Going the extra mile: reducing energy consumption with new ideas

Due to its high quality standards, the Fujitsu plant in Augsburg has received several awards, but thanks to the creativity of its own employees, Fujitsu is also able to improve further and to go the extra mile in Sustainability.

In the system board manufacturing area of Fujitsu’s Augsburg plant, around 1.8 million motherboards roll off the production lines every year. Each forms the heart of one of Fujitsu’s desktops or servers or as an industrial mainboard in a third party machine. One important production step is the soldering of all components. The production line includes ten heaters which solder components at high temperature. And it’s exactly here, where innovative ideas set new standards.

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To be in line with RoHS* regulation, the common tin based solder (melting point approx. 230°C) has to be heated  to 260°C. Due to the system board production requirements, alloys with lower melting point seemed not suitable for the soldering process, but our engineer Eugen Kastner and his colleagues questioned this fact and found another alloy consisting of bismuth, tin and silver that melts already at 138 °C.

Thanks to this material change energy consumption of soldering process is reduced by 40 percent, summing up to 35,000 KWh for each production line in a whole year. This equals the annual electricity consumption of 10 typical households.

Starting end of 2014 as a pioneer with a prototype production line, Fujitsu switched four production lines to the new soldering material. Overall they already built 250,000 system boards with the new procedure, which sum up to 140,000 kWh of energy saving and approx. 80 tons CO2 emission reduction.

* RoHS: EU legislation restricting the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS Directive 2002/95/EC)

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