2021-11-25 | Delivery High-Tech Machines & Sustainability

 

The site of the FN Neuhofer family business in Zell am Moos is barely recognisable. Where two years ago there was a small wooded area at the company's entrance, today a modern new building impresses - consisting of an office building and production halls. These are currently being filled with the latest high-tech systems, without, of course, losing sight of the idea of sustainability.

 

The multi-million euro investment can now be seen from afar. The buildings are standing, the facades are finished, the surface areas are asphalted. The delivery phase of the latest high-tech systems and machinery has begun, and our teams are already working on their installation so that the first trial runs can start in coming weeks: Including with the following machinery/systems:

  • Double band saw for efficient production
  • Planing line for MDF and solid wood with 11 spindles for optimal processing
  • New wrapping line
  • Automatic cutting saw
  • Automatic infeed of MDF/solid wood using robots for separating the boards for the cutting and band saw
  • Robots for automatic stacking of the finished skirting bundles (now up to 6 m possible)
  • Lacquering systems

These and other high-tech systems will ensure that FN Neuhofer can continue to delight its customers with products of absolute top quality and maximum efficiency in the future and thus continue to grow successfully together with them.

 

Sustainability that's put into practice

Sustainable action is deeply rooted in FN Neuhofer's corporate history. In this context, the family-owned company always understands sustainability as the equal and simultaneous implementation of environmental, social and economic objectives. This includes environmentally friendly, resource-saving manufacturing and the development of products and solutions with the lowest possible emissions, and means efficient and cost-conscious processes along the entire value chain.

 

"For us, it's a matter of course to deal responsibly with resources and our environment: this starts with procurement - here we rely on certified origin (PEFC, FSC) for MDF and various woods and, in addition, in product development we're constantly examining possibilities that work according to the cradle to cradle principle", says owner and managing director Franz Neuhofer.

 But the social component of sustainability is also pursued at FN Neuhofer, because long-term relationships with business partners and employees are very important to the family business.

 

Furthermore, attention is paid to sustainable packaging:

  • Only recyclable packaging materials (PE, paper/cardboard) are used
  • In order to reduce waste, the thickness of our packaging films (PE) has already been reduced and the packaging of solid wood mouldings has been implemented in such a way that the same level of protection and function is provided with fewer films
  • The packaging of waste wood has already been changed - in consultation with our customers - from shrink-wrapped to unpackaged
  • In our research for alternative packaging materials, tests have already been carried out with organically based plastics Here we expect further development with regard to composting - only then will these be a sensible choice
  • Tests are also being carried out with recycled shrink and packaging films and we're constantly on the lookout for new and alternative materials (zero-waste options)

 

The completion of the largest investment in the company's history with warehousing and production halls as well as the multi-storey office building, including a canteen and showroom, is planned for the beginning of 2022. The total area of the new buildings is 14,550 m², bringing the total area of the company premises to more than 100,000 m².

Of course, the focus here is also on sustainability! The buildings themselves are being constructed in an energy-efficient manner - with lower energy consumption than required by Austrian standards.

 

A large part of the electricity required is generated by the photovoltaic system installed on the new building. With over 2,868 modules and a surface area of over 5,140 m², an output of 1.018MW can be achieved. The system is designed in such a way that almost all of the electricity generated can be used directly in the company (86.2 % self-consumption), thus reducing the external electricity consumption of the company's site by about 1/8. CO₂ emissions of 482,870 kg per year can now be saved using this system.

 

Several fast-charging and AC charging stations are of course planned for the e-mobility generation. Using the expected PV surplus, these will be intelligently controlled in order to make FN Neuhofer's employees mobile for up to 700,000 km per year purely by means of solar power. Likewise, most of our forklifts and pallet trucks already run on electricity.

 

Saving energy with radar-controlled car park lighting

Our focus is not just on an environmentally sustainable generation of energy, but also on the saving of resources. For example, a lighting system with 17 light points was installed at our staff car park, which will constitute a power saving of 80% - and thus also 5,300 kg CO₂ - through the use of state-of-the-art LED light sources!

This drastic reduction is due to the additional use of state-of-the-art sensor technology and intelligent lighting control. The system only lights up at full power when movement is detected, otherwise the brightness is automatically reduced to 20 %. In addition, stray light is reduced to almost zero thanks to full cut-off lamps. This not only saves on power - the environment also benefits.

 

In addition to electricity from photovoltaics, electricity is also generated by the company's two hydroelectric power plants and used in the company. Heating is provided, among other things, using the company's own wood chips and the chips produced in production. By investing in a new, energy-efficient biomass heating system (3,500 kW), emissions can be reduced by about 50% compared to the old system (1,200 kW) through CO₂ neutral firing.

A new filter system (cloth filter) reduces dust emissions from 150 mg/Nm³ to 10 mg/Nm³.

 

Compressed air supply

The existing compressed air treatment system is currently being expanded for the two new production halls by a frequency-controlled screw compressor, which can provide the required power on demand. This is equipped with a hot water heat recovery system. This results in a possible reduction of CO₂ emissions by 36,258 kg per year.

Every compressor (including the existing ones) are networked via the new Air Manager 4.0

in order to operate them as efficiently as possible.

 

In addition, investments were already made in 2020 in a special extraction system for plastic chips so that these can also be recycled.

 

"Anyone who wants to help shape the future must think in terms of resource conservation and act in a socially responsible manner. High-performance solutions without sustainability standards and genuine customer benefits are inconceivable for us", says managing director and owner Franz Neuhofer.

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