The new Eco Cooler from TRUMPF and Efficient Energy cools laser-cutting machines with pure water // Up to 80 percent reduction in energy consumption plus lower costs for cooling // A unique solution in sheet-metal processing.
TRUMPF makes laser processing more sustainable
Hannover/Ditzingen, September 1, 2022 – At this year’s EuroBLECH trade show, TRUMPF is showcasing the new Eco Cooler, a sustainable cooling solution for laser-cutting machines. Conventional cooling systems use fluorinated gases – also known as F-gases – as a coolant. This has several disadvantages: the cooling process consumes a lot of energy, and disposal of these F-gases places a burdens on the environment. By contrast, the Eco Cooler from TRUMPF uses pure water as a coolant. As a result, it uses up to 80 percent less energy for refrigeration and dispenses entirely with harmful substances. To date, the solution is unique in the sheet-metal industry. “Sustainability increasingly offers a key competitive advantage – especially given the rise in energy costs,” says Stephan Mayer, chief executive officer for machine tools at TRUMPF. “To ensure their operations remain viable, sheet-metal processors should be shifting to climate- and eco-friendly technologies. The Eco Cooler will help our customers save energy and reduce the use of harmful substances in production. We see an opportunity here to improve the environmental footprint of the industry as a whole and to drive down costs at the same time.” The Eco Cooler was developed by TRUMPF in partnership with Efficient Energy. Following the EuroBLECH trade show, this new solution will be available for TRUMPF laser-cutting machines from the 1000 to 5000 series.
First use of water as a coolant
In an industry first, TRUMPF and Efficient Energy have succeeded in developing a water-based cooling solution as a series-production system for use in sheet-metal processing. The Eco Cooler exploits the excellent cooling properties of water and works as follows: water flows to heat-generating components such as laser diodes, optics, drives and control cabinets. Having cooled these components, the water flows back to the Eco Cooler, where it is chilled by a heat exchanger in an innovative process involving evaporation, compression and condensation. “The Eco Cooler works in the same way as a heat pump,” explains Andreas Hultsch, project leader at TRUMPF. “It enables users to control the temperature of components that generate heat during laser processing and also regulate volume-flow rates.”
Lower costs, better environmental protection.
With the Eco Cooler, companies not only reduce their carbon footprint but also save money. On average, carbon emissions fall by 15 metric tons a year – equal to savings of around 10,000 euros. Dispensing with F-gases eliminates refrigerant costs and cuts a further 12 metric tons of carbon. The solution is ideal for all sheet-metal processors wishing to make their operations more sustainable and also cheaper – all the way from industry newcomers to smart-factory operators. In many countries around the world, state funding is available for companies looking to make this transition. Depending on machine-capacity utilization and the level of government support, the Eco Cooler can pay for itself within three years.
Legal obligation to reduce F-gases
With this solution, TRUMPF is helping companies from the sheet-metal industry to cut their consumption of F-gases, as covered in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. This agreement from 2016 mandates a gradual reduction in the use of environmentally harmful refrigerants over the period to 2048. Participating governments have pledged to progressively cut the volume of F-gases marketed by refrigerant manufacturers. “Our Eco Cooler offers a great alternative for sheet-metal processors. It functions exclusively with water – the safest, most natural, most environmentally friendly coolant of all,” says TRUMPF product manager Fabian Staib. The reduction in the supply of F-gases has led to an increase in the price of refrigerants. Companies are therefore under pressure to find environmentally friendly alternatives to cool their machinery.
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An employee checks the temperature of the TruLaser 5000 laser-cutting machine from TRUMPF. Thanks to the new Eco Cooler, this is cooled exclusively with water. (Source: TRUMPF)
The temperature display of the TruLaser 5000 laser-cutting machine from TRUMPF. (Source: TRUMPF)
Following EuroBLECH, TRUMPF will introduce the Eco Cooler for its TruLaser laser-cutting machines from the 1000 to 5000 series. (Source: TRUMPF)