Sustainability is coming into focus in the medical industry. More and more companies are questioning the environmental compatibility of the products they use. With the innovative deep drawing technology, world market leader STÜKEN not only meets high quality requirements, but also conserves important resources in the production of components. With a consistent sustainability strategy, the family-owned company meets both new legal requirements and the individual demands of its customers.
The healthcare industry is responsible for 4 % of all greenhouse gases globally - that's more than air travel. Many medical products are manufactured in the Far East. There is a growing awareness worldwide that this situation cannot continue if we want to preserve a world worth living in and safeguard it for future generations. Legislators are also endeavoring to correct the undesirable developments of the industrial age. From 2023, there will be a new legal framework in the form of the Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains. However, STÜKEN is also focusing on another aspect: the demands of its own customers for proven CO2 reduction or climate neutrality. Here, the different scopes according to the GHG Protocol must be considered.
"We are aware of our responsibility for sustainable development in both ecological and social terms," explains Nils Petersohn, Managing Director at STÜKEN. The company publishes a "Corporate Social Responsibility" report and discloses its own CO2 footprint according to ÖKO-Cockpit. "Many customers wish for corresponding certificates," explains Nils Petersohn. "The German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act is about to take on a lighthouse function worldwide. The planned supply chain legislation on EU-level will go in a similar direction with additional requirements."
The sustainability strategy of experienced deep drawing specialist STÜKEN includes the so-called "local for lo-cal" approach. "STÜKEN is represented on three continents with five plants and can therefore manufacture and finish products locally for customers from various industries." The advantages of this strategy are obvious: transport routes are shorter, supply chains are more secure and flexible. With the help of innovative deep-drawing technology, not only can high quantities be produced in consistent quality at all STÜKEN locations - material consumption is also reduced to a minimum compared to machining production. In addition, energy consumption is significantly lower with deep drawing. One example of this is the cold forming process developed by STÜKEN for titanium alloys, which enables multi-stage deep drawing of the material without interrupting the process. "However, we are not satisfied with resource-saving production, but want to emit even less climate-damaging CO2 during the entire production process. To achieve this, we are analyzing and optimizing all associated processes, such as cleaning or cleanroom operations." Digitalization also plays a role: intelligent process and manufacturing simulations prior to production allow resources to be used noticeably more efficiently. In addition, STÜKEN 2023 is investing several million euros in higher energy efficiency and energy generation. A photovoltaic system with an output of around 2.5 million kWh is being built on an open space at the production site in the Rinteln-Süd industrial area. This will enable the Rinteln-based family business to generate around 20 % of its own electricity requirements. At the same time, electricity consumption will be significantly reduced through targeted measures.
The prerequisites for a successful sustainability strategy are innovative strength and entrepreneurial expertise. "A pronounced awareness of quality, a culture of change and social responsibility for people and the environment are fundamental components of our corporate DNA," emphasizes STÜKEN Managing Director Nils Petersohn. From November 14th to 17th, 2022, STÜKEN MEDICAL will offer the opportunity to discuss new applications and projects in direct talks with specialists at the Compamed trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany.
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