Life cycle of cast component

A Cast component's environmental impact during its life cycle

The life cycle of a component starts with the design   
   Many decisions are taken during the design stage of a component that relate to the environmental impact during its life cycle. Product development can affect the functions and features of a component and the environmental impact and efficiency during the production phase, for example by optimizing the raw material and the amount of work. Componenta's experts often participate in the early stages of designing a cast component. 
Raw materials of recycled metal
   More than 70% of the raw material used in cast iron components is recycled metal. The recycled metal is obtained as locally as possible, and transport is optimized, for example by using full truck loads. The proportion of recycled material is smaller in aluminium castings, but since it is a lighter weight material it can reduce the environmental impact of the end product, for example in the automotive industry. 
Production has impact on the environment   
   Componenta's operations are based on third-party certified quality and environmental management systems (ISO 9001, ISO/TS 16949 and ISO 14001). The restrictions and obligations for the operations of the foundries and forges are specified in the environmental permits that are issued by the authorities. Melting the raw materials consumes energy. The heat energy generated as a by-product is utilised for example in the heating of property. Sand is needed in the casting process for making the moulds and cores. The sand circulates in the process, and finally some of the spent sand is reused, some ends up as waste. The cleaning and post-treatment of cast components generate some emissions. The machining of cast components does not form a significant load on the environment.. 
Reuse of waste   
   The waste from the foundries, machine shops and forges is sorted and supplied for reuse. Most of the sand and dust, for example, can be utilized in earthworks. The cutting fluids used in the machining of cast components are recycled. At the machine shops, the oil is separated from the machine chips and these can then be remelted.
Transporting components and recycled packaging 
   Transporting components and recycled packaging

Transporting cast components generates emissions, and to minimize these, the company tries to have as few part loads as possible. Ship and rail are also effective options with a sustainable carbon footprint for transporting end products. Air transport is not normally used. Componenta aims to choose only transport companies that have certified quality and environmental management systems.

Recyclable pallets and packaging material are used when transporting components from foundry to machine shop and when sending products to the end customer. The goal is to standardize packaging material and to reuse it in transport between the Group's production units 

Storage of components 

Logistics centres and warehouses are used to reduce the transportation of empty or part loads and to improve customer service and delivery accuracy. The Group has logistics centres in Finland, Sweden and Great Britain, and warehouses in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the USA. Componenta aims to have a network of logistics centres that covers all the areas in Europe and North America where the Group has business operations. 

Environmental impact of cast components during service life   
   Environmental impact of cast components during service life

A component cast as a single item is durable and has a long service life. At the end of its life cycle a component ends up as scrap, is recycled and re-melted. Optimizing the structure of cast components and the materials used in them during the design stage can reduce the environmental impact during their service life. For example, using aluminium instead of iron components reduces the overall weight of a vehicle, since they are lighter, and cuts its carbon dioxide emissions.