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For SICK, environmental protection is no transient fashion fad

For SICK, environmental protection is no transient fashion fad

Innovative in-house production technologies, products for sustainable and resource-conserving processes with its customers – SICK delivers an important contribution towards conservation of our environment through its portfolio and its range of services.

The fact that environmental conservation and the efficient use of raw materials mean far more to SICK than some flight of fashion is borne out by a look back over the history of the company: its founder, Erwin Sick, tackled the issue of sensor solutions for environmental protection back in early fifties of the last century and, among other things, he developed sensors for measuring dust levels in industrial smokestacks. Since those early days, SICK has never ceased developing its portfolio and building on the environment-oriented expertise that informs its problem-solving approach to customer requirements.

Products that help to build efficient and sustainable processes

Sustainability and environmental protection are clearly documented as cornerstones of SICK company policy. The development and manufacture of products involves the use of innovative production technologies and the economical use of raw materials, energy and water. The sensors themselves deliver convincingly low energy consumption levels but also, by virtue of their reliability and intelligence, have the potential to optimize processes in the machines and systems used by end customers. This in turn enables gigantic amounts of energy and resources to be saved. By way of example, volume measurement systems from SICK are able to measure packages of any shape or size precisely and quickly. For one of the largest logistics service providers in Germany, SICK has developed a globally unique combined volume measurement and identification system that can be used to achieve optimum utilization of load bay space. This customer set itself the target, through the use of SICK technology, to cut its CO2 emissions by more than half by 2020.

In the label application process, SICK employs a new kind of technology involving the use of markless sensors. The special feature of this is that the sensor used to position the labels is able to function without the colored marks normally required, and this can achieve up to a 5% saving on materials for each label. In mass applications, that means that up to 1.5 million meters of label material can be saved annually on each system.

SICK sensors are also used in applications involving efficiency enhancement through the sourcing of energy from renewables. One example of this would be the encoder which helps solar panels to track the position of the sun, meaning that as much solar power as possible can be obtained. Encoders are also the units that measure the rotor speeds of a wind power system and adjust their rotor blades to reflect prevailing wind conditions, thereby ensuring optimum 'harvesting' of wind power. Light barriers (PE cell applications) and vision sensors from SICK are in widespread use assisting resource-conserving manufacturing processes and procedures.

Furthermore, the functional characteristics of SICK products can make an important contribution towards environmental protection. Power stations and garbage incinerator plants employ SICK analyzer systems to monitor flue gases. In addition, through optimization of process parameters, the emission of pollutants can be minimized.

SICK committed to the VDMA initiative 'Blue Competence'

As a participant in the VDMA sustainability initiative 'Blue Competence,' SICK is deploying its products and solutions far beyond company boundaries to assist in the goal of protecting the environment. The aim of this initiative is to draw together the expertise of various sectors of the mechanical engineering industry and to create sustainable solutions to protect the environment, solutions that chime equally well with economy, ecology and society.

All of this goes to show that SICK has the expertise to make a contribution towards environmental protection with its products – a claim that is firmly anchored in company policy.