Glass manufacturer relies on systematic energy management
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The Vetropack Group is taking strategic, economic as well as technical factors into account for its energy management and procurement. In doing so, it is relying on external consulting expertise and using the energy management system Simatic Energy Manager PRO, including add-ons for structured energy procurement.
The goal is to comprehensively manage energy throughout the Vetropack Group, from planning and strategic procurement to monitoring consumption and invoice verification. The goals of the Swiss glass packaging manufacturer will be achieved after the rollout in all of its nine international factories.
High energy consumption in the glass industry
Given the well-known fact that glass production is extremely energy- and cost-intensive, many adjustments need to be made in order to achieve improvements in both areas. And this would be impossible without the use of professional software tools, especially in light of Vetropack’s goal of ensuring uniform energy management across all its locations. Another challenge is the definition, harmonization, and uniform reporting from energy measurement points with the involvement of Controlling.
A comprehensive approach
What’s special about Vetropack’s approach is that a core project team is devoted to the task of tackling energy management from the perspective of both commercial and technical factors as an integral part of the company’s digitalization strategy.
The project was initiated and is led by Strategic Procurement. The glass packaging manufacturer believes that the best and only way to optimize energy consumption and energy costs at the Group level – and thus make the necessary contribution to improving the company’s CO2 footprint – is to link all disciplines involved, from production and engineering to procurement. After a phase of evaluating and piloting different systems, the longtime Siemens customer chose the Simatic Energy Manager PRO software solution. To this end, Siemens developed and programmed a new module for integrating procurement on the basis of extensive specifications. After the project began in 2017, Siemens and Vetropack piloted the system in the Austrian factory in Kremsmünster in 2019 before systematically embedding it into the existing Simatic PCS 7 and IT infrastructure in all the other factories, beginning with the factory in the Croatian town of Straza.
Linkage of operating and energy data
When the Group-wide rollout is completed in one to two years, the company will have complete transparency across all relevant energy and media consumption values and the corresponding costs (primarily gas, power, water, and compressed air), CO2 emissions on various aggregation levels, and uniformly allocated cost centers.
A crucial element of this goal is a master metering plan to set uniform measurement standards. Up to 200 measurement points per factory will be integrated into the energy management system. “On this basis, harmonized Group-wide energy indicators can be purposefully defined, analyzed, displayed on dashboards, and applied as the basis for energy efficiency measures, for example,” explains Bozo Dragoslavic, Energy Manager for the Vetropack Group.
Best practices will be systematically transferred to the other production facilities. Thanks to the ISO 50001-conformant software support from Siemens, Vetropack will save considerable time on data entry and will therefore be able to focus more on drawing inferences from the data and making decisions about energy efficiency measures like adding more photovoltaic systems in a given factory.
The Vetropack Group is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of glass packaging for the food and beverage industry in Europe. With roughly 4,000 employees, it operates eight glass factories in Switzerland, Austria, Czechia, Croatia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Italy, and Moldova.
In a challenging environment impacted by the pandemic in 2020 and beyond, the Vetropack Group generated an EBIT margin of 11.5 percent in 2020 (2019: 12.5 percent). Consolidated net revenues amounted to CHF 662.6 million (2019: 714.9 million). In late 2020, the Group acquired a glass factory in Moldova, financing the acquisition with its own funds. The new Vetropack glass factory planned in the town of Boffalora sopra Ticino in Italy is the Group’s main strategic project in 2021. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in October of 2021.