The importance of conserving resources is growing steadily. For most products, firms need a reliable and affordable supply of raw materials in order to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace while minimising environmental burdens. Efficient production processes, state-of-the-art technologies and innovative ideas are all essential ingredients for their success.
In 2014, the government of the German state of Baden-Württemberg decided to develop a strategy for fostering resource efficiency. The idea that crystallised was for various business associations and the state government to launch an Alliance for Greater Resource Efficiency. This then organised an initiative entitled “100 Firms for Resource Efficiency”. Applications were accepted from manufacturing firms operating in the state which had successfully implemented measures to use energy and/or materials more efficiently.
SCHEUERMANN + HEILIG submitted a solution which it had developed and installed for “saving energy by timed power-down of peripheral equipment in standby mode”. Earlier, in 2012, SH had already become one of the state’s first 50 firms to obtain certification under the DIN ISO 50001 energy management standard. The company defined energy saving targets in its corporate policies, which led to concrete action to improve sustainability. One such measure was the project submitted to the Alliance. Metal forming firms, which consume a great deal of electric power, have considerable potential for improving their energy efficiency.
The first step for reducing power consumption was to hold training courses for staff in which they learnt how to save energy, for example by completely switching off unused equipment (systems and machine peripherals in standby mode). It was then possible to tap additional savings potential by implementing an automated technical solution for controlled power-down of presses. At SCHEUERMANN + HEILIG, an “energy management team” is responsible for conducting various projects of this kind. Its members analysed the situation and drew up an action plan for automatic shutdown of equipment. Within just a few weeks, all of the firm’s eccentric-drive stamping presses were fitted with time-delay and logic relays, as a result of which SH now save more than 300,000kWh annually. This translates into about 180,000kg less CO2 emissions emitted into the earth’s atmosphere each year. The measures paid for themselves in only three months.
The winning firms were presented at the “Baden-Württemberg Resource Efficiency Congress” in Karlsruhe on October 5th, 2016. The state’s governor, Winfried Kretschmann, opened the event and congratulated the companies for their exemplary accomplishments. He stressed the great importance that the government of Baden-Württemberg attaches to this topic and emphasised “resource efficiency as a guiding principle of political action”. The state’s environmental minister, Franz Untersteller, also praised the companies and presented the official award document to SH’s managing director, Steffen Scheuermann, and Andreas Ehrenfried, the firm’s officer for environmental protection, energy management and occupational safety. SCHEUERMANN + HEILIG also received the sum of 10,000 euros, which is being spent on additional measures to conserve energy.