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Made in Austria Made in Austria

Local production, green energy and zero emissions

Neubau eyewear production patrik 16x9

Made in Austria

Since 1964, our fam­ily-owned par­ent com­pany, Sil­hou­ette Inter­na­tion­al, has proudly pro­duced its eye­wear in our home coun­try Aus­tria, in the heart of Europe. This gives us dir­ect con­trol over the pro­duc­tion pro­cesses we use, so that we can be assured of their min­im­al envir­on­ment­al impact. Since Aus­tria is home to some of the strict­est envir­on­ment­al pro­tec­tion reg­u­la­tions in the world, it is a per­fect loc­a­tion for pro­mot­ing our sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion practices.

100% renewable energy

Sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion all begins with emis­sions-free, sus­tain­able, 100% renew­able elec­tri­city! Our headquar­ters in Aus­tria is sup­plied with renew­able energy and our pro­duc­tion facil­it­ies in the Czech Repub­lic also runs on 100% renew­able energy, fueled by a com­bin­a­tion of sol­ar, wind, hydro­power, bio­mass and bio­gas. Our build­ings in Aus­tria are cli­mate-con­trolled using envir­on­ment­ally friendly dis­trict heat­ing. This con­serves waste heat flow for heat­ing purposes.

Neubau sustainability solar panel Smartflower

Water conservation

Our headquarter is loc­ated with­in a nation­al water con­ser­va­tion area. Every day, the wastewa­ter from our pro­duc­tion is care­fully ana­lyzed. The pH value, tem­per­at­ure and volume of wastewa­ter out­put are all con­tinu­ally mon­itored. Aus­tria has some of the strict­est wastewa­ter reg­u­la­tions in the world. The 10 – 20% of our wastewa­ter that exceeds leg­al pol­lu­tion lim­its is treated in-house to fil­ter out pol­lut­ants and make it safe for water treat­ment. 104,000 liters of water are repro­cessed each day inside the water con­ser­va­tion area where we are located.

Water image

Emissions purification

Our headquarter is situ­ated in a densely pop­u­lated res­id­en­tial area. We feel an oblig­a­tion towards our neigh­bors to min­im­ize noise and air pol­lu­tion from our pro­duc­tion facil­it­ies. We use soph­ist­ic­ated fil­tra­tion tech­no­lo­gies to puri­fy exhaust air, remov­ing 97% of pol­lut­ants. The exhaust gas puri­fic­a­tion at our headquar­ters far exceeds the leg­al require­ments for emis­sions reduc­tion, res­ult­ing in nearly zero emissions!

Neubau silhouette headquarter production

Our production methods

To achieve our sus­tain­ab­il­ity goals, we take every meas­ure pos­sible to reduce the envir­on­ment­al impact of our pro­duc­tion prac­tices. Apart from using energy from clean sources only, fil­ter­ing air pol­lut­ants and con­serving water, this also means push­ing things for­ward when it comes to new pro­duc­tion tech­no­lo­gies and sus­tain­able materials. 

3D printing with natural3D

In simple terms, our 3D print­ing pro­cess involves sin­ter­ing lay­ers of powdered plastic into a sol­id struc­ture. This is known as SLS (select­ive laser sin­ter­ing). Sin­ter­ing” is the pro­cess of form­ing a sol­id shape by heat without melt­ing it to the point of lique­fac­tion. The SLS pro­cess is car­ried out in the 3 steps: Heat­ing, Print­ing and Cooling.

Find out more about natural3D and our 3D print­ing prozess by watch­ing our video:

Surface treatment of natural3D

The parts have an opaque white fin­ish when they come out of the print­er. They have to under­go sur­face treat­ment before they can be col­or treated. A sand blast­ing pro­cess is used to remove any residues of the poly­am­ide powder. This step is care­fully executed to pre­vent any sur­face dam­age. The sur­face is then pol­ished ready for the col­or­a­tion process.

The coloring process for 3D printed frames

Our high-tech col­or­ing pro­cess is a well-guarded com­pany secret. We only pro­duce parts in mono­chrome shades at the moment, but we are con­tinu­ally devel­op­ing new and innov­at­ive col­or options. The col­ors are res­ist­ant to nat­ur­al chem­ic­als (such as sweat), UV light and any type of solvent, nor­mally used by opticians.

Sustainable aspects of 3D printing

3D print­ing is much green­er than tra­di­tion­al man­u­fac­tur­ing meth­ods which are used to pro­duce acet­ate frames. It is espe­cially sus­tain­able because it only uses the mater­i­al it needs dur­ing the sin­ter­ing pro­cess. This res­ults in an excep­tion­ally effi­cient, zero-waste man­u­fac­tur­ing solu­tion.

A sig­ni­fic­ant pro­por­tion of the natural3D mater­i­al used in the print­ing pro­cess can be recycled. After each batch has been prin­ted, 50% of the residue powder can be mixed with new powder to cre­ate a new batch of products or print­ing fil­a­ments. This pro­duc­tion meth­od does not require any extra tools, so it also saves on resources.

Neubau production 3 D printing2

Our 3D printing recycling process

The eth­os of cir­cu­lar­ity in man­u­fac­tur­ing drives all our decisions and is why we intro­duced our closed-loop 3D man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cess at the begin­ning of 2019. Cir­cu­lar­ity is achieved by recyc­ling residue poly­am­ide in our pro­duc­tion pro­cess and by ensur­ing waste we are unable to use can be used in oth­er applications. 

Dur­ing every print­ing pro­cess, a rect­an­gu­lar box is com­pletely filled with powder. Not all of the powder is melted dur­ing the 3D print­ing pro­cess and is defined as used” powder. This can be mixed with new powder and reused to pro­duce a new batch of com­pon­ents. The mix­ture can­not con­tain more than 50% used powder.

Once the old powder is no longer usable, it is col­lec­ted by a spe­cial­ist plastics pro­cessing com­pany which ensures that the old powder is prop­erly recycled with­in envir­on­ment­al man­age­ment guidelines. As long as the mater­i­al is free of any traces of oxid­a­tion and con­tam­in­a­tion, it can be recycled in any pro­duc­tion pro­cess that does not spe­cific­ally require 100% vir­gin products. The man­u­fac­turer of our 3D print­er cov­ers the trans­port costs and acts as an inter­me­di­ary between us and the recyc­ling com­pany. The money is used to fund social ini­ti­at­ives as part of their Cor­por­ate Social Respons­ib­il­ity program.

Neubau production 3 D printing

Injection molding with naturalPX

For our nat­ur­alPX mater­i­al we have developed an extremely fast injec­tion mold­ing pro­cess which takes approx­im­ately 1 minute for every frame. This high speed injec­tion mold­ing meth­od con­trols the flow of nat­ur­alPX more pre­cisely as it enters the mold which makes the pro­cess more effi­cient and pre­vents unne­ces­sary waste. More than 90% of the mater­i­al that is used is pro­cessed to pro­duce a new frame. Any small amounts of excess nat­ur­alPX that escape can be recycled. 400 frames can be pro­duced by each injec­tion mold­ing machine every day, mak­ing this a highly effi­cient and sus­tain­able man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cess.

Neubau production natural PX granulate

Our coloring process

We have spent many years devel­op­ing soph­ist­ic­ated pro­duc­tion meth­ods to pro­duce attract­ive colored spec­tacle frames. Two meth­ods are used to pro­duce our col­lec­tions of vibrant or subtly shaded eye­wear. Col­or can be added to the nat­ur­alPX mater­i­al before it runs through the injec­tion mold­ing pro­cess, or addi­tion­al col­or can be added after this pro­cess through air brush­ing, dip dying, digit­al print­ing and oth­er pro­cesses which are well guarded trade secrets.

Neubau production natural PX color powder web
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