European Machine Tool Builders Adopt Sustainability Initiative

Feb. 23, 2012
CECIMO is coordinating greener manufacturing standards for members operations and products
CECIMO is the European Association of the Machine Tool Industries, comprising 15 national associations of machine tool builders, who represent approximately 1,500 industrial enterprises in Europe (the EU nations, plus Turkey.) Its members are responsible for over 97% of all machine tool production in Europe, and more than 33% worldwide.

The European machine tool industry, represented by CECIMO, introduced a program to establish “sustainability” standards and recognition among its members, a European initiative on sustainability. The agency claimed that machine tool builders will be the first members of the “mechanical engineering sector to embark on a broad-based campaign on sustainability at (the) European level,” and added that machine tool builders who participate in the Blue Competence Machine Tools initiative are committing to optimize their use of energy and other resources to establish faster, better and higher quality manufacturing in end-user industries.”

“This landmark initiative underlines the willingness of European machine tool builders to make a leap forward towards a better and greener manufacturing perspective,” stated CECIMO president Martin Kapp. “Production technology and equipment supplied by the machine tool industry is the key enabler of resource-efficient processes in all other manufacturing industries. Now, our manufacturers are taking on a firm commitment to align, in a holistic approach, their products, processes and business models with sustainability principles.”

The Blue Competence Initiative was launched by the German Engineering Federation, VDMA. As of this month, it is administered by CECIMO, together with several of the national associations of its constituents. The program was developed to encompass all mechanical industries, and aims to alter the outlook of those manufacturers in order to build their competitive standing through ecological compliance. “This does not represent a shift away from traditional elements of competitiveness such as precision, speed or reliability,” according to a statement, “but it adds up to these strengths a new core element: ‘sustainability’.”

Manufacturers that start operating under the principles of the Blue Competence Machine Tools initiative will agree to meet established ecological, economic, and social values and principles, at the same time that they establish “sustainable” production processes in their plants, products, and business services. Their goal will be to achieve “greener manufacturing,” CECIMO stated, noting that the initiative is in line with EU policies and priorities.

“Blue Competence Machine Tools is about ‘competitiveness’, ‘environment’, and ‘quality of life’,” explained CECIMO director general Filip Geerts. “It highlights the contribution that the machine tool and other manufacturing industries are making to economic and social life as well as to the protection of environment. CECIMO expects the initiative to profoundly influence business and manufacturing practices in the sector; to stimulate technical innovation; and to raise awareness about the role of manufacturing in driving sustainability.”

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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