The current water shortage crisis and the UN Council measures have pushed pump manufacturers towards adopting more sustainable solutions. Some of the systems that have been used to increase a manufacturer’s sustainability efforts include the use of heat pumps and smart pumps. Pumps also pay a significant role in the functionality of waste water disposal systems and seal support systems, which have been proven to significantly reduce the water use and energy use of manufacturers.
Sustainability in Industrial Pumps
1. Flexible Manufacturing Means Sustainable Manufacturing
- Dr. Ola Harrysson, the co-director of the Center for Additive Manufacturing, has argued that the creation of flexible manufacturing systems can help companies better redirect sustainability efforts.
- The European Union has even forced collaborations between different companies by providing funding and supporting partnerships hat aim to develop flexible manufacturing systems.
- Dr. Harrysson has also mentioned that a very important aspect to developing those new technology is for companies to recruit and retain young talent as a way to create a culture of innovation.
2. The future of the industry is sustainable
- As a direct result of some of the predictions for the future of our planet, it has become clear that sustainability will be a driving factor in manufacturing in the future.
- To take that into account, some companies have already started developing and investing in more energy-efficient machinery.
- Government regulation has also had an impact on sustainability, as 85% of the companies in the S&P 500 Index are committed to sustainability.
- One example is the fluidics company, AxFlow, which decided to reevaluate their whole process, including the dismantling of all of their pumps, in order to eliminate all dangerous materials to the environment.
3. New report on industrial heat pumps
- The AIT Center for Energy has published a white paper discussing the importance of the heat pumps to manufacturing facilities, especially for companies that are looking to replace the standard fossil fueled industrial process heating with a more sustainable option.
- According to the report, Europe’s ambition for a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 has pushed a lot of companies to look for more sustainable options, with heat pumps being at the top of many manufacturers’ lists.
- While heat pumps have a high energy input, which saves on emissions, the uptake of heat pumps is still fairly limited. As such, AIT, along with several other research institutions, have put together the whitepaper to discuss the positives and outline the potential of this novel technology.
4. The hidden champion of industry: meeting sustainability targets and saving operating costs with GEA heat pump technology
- According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), half of the world’s energy consumption comes in the form of heat, with most of it being generated from fossil fuels.
- Heat pumps are one of the solutions that can be an attractive alternative to conventional heating systems because heat pumps can convert heat using water or industrial waste.
- GEA have been focusing on producing environmentally-friendly heat pumps as a way to reduce their environmental footprint and help other companies do the same.
5. New Global Goals For Sustainable Development
- As a way to preserve the environment, the UN developed 17 unique sustainability goals that private entities need to focus on until the end of 2030. Those goals aim to drive collaboration in the private sector in order to address different social and environmental challenges.
- While the 17 SDG goals were adopted at the end of 2015, companies have slowly started catching up on some of the sustainability efforts encouraged by the UN Council.
- A big focus of those sustainability goals is the increased focus on water pumps, mainly because water shortages are predicted to become more severe and economically impactful in the near future.
- Several companies, like Daimler AG, have introduced a special water system that recycles the water through specific pipes, pumps, filters, and evaporators in a closed loop to continually recondition their facilities and prevent the water from leaving the plants via sewer lines.
Trends impacting the industrial pumps sector
1. Smart Pumps
- According to the US Department of Energy, pumps account for over 40% of the industrial energy usage.
- Because of that, manufacturers have started looking for ways to minimize their costs. To do that, a lot of manufacturers have turned to smart pumps that provide real-time monitoring of the process, improve productivity, and reduced downtime.
- Moreover, smart pumps can reduce the speed to meet the system demand, which can save up to 50% of energy for the pumping systems.
- Frost and Sullivan estimates that, by 2025, intelligent pumps will become the norm as manufacturers will want to gather as much data as possible in order to be able to optimize their systems in the best possible way.
2. Use of pumps in Wastewater Disposal Systems
- Another way in which pumps can be used to reduce the use of water in manufacturing is through the use of wastewater disposal systems.
- Pumps are especially critical in those systems as they are responsible for water transportation and maintaining the right pressure.
- One of the more popular wastewater treatment methods involves the use of reverse osmosis, coupled with special membranes that remove contaminants.
- It has been reported that such systems can recycle up to 80% of the total water used in the manufacturing process.
3. The Use of a Sustainable Seal Support System
- The problem with water shortages has been increasing exponentially in the last few years. The Environment Agency has even warned that the UK could have a problem with their drinking water supply in the next 25 years.
- As a way to address this problem, a lot of companies have started developing methods to reduce their water usage.
- One way that companies have been able to save on their water intake is by replacing the traditional single mechanical seals with double mechanical seals that feature a water management support system.
- The dual seal support system is able to eliminate leakages and significantly reduce the amount of seal flush water used in the manufacturing process.
- It has also been proven that the seal support system can reduce a pump’s energy cost by 96%.