Rising energy costs mean that sustainable energy management is becoming increasingly important. The Winkelmann Group has known this for a long time, and has already introduced a number of corresponding measures. With its three business divisions, Automotive, Heating and Water and Flowforming, the group is a market leader in the field of metal forming – a process that requires large amounts of energy.
The starting points that Winkelmann focused on were compressed air, cold and heat in the production process. By implementing efficiency measures, such as the merging of heating systems and the construction of a new compressed air system, the group has already achieved some initial successes in this area. In addition to increased energy efficiency, those in charge are also aspiring towards energy self-
The energy saving in this Winkelmann press equipment is demonstrated by measurements before and after the fitting of a frequency converter to the hydraulic pump – visualised and recorded using the Weidmüller "Energy Manager" software
sufficiency, and want to generate as much power as possible independently, using photovoltaics, wind energy and biomass.
“Using our own energy generation systems requires transparency and predictability at all times. Added to this is our large number of different measuring points as well as our target of extending our energy management system to our plants around the world,” explains Tobias Meßmann, responsible for energy management at Winkelmann. “We’ve found the flexibility we need to achieve these aims in the system solution from Weidmüller.”
Using the Weidmüller "Energy Manager" software, all of the relevant consumption figures and parameters are determined for energy controlling purposes – from automatic documentation to comparative analysis
“The most important aspect for Winkelmann in the first instance was to achieve better transparency in terms of the energy costs of its large-scale machinery. A further requirement was also to integrate existing measuring systems into the new solution,” says Weidmüller’s Torsten Hocke on describing the challenges he was faced with. “We therefore worked together to create a measurement plan with a structure that could easily be deciphered even by third parties, and the feedback from employees who have begun working with the system indicates that we achieved this aim. The integration of the existing systems also proceeded smoothly thanks to the interface solution we developed, and more and more of our measurement hardware is now being used.”
Today, it’s no longer just quantities that are recorded at Winkelmann; attention is also paid to what happens in between the various production stages. Thanks to the new policy of transparency, the question of where savings can be made in order to meet the defined energy targets is something that motivates everyone involved. All users of the Weidmüller software have access to the Energy Manager manual and the recorded energy targets. Initial indicators have already shown that better efficiency values are being achieved thanks to the new compressed air system. As part of the next step, live data (such as on the system status) is being mapped via energy cockpits.
Winkelmann also wants to achieve comparable transparency levels in its international plants. The introduction of an energy management system and renewable energy sources is already underway in Poland. Solar power generation is also planned for the near future at the group’s site in Turkey, while an energy management system has been included in the development plans for its new production facility in Mexico. There are also long-term plans for related activities in China. Weidmüller is assisting in this global roll-out both in terms of the flexible scalability of its system solution and its own international expertise.
“When deciding on an energy management solution, it was particularly important for us to find a dependable partner with experience in its field. Weidmüller has already proved itself in this regard on the merit of its own production process,” says Meßmann. “Our aim is to get our energy management to the level that Weidmüller’s is already at in many areas. We want to take an in-depth look at our machinery and work out the key figures that will enable preventive maintenance and, above all, benchmarking. We believe that Weidmüller is a good companion to have in this regard.”
“For us, Weidmüller is a dependable partner with experience in its field.” – Tobias Meßmann, responsible for energy management at Winkelmann
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Published in November 2015