Balzers, November 13, 2014 – Saving a million liters of jet fuel an hour, reducing annual motor fuel use by seven billion liters, and lowering CO2 emissions from trucks by 65,000 metric tons every year. It is all being made a reality, and Dr. Roland Herb, CEO of the Oerlikon Surface Solutions Segment, explained just how in his November 13th keynote speech at the Second Swiss Green Economy Symposium in Winterthur, Switzerland. During his speech, which kicked off the event, Herb pointed out how continuous investment in research and development is not only benefitting Oerlikon’s customers, but also our planet.
“While it’s true that mobility is one of our society’s megatrends, as well as the foundation behind our prosperity, it’s also true that it’s one of the main drivers behind the damage being done to the environment. That’s exactly where Oerlikon’s surface solutions come in,” Herb explained in front of leading international entrepreneurs, politicians, and NGO representatives who had gathered in Winterthur in order to discuss the latest technologies and approaches.
The reasoning behind his statement was obvious, with the aircraft and auto industries being confronted by similar challenges that can be summarized as follows: How can efficiency and environmental friendliness be improved further in the future? As many already know, the answer lies not only in the development of cutting-edge technologies and methods, but also in how the issues of friction, wear, and precision are handled. After all, less friction results in greater performance and reduced emissions; less wear means that components can be subjected to greater loads while benefitting from longer service lives, higher reliability, and improved safety; and the ability to meet extremely strict tolerance requirements is a guaranteed way to deliver greater efficiency.
Oerlikon’s contribution to the green economy is based on research and development investments totaling about 140 million Swiss Francs a year, most of them focused on the new surface solutions offered by Oerlikon Balzers and Oerlikon Metco, which together make up Oerlikon’s Surface Solutions Segment. This segment is continuously developing and improving its technologies and methods in order to offer environmentally-friendly surface finishing alternatives to conventional materials and to technologies with a significant impact on the environment, such as hard chrome plating. A perfect example is Oerlikon Balzers’ ePD technology, which not only sets new standards in terms of sustainability, but also offers users a series of additional options that other methods and technologies are unable to match.
Meanwhile, Oerlikon Metco solutions are used to coat essential aircraft components such as turbine blades, empennage systems, and landing gear in order to make them more durable and corrosion-resistant, reducing their susceptibility to wear as a result. “When the jet engines in a plane or the engines in cars burn fuel more efficiently thanks to our coatings, there are several clear advantages: Our customers get systems that are more cost-effective to operate and need to be replaced less frequently, the environment benefits thanks to the fact that emissions are cut by hundreds of thousands of metric tons, and our customers’ customers – airplane passengers and car drivers – can enjoy improved levels of safety as a result of the greater quality and efficiency of individual components,” Herb points out. “To put it simply: Oerlikon Balzers and Oerlikon Metco are making a decisive contribution to sustainability – and everyone is benefitting.”