Greater transparency, better controlIt all started with a load management system that provided GARDENA with many ideas about what improvements could be made, and how. The company then decided to augment the load management with a comprehensive energy management system. The aim was not only to provide a transparent and up-to-date representation of energy consumption in the different areas, but also to visualize it plainly in various analyses.
With an energy management system, GARDENA creates greater transparency and better control.
GARDENA has been working for several years with a load management system that enables the company to avoid peaks in energy consumption. In GARDENA’s production facility in Gerstetten, Germany, numerous injection molding machines operate in different modes. These machines are electrically heated. In addition, there are two water-cooled systems consisting of several interlinked cooling units. These loads are connected to a SIMATIC powerrate system, which enables GARDENA to monitor the situation and ensure that the power reserves are not exceeded, as explained by Jürgen Röck, deputy head of maintenance for buildings and systems at GARDENA in Gerstetten: “For this purpose we have developed an activation strategy that enables us, where necessary, to recommend which loads can be switched off for a brief period.” This solution has proved to be very effective at GARDENA. “Over time, the company has carried out a number of analyses with this system to identify potential savings and to evaluate our energy consumption. The options for analyzing and producing reports on the consumption data will now be significantly extended with a new energy management system.”
… and it just “clicked”The “click” was surely one of the great moments in the history of GARDENA. The GARDENA System arrived on the market in 1968: tap connector, hose connector and watering accessory. All the components could be easily connected using one standardized system. A success that has been the hallmark of the company to the present day.
An innovative system achieves a breakthrough in the market.
The company, based in Ulm, Germany, was founded in 1961 by the businessmen Werner Kress and Eberhard Kastner. The company began with the sale of French garden equipment before achieving a breakthrough in the market in 1968 with the introduction of the original GARDENA System. Today, GARDENA is the leading European brand for high-quality garden equipment and is represented in more than 80 countries around the world. Since 2007, the company has been a member of the Swedish Husqvarna Group, which has established a strategy called “Sustainovate” to promote greater sustainability in all areas of business. Not least for this reason, resource efficiency and environmental protection are given top priority at GARDENA, according to Jürgen Röck: “A key aspect here is the consumption of energy and resources. Every year we set ourselves targets for savings that we want to achieve as part of the Husqvarna Group – and we must also present these savings in a transparent way. In addition, energy is an important cost factor in production, which is why we also keep a close eye on energy consumption at the local level. For these reasons, we recently decided to install a new system for energy management.”
Success is the result of good teamwork.
The energy consumption figures are recorded via a total of four SIMATIC S7-1500 controllers, which act as main controllers to collect the data from the SIMATIC ET 200 Energy Meters and forward it to WinCC. Currently, about 30 injection molding machines and 20 measuring points of the building technology are integrated in the energy management system. During the introduction of the system, a programmer from Siemens supported GARDENA with the configuration, but the company is also able to manage the system itself. At the production facility, Jürgen Röck and his team use an engineering station with SIMATIC WinCC and the Energy Suite to easily integrate new machines or measuring points into the energy management system. “These can be integrated into Energy Manager so that we can easily expand the system at any time,” says Jürgen Röck. New machines are equipped with energy meters as standard, and existing machines are being retrofitted step-by-step. In this process, GARDENA uses a solution that does not require the machine to be completely disconnected, even if a measuring system is immersed. This means that production is not adversely affected. GARDENA is now further expanding its energy management system. “The aim is to integrate the gas consumption of our combined heat and power plant and gas heating into the system as well, so that we can also use our own power generation for efficiency and cost reasons. The same applies to water consumption. And, of course, additional machines are continually being integrated into the energy management system.”
New machines or measuring points can easily be integrated into Energy Manager so that we can easily expand the system.Jürgen Röck, Deputy Head of Maintenance for Buildings and Systems, GARDENA Gerstetten
Greater convenience, more optionsAs far as Jürgen Röck is concerned, the SIMATIC Energy Management system has already proved its worth. The new system can display the data for specific target groups on clearly designed dashboards, it has sufficient reserves for upcoming tasks, and it can be adapted and expanded conveniently and flexibly by Jürgen Röck and his team.
The system delivers numerous additional opportunities for further optimizing energy consumption.
One part of the project at GARDENA involves implementing the acquisition of operating data by means of the SIMATIC S7-1500 controllers. The company can then quite easily link the energy consumption to production data, and from this information it can derive key performance indicators for productivity and energy efficiency. But the analysis of consumption data over longer periods can also be of great interest. Take the example of compressed air supply. Here the company can detect leakages based on trend data – including a cost-benefit calculation, as Jürgen Röck explains: “How widely did the consumption deviate from regular demand, what did the leak repair cost us, and how much electric power is this now saving? I can now visualize this information in the energy management system. One click and I have the data.”
“Consumption data, key figures on productivity and energy efficiency, cost-benefit calculations: one click and I have the data.”Jürgen Röck, Deputy Head of Maintenance for Buildings and Systems, GARDENA Gerstetten