Climate neutrality benefits everyone – and presents a great but rewarding challenge for automation. On the one hand, the mechanical and plant engineering sector has a duty to reduce its own CO2 footprint. On the other hand, new technologies and methods are required to enable production processes that are both sustainable and economical. Whether automotive, energy, packaging industry or organic farming: The demand for climate-neutral solutions is cross-sectoral – and huge.
The set climate goals cannot be achieved without automation. Because it makes a decisive contribution to improving energy efficiency in production and to conserving resources by reducing reject parts. It also provides new approaches to recycling and the circular economy, and facilitates a more economical production of sustainable products. In brief: It optimizes both the production and product level.
This is why green technology strategies turn out to be economic drivers. The social transformation towards sustainability and climate neutrality generates new business because robotics and automation are key technologies driving this transformation.
So where exactly are they used? For example, in low-cost agricultural field robots. AI applications help locate weeds and target them for burning with lasers. This cuts weeding costs in half and eliminates the need to use chemical agents.
Automation technology is also used in fuel cell production for hydrogen propulsion to save costs and energy. Next-generation robotic grippers use bionic adhesive properties and thus function without external energy, thus significantly reducing energy consumption in production.
Be it in the transport sector, industrial production, stationary storage technology or the stabilization of power grids: High-performance batteries are a core technology for decarbonization. Smart automation can reduce CO2 emissions and lower production costs, giving rise to a battery technology breakthrough, e.g. in e-mobility.
The construction of one of the world's largest solar power plants shows how the energy sector can benefit from robotics and automation. A dedicated Industry 4.0 factory in Ankara is currently producing 3.5 million solar modules – for subsequent installation at the photovoltaic power plant in Konya, located 260 kilometers away. The declared goal: to generate 1 GW of electricity from solar energy in the final expansion phase.
These are just a few examples that will help achieve our ambitious climate goals. automatica 2022 is an opportunity to learn about other contributing factors and how renewable energies and environmental technologies can be scaled to unprecedented proportions with the help of robotics and automation.