The growing tendency for enlightened engineering companies to list their environmental accreditations alongside their management and quality standards illustrates manufacturers’ desire to reduce their impact on the environment and to minimise the use of the Earth’s natural resources.

One such company is Iscar. Rather than being an expensive policy to pursue, Iscar finds that the use of greener strategies such as recycling and the pursuit of reduced energy consumption, increases profitability. In addition, the kudos gained by adopting more sustainable methods raises potential customers’ perceptions and often leads to improved levels of business.

To help support the global manufacturing industry’s search for greener means of production, suppliers such as machine tool companies and tooling manufacturers have introduced a wide range of impressive innovations. Led by Germany’s mechanical engineering association, schemes such as the Blue Competence Machine Tools initiative focus on sustainability. Under the Blue Competence initiative, machine tool companies agree to meet pre-determined ecological, economic and social values and principles, while implementing sustainable production solutions in their production plants, products and business services, with the aim of achieving greener manufacturing.

Increasingly, Iscar and other major machine tool manufacturers are introducing advanced energy-saving features to their ranges, such as reduced machine warm-up times, drive modules with lower power ratings, electric motors that are optimised to the machines’ specific requirements, and standby features such as spindle deactivation. In addition to being ecologically beneficial, these advantages considerably reduce users’ costs while ensuring continued high levels of productivity and quality.

As one of the world’s leading cutting tool manufacturers, Iscar has been certified as being in full compliance with Quality, Environmental, Occupational Health and Safety Management and the new Saving Energy Standards – AS9100 Rev C, ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007 and ISO 50001. Ecologically sound production methods are in use throughout Iscar’s high-tech manufacturing plant and a policy of continuous improvements is practiced within this area.

Through the work of the company’s prolific R&D department, Iscar has launched a wide range of advanced cutting tools that help users to dramatically reduce machine tools’ energy needs and by speeding up metal cutting processes. Many of Iscar’s cutting tools are multi-functional, enabling users to minimise their tooling inventories. In addition, the premium quality of Iscar’s product reduces scrap levels and negates the need for any rework.

Iscar’s new HighQLine – Machining Intelligently product is typical of the many energy-saving, highly efficient cutting tool lines available from the company. As well as reducing users’ energy consumption and increasing their speed of production, the long-lasting qualities of Iscar tools ensure adherence to the most ambitious of companies’ environmental and sustainable policies.

Iscar contributes to green machining with innovative tool geometries that demand less energy and reduce machine power consumption. One of Iscar’s milestone innovations, the HeliMill, reduces machining forces by use of helical cutting edges, while Iscar’s fast feed milling and turning inserts were designed for efficient, high volume metal removal, thus reducing machine power consumption. The Spinjet coolant driven HSM spindles recycle machine lubricants, which in return promote a greener environment by utilising the machine tool’s existing coolant supply driven by a high-pressure pump as an energy source to rotate a turbine.

In addition to the many green and profitability advantages that can be gained by the use of Iscar’s innovative cutting tools, Iscar assists its customers in other environmental and efficiency areas. The recycling of used carbide inserts and tools delivers a rare, win-win situation. To make the collection of used carbide inserts and tools a highly efficient process, Iscar introduced the automated Matrix Recycle Solution. Participants in the scheme simply deposit their used carbide into an ergonomically designed receptacle. The weight of the carbide scrap is automatically calculated and displayed every hour. When the contents of the container reach a pre-set maximum weight, a led warning light turns red and an email alert is sent prompting collection.

Iscar’s ‘Green’ mantra – “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” – helps the environment and improve business’ bottom lines.