Ecologically up to date
Users of POS systems expect extremely high ecological standards when it comes to production and recycling. At the same time, they demand the lowest possible power consumption and minimum output of greenhouse gases from devices. Wincor Nixdorf fully meets these requirements with all its products for banks and retailers.
For more than two decades, Wincor Nixdorf has shown that profitable growth, cost-efficiency and environmental protection can be compatible with each other. Ecology is a concept deeply anchored in the company’s philosophy and implemented across all business units. Wincor Nixdorf keeps environmental concerns in mind in all phases of the product lifecycle, from product planning, development, manufacturing, logistics and maintenance to the return of products and their recycling. When designing new products, the company pays attention to the use of environmentally friendly components and energy efficiency. A guiding principle is to develop products that can be recycled and not simply discarded.
One measure that Wincor Nixdorf put in place several years ago was the installation of an environmental management system that is regularly audited and certified by the German Association for the Certification of Management Systems (DQS) in accordance with DIN EN ISO 14001. The system covers not just German production locations but also the Wincor Nixdorf plant in Shanghai.
Basic principle – avoidance of pollutants
Beetle POS terminals could arguably be finished in green to symbolize their eco-friendliness but they aren’t. Instead, they’re typically finished in light gray or black. This neutral color is applied to the aluminum housing through an advanced powder coating process, which is also used for finishing ATMs. Use of this technique at Wincor Nixdorf saves huge amounts of solvent and also results in less waste water and paint.
The basic principle of avoiding pollutants applies not only to the internal components of Beetle terminals but also to the computer systems inside ATMs. Modern nickel-metal hydride batteries are used instead of lead and nickel-cadmium batteries. In this way, Wincor Nixdorf complies with the European Union’s RoHS and WEEE standards.
However, the focus of this eco-friendly policy is not only on the actual produc-tion process of Beetle POS systems but also on their day-to-day operation. The average service life of a Beetle terminal is seven years during which time it functions reliably with an outstanding energy and carbon dioxide balance. Minimum power consumption and an optimized “carbon footprint” (that is the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that a product causes over its entire life cycle) are achieved with the following measures:
- Power-saving computers. Higher performance processors with faster clocking rates need correspondingly more power. For this reason Wincor Nixdorf switched over years ago to using power-saving, mobile and ultra-low-voltage processors on its motherboards. Compared with the Pentium 4, for instance, the new mobile processors consume about two thirds less electricity for a comparable performance.
- Conducting interfaces. Separate power supply units for POS system peripherals also increase power consumption, resulting in a wastage of 10 to 15 percent energy in the form of dissipated heat for each peripheral device. With conducting interfaces, only one power supply unit is needed for the entire configuration, with the welcome side effect of simpler cable management. Wincor Nixdorf also uses the so-called 80plus power supply unit which boosts the efficiency of today’s PSUs (between 65 and 75 percent) to 80 percent and more.
- Flash memory. Wincor Nixdorf increasingly uses storage media based on flash memory as an alternative to the hard drive. The power consumption of this type of solid state memory (less than a watt) is significantly lower than that of permanent/mass storage devices (about 10 watts).
- Intelligent energy management. Beetle POS systems apply the open industry standards “Advanced Power Management” (APM), which is controlled via the basic input/output system (BIOS), and “Advanced Configuration and Power Interface” (ACPI), which is controlled via the operating system. The various different operating modes are laid down in these standards. The Beetle POS system supports the functions necessary for energy-saving operation. In future, the terminals will also be provided with a standby mode (S3) in order to further improve the carbon footprint. Power consumption in standby will then amount to only 2 to 10 percent of the normal consumption.
All these measures help minimize heat development as well as power consumption, with the added benefit of a longer service life. The Beetle POS system is a good example of how Wincor Nixdorf, through its commitment to high environmental standards, has set the bar for the industry. When a terminal finally comes to the end of its life, it is returned and sent to the Computer Recycling Center, which has been in operation since 1988. The center, which is owned by Fujitsu Siemens, is available to Wincor Nixdorf under a utilization agreement.
The Computer Recycling Center is a model of efficient recycling. Today, over 90 percent of the materials handled by the center can be recycled against only about 45 percent 20 years ago.