Good practice

Thinner sheet steel saves resources, keeps quality

Thinner sheet steel saves resources, keeps quality
© Laurentiu Iordache, image #119604275, source: Fotolia.com
Resources:
Materials
Sector:
Manufacturing of machinery and equipment, Metal and plastic processing
Cost:
Medium cost
Annual saving:
35000€
Resource savings: Raw material:
80 tonnes of sheet steel per year
Associated cost savings: Raw material:
3 - 4% / 35000€
Return on investment:
The initial price is higher but pays back fast as less material is used
Premises and operation areas:
Production processes
Size of company:
Medium (less than 250)

No trade-off required!

  • Sometimes using lighter, thinner materials means less strength or other trade-offs
  • German producer proves otherwise, saving up to 80 tonnes of raw steel a year

The German company NESTRO Lufttechnik GmbH produces air technology systems made of steel sheets. For NESTRO the construction department calculated that a thickness of 3.76 mm would be enough for a certain construction, but they wanted to use metal sheets produced according to the DIN EN 10143 code with an average thickness of 4 mm, but a relatively high tolerance rate. The goal: save resources with no trade-off on performance.

Reducing the thickness of steel sheets has a big impact on overall metal weight, as these sheets often cover large areas. The added weight has knock-on effects for the end-user, transporter and potentially on the performance of some elements in engineering projects and machinery.

NESTRO's solution was switch to using more expensive steel strips (base material) with better properties that can be worked according to the production needs. So even though the price per kilo went up, the overall cost to the company came down due to its ability to reduce the thickness while maintaining desired tolerance and performance levels.

Key benefits

Thanks to this move, NESTRO's yearly costs are down € 35 000 because it is saving some 80 tonnes, or 3.5%, on raw steel material.

What's more, the measure was easy to implement using the current processes and equipment, which saved on capital outlay.

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