Scania, one of the world's leading truck manufacturer and transport solutions provider, has announced one of its largest single investments in a new industrial plant. Approximately EUR 150 million (SEK 1.5 billion) is due to be invested in a new foundry at the company’s main production site and R&D hub in Södertälje, 35 km south-west of Stockholm.
The state-of-the-art foundry is expected to triple capacity and reduce energy consumption by 50 per cent, compared to the existing facility and current casting methods. In addition, a sharp reduction will be achieved in transport needs per manufactured unit thanks to more efficient materials handling and recycling.
The foundry will be operated using electricity from renewable energy sources which are readily available in Sweden.
“In the ongoing shift towards a fossil-free society, even more energy-efficient combustion engines as well as combustion engines that operate on biofuels and gas will be needed. In particular for trucks and buses in long distance transport. The new foundry will be instrumental in providing such engines,” says Ruthger de Vries, Executive Vice President, Head of Production and Logistics at Scania.
Heat recovery and sand recycling
The foundry will put Scania on the path to securing future supply of strategically important parts for engine production with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. Operational improvements will include heat recovery, sand recycling and reduced transport.
Recovering the heat generated in the casting process is an important factor in reducing energy consumption. However, the single largest energy saving will be achieved by recycling sand used in the production of casting moulds, or “cores”, where as much as 70 per cent of the sand will be recycled.
"From a sustainability perspective, this means that we will reduce the use of a finite resource while the climatic impact from sand transports will not increase despite a tripling of production volume," says de Vries.
"A completely new plant is the most cost-efficient solution and the best alternative from an environmental and quality standpoint,” he continues. “Through this investment, we will also retain important proximity to our research and development organisation, which is concentrated in Södertälje. Meanwhile, this means that Södertälje will continue to be the hub for our European engine production," de Vries concludes.
Scania is a Swedish truck manufacturer with a global footprint, 45,000 employees and sales in more than 100 countries. The company, which was founded in 1891, currently has production facilities in Europe, South America and Asia.
Some 15,000 people are employed by Scania in Sweden where significant investments have recently taken place. These include a comprehensive, EUR 200 million upgrade of Scania’s facility in Oskarshamn in 2016 – which was transformed into the most modern cab factory in the world equipped with 283 high-tech robots.