Saving energy at work
Audi relies on conserving resources and protecting the environment – and this can only be accomplished with a dedicated workforce. One example is the Ingolstadt site.
“Our people walk through the factory with open eyes,” reports Peter Kössler, Plant Manager in Ingolstadt. “Our great progress in efficiency and conserving resources is attributable to the personal dedication of each individual employee. Personal observation is one precondition as are a sense of responsibility and motivation.”
“Employees themselves must want to protect the environment,” says Kössler, who manages an area comprising 17,500 employees. “This effort requires motivation that comes from within.” For the plant manager this means: distinct goal orientation, cooperative work among the different shops, stringent processes and a willingness to perform on all levels.
When employees have an idea for conserving resources in their work area, it is noted on the “green list.” Ideas generated within the energy-saving teams are also recorded there. In these teams, ideas are discussed openly, and this is where they get their support for practical implementation in production. All employees have the opportunity to present their proposals directly to management.
In mechanically processing brake discs in a turning process, dust and heat are generated. “We no longer blow the hot air outside,” stresses Reinhard Mayershofer, a technical specialist in brake disc production. “What was exhaust air we have now converted to recirculated air, and we utilize the heat from the turning process to heat the production hall,” adds his colleague Bernhard Kerner. By converting the facility to recirculation operation, around 582,000 kWh of valuable energy is saved annually.
Vehicle bodies get their corrosion protection in a process known as cathodic dip coating. To ensure that the paint material retains its quality, the dipping bath is fully recirculated once an hour. “The pumps must run continuously for this,” explains Erich Deinböck, production group leader in the paint shop. During production downtimes, a lower rate of recirculation suffices. Deinböck: “We now use frequency inverters to reduce the rotational speed of the pumps. This lets us save around 24,000 kWh of electricity annually.”