Sustainability report 2019/20

Energy and resource efficiency through production optimization

When it comes to the efficient use of energy and resources, our production processes give us considerable leverage. Optimizing the various stages in machine production in particular has a significant impact on the total ecobalance: the shorter the manufacturing and assembly lead times are, the gentler on energy and resources production ultimately is as a whole. This is why we have turned our attention to both the material flow in production and the use of consumables.

If several manufacturing steps can be performed on just one machine when producing components, far fewer resources are needed than when production is spread out across several manufacturing machines. We have achieved this with our new Sheet Metal Manufacturing Department: in our almost completely new machine park, one combined punching/laser machine carries out the work processes of several machines on a single piece of equipment, for example. This automatically saves on resources and the amount of transportation required within the company is reduced. Moreover, the new machine park significantly cuts down on energy and media consumption (industrial gases).

3D simulation of the sheet metal bending processes is used prior to production to check for plausibility and for validation. This process of advance technical clarification results in far fewer rejections. In addition, energy-efficient conveying technology at our sheet metal warehouse enables energy to be partially recovered. With these measures we ensure that our customers receive top-quality products on time and with sparing use of resources.

With our new W3-certified welding fume extraction system at the Parts Product Center in Dortmund we have invested in an energy-efficient system that is state of the art. Its extraction capacity is controlled by a frequency converter, meaning that the extraction power and related energy consumption adjust to the current production capacity in real time. This system allows us to treat the extracted air to the required level of purity and then feed this back into the production system in the form of a closed loop. In the cold months further heating energy can also be saved in our production shops through the use of waste heat. The system is used for the manufacture of components for both bottle washers and pasteurizers – another integrative approach to factory planning that creates synergies and makes for cost efficiency.

Furthermore, we have pushed ahead with the spatial consolidation of our Bottle Washer & Pasteurizer and Conveying Technology Product Centers in Dortmund in order to reduce the amount of transportation required within the company and thus lessen the use of resources. This significantly helps to make our transportation and logistics setups more sustainable.

Closed loops, waste separation concept and returnable load carriers

We are striving to make a further key contribution to the conservation of resources by changing over to ecofriendly materials and closed loop systems and by reducing or avoiding waste and the influx of contaminants. Here, for instance, we have devised and introduced detailed concepts for the separation of waste in the production process that have reduced our energy consumption. One example of this is the new waste separation system developed for production in 2019 and launched in two pilot areas at our factory in Dortmund.

Further measures include an increased use of returnable load carriers to cut down on packaging materials and waste and the use of a welding robot for large parts at the plant in Bad Kreuznach that enables raw material thicknesses to be reduced and the quantities of welding media required for this purpose to be decreased.

Outlook: all told, these measures are intended to further harmonize the production systems at our various national and international locations in the context of a worldwide production concept.