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ISO standards for Greener Machine Tools

When the topic of energy efficiency comes up, energy-efficient machine tools do not immediately spring to mind. Yet machine tools contain motors and auxiliary components whose energy demand varies widely during machining operations. A series of ISO standards can help measure energy supplied and improve machine design and performance.

Machine tools obviously use different forms of energy, such as electrical energy, compressed air, hydraulic energy, energy hidden in the cooling and lubrication system, etc. Therefore, the energy demand of a machine tool is considered as key data for investment, but does not stand alone. The performance of a machine tool is multidimensional regarding its economic value, its technical specification and its operating requirements, which are influenced by the specific application. Hence why the ecological footprint is a common challenge for all these products and, as natural resources become scarce, environmental performance criteria for machine tools need to be defined and the use of these criteria specified.

ISO offers the first two parts of an International Standard for the environmental evaluation of machine tools, which proposes to analyze machine tools with regard to the delivered functions in order to highlight the commonalities in a variety of existing machine tool types.

ISO 14955-1

"Environmental Evaluation of Machine Tools-Part 1: Design Methodology for Energy-Efficient Machine Tools" addresses the energy efficiency of machine tools during their working life. It identifies the main functions and machine tool components that are responsible for energy demand during the use phase. These components are then compared with previous components or with the state-of-the-art for their future improvement.

ISO 14955-2

"Environmental Evaluation of Machine Tools-Part 2: Methods for Measuring Energy Supplied to Machine Tools and Machine Tool Components" supports the energy-saving design methodology according to ISO 14955-1 by providing practical methods for measuring the energy supplied to machine tools.

Ralf Reines, Convenor of ISO/TC 39/WG 12 that developed the standards, explained, "This is, to my knowledge, the only standard concerning this topic that is tailored for machine tools. It covers the topic in a way that it can be applied to each and every machine tool, despite the fact that the product group of machine tools is extremely diverse, including different technologies, materials and sizes. The standard focuses on the relevant energy users need to achieve a higher environmental performance without losing technical possibilities."

"The increasing demand for machinery and production systems to be more energy-efficient is a relatively new challenge for machine designers," said a spokesperson. "Now, with the ISO 14955 series, energy efficiency is likely to become an increasingly important quality attribute of modern machine tools."

ISO 14955-1 and ISO 14955-2 were developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 39, Machine Tools, whose secretariat is held by SNV, ISO's member for Switzerland. They can be purchased from a national ISO member or through the ISO store.

For more information contact:

The International Organization

for Standardization (ISO)

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