Long before it became a global initiative, REGO-FIX championed energy efficient, sustainable manufacturing. In addition to utilizing sustainable designs and approaches in its own production operations, the company provides its customers with a broad range of services that improve their own energy and cost efficiency.
The REGO-FIX manufacturing headquarters in Tenniken, Switzerland, stands as a model for the industry’s global sustainability efforts. Despite nearly doubling its plant size with a three-story, 75,000-square-foot addition a few years ago, the facility only marginally increased its energy consumption and costs through innovation and creative design. Top to bottom, the facility incorporates a host of advanced technology features, including special air-exchange ventilation, progressive air conditioning units, wood-pellet heating, a green, planted roof and ample use of natural and sensor-controlled lighting.
On its production floor, air is exchanged seven times per hour to recycle hot air generated from the large air compressors that run machine tools. During cold months, waste heat is used to warm incoming air drawn from outside the building and then pumped to the manufacturing floor. Office areas are warmed during the winter by circulating water heated from cooling the machine tool air compressors through a closed-loop system in the building’s floors.
Warming heat is also produced by an environmentally friendly 390-kW heating system that consumes wood pellets recycled from the lumber and furniture industries instead of burning fossil fuels. The wood pellet heating design backs up the building’s primary heating system during extreme cold, which allows for further reductions in heating costs and resources.
During summer months, the air-exchange design works in conjunction with a stepped, progressive air conditioning system that provides as-needed, on-demand cooling, using only the air conditioning units necessary to maintain the required temperature. Each air conditioning unit is regulated in terms of its allowable revolutions per minute. When the first unit in the series exceeds its RPM limitation, the second unit kicks on, and so on down the line. As the building cools, the units deactivate in reverse order, allowing temperature to be maintained with only the minimal amount of equipment necessary.
In addition to standard insulation in all building walls, temperature regulation is further enhanced with a roof design that is a brilliant exercise in – quite literally – “green” architecture.
Covered completely with soil, the roof is planted with sod. The organic material acts as a natural layer of insulation. Additionally, the roof captures rainwater and funnels it to a 13,200-gallon tank where it is stored and used to flush toilets in the building’s restrooms. As a total system, the energy-efficient technology and designs employed by REGO-FIX maintain a constant ambient temperature that is critical for optimal machine operation at a fraction of the cost of legacy systems.
Interior light is amply produced and controlled by large, triple-paned, insulated windows equipped with automatic shades that provide a cooling effect during warm months. A sensor-based LED lighting system ensures lights are on only when a specific area is occupied.
The REGO-FIX commitment to sustainable manufacturing does not stop at its own door. It is equally dedicated to helping customers meet their own increasing demands for lean, sustainable production by providing a broad variety of services, expertise and support. that allow them to reduce waste, streamline and improve processes and applications and extend tool life.
The REGO-FIX Tech Lab can return customers’ tools to like-new condition with taper cleaning, ultrasound wash, balancing and a runout check. Additionally, Tech Team members can perform coolant tube installations or retrofits for HSK and CAPTO toolholders and provide steep taper knob installations. To take advantage of advancing RIFID chip technology, toolholders without RFID chip pockets can be modified to accept RIFID chips and balanced back to OEM specifications. The team can also provide virtual training sessions designed to give customers skills they need to overcome challenges and achieve their manufacturing goals.
Along with sound business practice, environmental, regulatory and socio-economic influences make sustainable manufacturing essential, and REGO-FIX remains committed to ensuring it leads the way for the industry and its customers.