The carbon-neutral Green Factory

Carbon-neutral production is possible! Combine photo voltaic panels, a thermal power station, pellet heating and a production process aligned with the energy the system generates.

In 2019, Alois Müller GmbH in Allgäu opened their Green Factory in Ungerhausen, Germany. The Green Factory is a practically energy self-sufficient office and production building manufacturing heating and ventilation facilities as well as components for metal constructions. Over 200,000 solar cells on the roof provide two-thirds of the carbon-neutral electricity which is used directly onsite. Surplus electricity flows into the grid.

Production steps are aligned with the quantity of electricity available. High-powered electrical machines such as the laser are prioritized when the PV facility provides enough electricity. The same applies to lacquer and sandblasting work as well as production entailing various mediums such as liquid nitrogen, purified water and compressed air.

An important step toward carbon-neutral production is analyzing all material and energy flows required for manufacturing. An ERP system balances incoming orders and production data with the current weather prognoses. On days when there is not sufficient sunshine, the Green Factory draws its energy from a thermal power station. Additional energy is also supplied by a wood pellet boiler during extended cold periods.

Fast, precise, efficient with data monitoring


With precise temporal monitoring of all production processes and their continuous analysis, German companies could save lots of material and energy and reduce their costs significantly. The advantage is obvious: if a lathe immediately reports the faulty production of components, scrap and thus the use of materials will be reduced. If due to optimized production planning all machines produce without downtimes, start-up losses and energy will be saved. MSR Technologies from the Swabian town of Laupheim realized these measures in an exemplary way.

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Efficient wind energy plants through condition monitoring


The reliability of a wind power plant also determines their income. Downtime and stnadstill mean a financial loss. To identify failure risks and problems early, condition monitoring systems are used. Especially in hard to reach offshore installations, these systems provide early warning for necessary maintenance or repair work. In a control center in Kiel in Germany data from over 1000 wind turbines come together and are evaluated. The cost of maintenance or downtime can thus be better planned as the new film of the VDI Center for Resource Efficiency shows.

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