energy is the crit­ical factor for us, and energy-effi­cient oper­a­tion is only a means to that end. Even in the concept phase, ensuring that produc­tion conserves resources is firmly entrenched. In addi­tion to tech­nical marginal condi­tions such as “form, fit, func­tion” and economic aspects such as target costing and time to market, the entire life cycle is eval­u­ated from an envi­ron­mental perspec­tive and taken into account in the product design. More­over, we are working on using more sustain­able mate­rials in our prod­ucts. We were already succes­full in this field and we will take this topic into account with all our future product devel­op­ments.

Concretely speaking, what does this mean for the product range?

Since 2008, we have been mass-producing our HyBlade® hybrid concept for large axial fans made of a polypropy­lene-based composite mate­rial with aluminium struc­ture. We have now been able find a substi­tute that allows us to omit the aluminium – which is very energy-inten­sive to manu­fac­ture – entirely and lower the energy input from 33 kWh to about 10 kWh per fan blade. In line with this concept, we are now using composite mate­rials on a large scale in our RadiCal® centrifugal series and for customer-specific instal­la­tion modules.

In our mate­rials labo­ra­to­ries, efforts were directed towards replacing the mineral-based fillers with renew­able mate­rials. The focus: wood-based fillers. Inten­sive studies and tests have showed that the product char­ac­ter­is­tics are completely compa­rable. The energy savings for producing the fibre­glass content in the filler and reducing the plastic content together mean that this concept saves about a million litres of crude oil. The mate­rial of the future will be a composite of biopoly­mers with renew­able fillers. Inde­pen­dence from crude oil and energy savings in mate­rials manu­fac­turing will become impor­tant para­me­ters for the future viability of compa­nies.

Required fields: Comment, Name & Mail (Mail will not be published). Please also take note of our Privacy protection.