Control Techniques promote technological sustainability
14 June 2023

As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, Control Techniques Italy have decided to focus their attention on issues of sustainability and circularity, by supporting an initiative that blends technology, innovation, and commitment to the environment. 

Control Techniques, known for their distinctive green branding and association with the serene Welsh countryside where it all began 50 years ago, will incorporate the colour yellow to their stand at the upcoming SPS Italia event in Parma on May 23-25, 2023. This yellow hue is commonly associated with bees and honey. But why this addition?

Control Techniques, a part of the Nidec group, who are leaders in the design, development, and manufacture of high-performance and highly efficient variable speed drives, has decided to support the 3Bee project ‘Adopt a Hive’.

Partnering variable speed drive (VSD) specialists with beekeeping specialists makes perfect ecological sense.

3Bee is a Climate Technology Company that develops intelligent monitoring and diagnostic systems to improve the health of bees. They develop unique and innovative technologies that enable them to listen to the bees' needs and intervene when they are unwell. They also collaborate with the EU and the ESA (European Space Agency) to protect the biodiversity.  

The parallels between the activities of Control Techniques and the ‘Adopt a Hive’ project are clearly similar. Today, Control Techniques’ drives are a symbol of innovation in a continuously evolving automation industry. In order to respond to industrial demands and those expected of us from our governments and the environment itself in terms of current and future sustainability, drives are expected to offer advanced control and digitalisation functions whilst at the same time offering increasingly higher levels of efficiency. 

In the same way, the project developed by 3Bee sets out to help beekeepers manage their hives in the most efficient and sustainable way possible, allowing them to optimise honey production but, at the same time, preserve the bees and prevent the onset of diseases and other problems linked to pollutions, pathogens and other factors. 

With the advancement in technology today, including IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence), monitoring the hives has become incredibly easy and allows beekeepers to save time, waste fewer resources and target interventions when needed, in a more efficient and effective manner.

Making a difference towards a more sustainable future.

The 3Bee network currently has approximately 10,000 stakeholders, among them beekeepers, supporters, institutions, individuals, and businesses. With this level of support, a few years ago, it became possible for this Italian start-up business to launch a research and development programme, which very quickly went on to become the ‘Adopt a Hive’ project. 

Today over 60 million bees are monitored in more than 1000 hives, with one of their most important tasks being that of pollination, they have helped flowers to grow and in turn, generate the positive effect of absorbing 302 tonnes of CO2. 

2023 is an important year for Control Techniques as it celebrates its fiftieth anniversary. "We wanted to celebrate this anniversary with an initiative that mirrors our own sustainability values, while at the same generating concrete benefits for the environment,” states Biagio Scalone, Managing Director Nidec Industrial Automation Italy and Country Leader of Control Techniques Italia. “We were instantly impressed with the 3Bee ‘Adopt a Hive’ project, to be able to partner with an initiative that focuses on the same principles as we do was important to us.  Our products also work every day in a wide range of industrial fields, guaranteeing efficiency, performance, and greater sustainability for our customers. We have a lot in common.” 

In addition to adopting a hive, and as part of the project promoted by 3Bee, Control Techniques has also adopted a woodland with 50 different types of nectar-bearing plants, located on another beekeeping farm in the province of Comoin, Emilia, to the north of Modena. The woodland is home to 15 blackthorn trees, 10 hawthorns, 5 hazelnuts, 10 Jerusalem thorns and 10 common brooms. 

By adopting the hive and sponsoring the woodland, Control Techniques is now contributing to the protection of around 333,000 bees, as well as preventing the release of 3.6 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere as it gets absorbed by the 50 nectar-bearing plants.

A clean environment is one of the most important things that society is striving for. To achieve this, manufacturers and machine builders must strive for new and inventive methods to create more manageable and environmental sustainability with automation, and we are well placed to help with that.

We know that looking after our environment is a responsibility that we all share, with our contribution to sustainability and that of 3Bee, together we can create a more sustainable world and help the environment thrive and that’s something to be proud of.