Energy Efficiency to Maintain a Competitive Advantage
By cooperating with Bosch, the Hirschvogel Automotive Group wants to substantially reduce its power consumption.
As part of ongoing measures to improve energy efficiency, Hirschvogel Aluminium GmbH relies on a holistic energy solution with the compressed-air-and-heat system from Bosch.
The Hirschvogel Automotive Group is a conglomerate with eight production sites in Europe, Asia, and America. The company, which was founded in the Bavarian town of Denklingen in 1938, supplies the automobile industry with components for diesel and gasoline injection and the drive train, as well as engine, transmission, and chassis components. These make crucial contributions to reducing consumption and emissions through lightweight construction, downsizing, transmission and engine optimization, and electrification. But it is not only Hirschvogel’s products that stand for conservation of resources and reductions in emissions, but also the production processes themselves, as Johannes Kleinsteuber, Energy Management Officer and CE Coordinator at Hirschvogel Eisenach GmbH and Hirschvogel Aluminium GmbH at the Marksuhl location, reports: “The Hirschvogel Automotive Group attaches great importance in all its activities to the best possible use of resources and a responsible treatment of the environment. One proof of our commitment is the certification of our environmental and energy management systems in accordance with the international standards DIN EN ISO 14001 and DIN EN ISO 50001.”
As part of these ongoing measures to increase energy efficiency, Hirschvogel’s Marksuhl plant is implementing a holistic energy supply solution with a Bosch compressed-air-and-heat system. Previously, the classic way to generate compressed air was by means of on/off load compressors. The compressors from 1994 and 1991 were replaced by a speed-controlled compressor with the most modern IE4 motors for peakload requirements and the compressed-air-and-heat system as the base-load machine. “We looked for an efficient alternative for part of the provision of compressed air in a more cost-effective way than that offered by traditional solutions. The aim was to increase the energy efficiency of compressed air generation in the plant and thus gain experience with this new technology for the entire Hirschvogel Automotive Group,” according to Energy Manager Kleinsteuber, who first learned about the innovative compressed- air-and-heat system when Bosch was commissioned to analyze the group’s energy consumption in production.
From planning to service - Bosch delivers the overall concept
Bosch is a holistic partner for its customers and oversees the entire project including advanced analyses, planning, implementation, supply of the technology, and the after-sales service. “For us, the greatest benefit is that we can generate compressed air using natural gas, and in doing so have a cost advantage. In addition, the heat, which can reach high temperatures of up to 90 °C, is intended to be used as process heat,” Kleinsteuber continues.
Hirschvogel chose Bosch as their energy services provider as he wanted a skilled and experienced partner “who, on the one hand, would be able to provide us with this new and very energy-efficient compressed-air generation method as part of an overall concept and, on the other hand, would also support its entire design and set-up.”
The CHP project was funded by the “Green Invest” program of the Thüringer Aufbaubank (TAB). This measure includes funding for technology companies based in Thuringia that reduce energy consumption. Having an energy consultant listed by TAB is one of the criteria. For a measure recommended by the consultant, companies can obtain funding of up to 80 percent of the investment costs — up to a maximum of 200,000 Euro.
In addition to this funding, the greatest impact and benefits of this overall solution for the Hirschvogel plant are the considerable electricity and cost savings that can be attained compared to a standard variant. Yet there are even more measures being implemented at Hirschvogel to increase energy efficiency. “There is currently a joint project being planned in conjunction with the Bosch ‘World of Energy Experience’ (‘Energie-Erlebniswelt’). Our employees will be given targeted training in energy efficiency in production. In this way, we want to link our annual instruction to the standard DIN EN ISO 50001,” says Energy Manager Kleinsteuber.
are invested by the Thüringer Aufbaubank in local companies which want to reduce their energy consumption.
Innovative Power in all Areas
“As an energy-intensive company, it is important to us to be able to continuously improve our energy efficiency and thus maintain our competitiveness. Hirschvogel is a company that places its trust in innovative technologies, such as the current solution involving the compressed-air-and-heat system; we want to continue innovating in the area of energy efficiency as well,” says Johannes Kleinsteuber.
For Hirschvogel, this means developing solutions in conjunction with partners — in this case, Bosch — that not only reduce its own energy consumption over the long term, but also make the energy supply more flexible.
“We are already prepared for future requirements and will be able to fulfill our customers’ needs even in the future, thus guaranteeing us a competitive advantage.”
Johannes Kleinsteuber, Energy Management Officer
Compressed air generation without electricity
Compressed air generation is one of the largest energy consumers in industry, which means that it represents a large and continually growing potential for savings. To do this, and also to cover heating and process heat requirements, Bosch’s compressed-air-and-heat-system system CHP CA 570 NA offers a cost-efficient solution. In many conventional compressed air production systems in use up to now, the compressor is operated with purchased or self-generated electricity. The heat required is often provided by a separate gas-powered boiler. Continuously rising electricity costs make systems like this increasingly uneconomical, however.
In the case of the compressed- air-and-heat system from Bosch, in contrast, a gas engine drives an oil-cooled screw compressor. Heat exchangers are used to recuperate over 80 percent of the primary energy from the compressor oil, motor coolant, and exhaust and to return it to the heating circuit. In order to keep noise levels at the installation location as low as possible, all components — including the gas motor and the screw compressor — are mounted on a lowvibration frame and housed in a soundproof cabin. This system allows companies to be less dependent on changes in energy prices and political conditions, to save hard cash and — due to their lower consumption of resources and a halved CO2 footprint — to protect the environment.
With the compressed-air-and-heat-system system from Bosch, a holistic energy solution, the Hirschvogel Aluminium GmbH improves its energy efficiency.