Material efficiency - Guidelines for production companies
To this end, among other things, 40 in-depth interviews were held with business practitioners and research and consulting experts. The focus was on the applications: alloy metals, low-density structural metals, regenerative raw materials, rare earth metals, pigments, paints and lacquers as well as catalysts. bifa's project partner for the study was the Paper Foundation ("Papiertechnische Stiftung" - PTS).
Above all, conventional materials such as aluminium and wood are cost relevant. In contrast, the so-called "strategic metals" are mostly used by only a few companies in Bavaria.
The gist of the interviewees' answers was: Many companies have already done most of their homework. Above all, most companies with high material costs are already very efficient. Nonetheless, it is important to work on this topic continuously, because there are always new opportunities to further reduce the use of materials. Improved material efficiency helps to cut costs, and it reduces strategic risks caused by critical price fluctuations. Especially in SMEs, the systematic recording of material consumption and losses and their causes are often a way to achieve further improvements for clear, manageable costs. In larger companies advances can be achieved through more intensive cooperation along value-added chains and through fundamental changes to products.
The 48-page brochure provides information on how measures to increase material efficiency are hindered and which factors have a useful effect. Tips on grants and funding options round off the brochure.
The brochure (available in German only) can be downloaded now, free of charge as a pdf, from www.bifa.de/publikationen.