Positive Energy Company

Schmalz pursues the strategic aim of being a positive energy company. This means, that the own production of electricity and heat from renewable energy sources and the consumption in the company are in balance permanently. This is achieved by a continuous consumption-oriented expansion of renewable energy sources. Schmalz has also taken innovative measures to reduce energy consumption during operation.

The balance for electricity and heat during the last five years shows that it is possible to bring energy requirements in line with energy consumption permanently.

Electricity and Heat Balance

The electricity and heat balance shows a comparison of the energy generated from renewable sources and the energy consumption. The balance sheet shows a congruence of 92% for the energy consumption in the long-term perspective of five years.

The electricity and heat balance shows a comparison of the energy generated from renewable sources and the energy consumption.
Electricity and heat balance 2011-2015

Renewable Energy Generation

Generating energy from renewable energy sources has been a tradition at Schmalz for decades. The company currently relies on the following energy sources:

Energy sourceWind energyPhotovoltaicsHydroelectric powerWood chips
(Biomass)
Solar heat
Energy typeElectricityElectricityElectricityHeatHeat
Used since19992005191019861996
Anual energy yield (as of 2015)2.503.176 kWh1.260.761 kWh95.910 kWh1.197.800 kWh10.869 kWh
LocationGlatten /
Dunningen
Glatten / EmpfingenCompany grounds
Glatten
Company grounds
Glatten
Company grounds
Glatten

Reduction of energy consumption

In addition to the own generation of energy from renewable sources, Schmalz also places great importance on permanently reducing its own energy consumption. Numerous small and large measures at Schmalz are helping the company to use electricity and heat as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Saving Electricity

Electricity is needed almost everywhere in the company, which means there is major potential for saving energy. In order to lower energy consumption, Schmalz has introduced the following measures:

  • The braking energy by the rack feeder of the automatic small parts warehouse is retrieved and reused.
  • Unneeded electrical circuits are switched off during the night and over the weekend.
  • The lighting in office and manufacturing buildings is adjusted in accordance with the amount of available daylight.
  • Energy-saving light bulbs are used throughout the company.
  • Only very efficient and energy-saving PC, monitors and peripheral devices are bought.
  • The company-wide compressed air generation is frequency-controlled and monitored using control software. The com pressed air level was reduced by 1 bar.

Load Management System

For further optimization of the energy consumption there was introduced an innovative load management system. This system is used to off set current load peaks. When a load peak occurs, consumers that do not have to remain switched on all the time are shut down (or set to a lower power consumption level) for at least five minutes. This is an effective way to prevent load peaks and also greatly reduces energy costs.

Saving Heat

Schmalz obtains most of the heat that it needs from its own wood chip heating system. However, reducing the heat consumption is still a major priority. There are also taken a number of steps to achieve this:

  • The IT server room is cooled using sprinkler water. The heated water is stored in the sprinkler tank. A heat pump is used to extract the heat from the water and give it back to the heating system and washing system at a higher temperature.
  • The waste heat from air compressors is routed through a heat exchanger to the heat distributor and washing system. The heat from the factory’s exhaust air is also recovered using a thermal wheel and added to the factory’s supply air.
  • An outdoor air cooling system has enabled Schmalz to reduce the use of air conditioning systems to almost nothing. The buildings are mainly cooled at night using automatic louver windows and skylights as well as fresh air ventilators in the factories. The research and testing center, newly built in 2014, is air-conditioned using geothermal cooling from the bedrock. An extraction system that is installed centrally at the machining tools in the production hall reduces the amount of atmospheric pollution and heat input in summer.
  • Low-temperature heating is also used in the office and production buildings.
  • The 40,000-liter buffer storage for the wood chip heating system helps to store heat for a longer period of time. This means that the heating system does not have to perform as many cycles of operation and its efficiency is therefore improved.
  • The central control for heating, ventilation and cooling ensures that the systems are optimally tuned to one another.
  • The north-facing shed roofs that are built onto the office and production buildings provide for optimal light levels and protect against heat in summer. They also form the substructure of a photovoltaic system.
  • The overall energy performance of the production and logistics buildings, which are physically connected to one another and cover an area of close to 14,000 square meters, is approxi mately 57% better than required by the German Energy Savings Ordinance.

Energy Self-Sufficiency

Whenever it is technically possible and economically sensible, Schmalz supplies its own electricity and heat directly from its own energy sources. Since the amount of electricity from renewable sources does not always correspond to the amount of electricity required, some of the self-generated electricity is fed into the public grid or electricity is brought in from an external provider. To this end, Schmalz has worked with the ”Elektrizitätswerke Schönau” utility company, which has received many awards as a provider of clean, CO2-neutral green energy.