Increased power transparency for one of Europe’s biggest sawmills

Ziegler Holzindustrie KG, Germany, Plössberg


Ziegler Holzindustrie KG in Plössberg is one of the largest employers in the Upper Palatinate region of Germany, and has about 350 employees working at its plant, which covers about 43 hectares of land. They process approximately 1.6 million solid cubic meters of spruce and pine per year and supply wood products not only to the German market, but to buyers around the world. In 2012, Ziegler took a critical step in the direction of greater sustainability by deciding to continuously monitor the energy consumption of its plant and equipment to counter its rising energy costs. With an annual consumption of 27 GWh, Ziegler is a highly energy-intensive enterprise.

Systematic measurement of energy consumption, identification of energy saving potential, and reduction of peak loads are necessary prerequisites for improving energy efficiency. The aim was hence a targeted build-up of the necessary measurement infrastructure. It can be achieved with power monitoring systems of the kind offered by Siemens, with its powermanager software program and series 7KM PAC measuring devices. The project began in March 2012 and was done mainly on the weekends, because plant operation could not be interrupted. The managers in charge of the machines involved provided crucial support. Ziegler also placed high priority on raising the awareness of its employees for the measures and objectives of the energy management program. Even after the introduction of this program, the company regularly provided information on this subject to its employees, which contributed to the high level of acceptance of the energy management program.


Therefore, Siemens also provided comprehensive training to Ziegler’s technicians, facilitating the subsequent installation of approximately 40 measuring devices to date. The data collected by these devices is transmitted via existing Ethernet cables, which simplified the installation work even further. The necessary current transformers were also easy to install; the use of splitcore converters proved to be a critical advantage, especially in hard-to-reach areas of the plant. Because the PAC measuring devices work perfectly with the software, Ziegler is today able to precisely detect and avoid load peaks, allowing for the permanent reduction of energy costs. Powermanager software makes it possible to precisely analyze energy consumption and to continuously monitor the network quality.


Before the power monitoring program was introduced, the company only had relatively imprecise data from spot measurements to work with. The new transparency enables the company to precisely measure the energy consumption of individual consumption units, identify “power hogs” and implement targeted measures to increase energy efficiency.