Bassano del Grappa, November 2016: According to the European Automobile Manufacturersâ€™ Association (ACEA) 12.2 million people – or 5.6% of the EU employed population – work in the automobile industry. Striking but not unbelievable considering that after several rocky years, since the 2008 financial crisis, the European car market is growing again. Actually, in 2015 EU passenger car sales grew by 9.3% compared to 2014, bringing the total number of cars sold to 13.7 million units and sales are also expected to increase by approximately 5% in 2016, exceeding 14 million units by the end of the year.
It is also important to highlight how the sector is a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe’s largest private contributor to R&D, with â‚¬44.7 billion invested annually. Therefore, it is not by chance that the automotive factories are the most innovative and technologically advanced in Europe. New production plants are now equipped with robotics and automation that have created safer and more productive working environments. Furthermore, they are more flexible and adaptable, achieving better integration between buildings and processes and being more efficient in terms of materials and energy consumption. All while providing safe and healthy working conditions.
Germany, with its 44 plants, is not only the country with the greatest number of automobile assembly and engine production centres in Europe, but it also hosts some of the most advanced and sustainable automotive plants. For example, the â€œBlue factory” is the innovative Volkswagen Plant in Emden and it aims at achieving a CO2-neutral status for its production processes by implementing a host of projects regarding environmental protection and sustainability. At the end of 2009 an “energy forest” was planted across a previously unused area of the plant grounds covering 400,000 square metres. Promoting wind energy is another key consideration in achieving sustainability at the Emden plant. The Emden public utilities have been using part of the plant’s grounds for wind turbines since 1994 and there are also plans to further increase the contribution of wind energy in the future. In order to better use the available renewable energy sources, the plant is also making progress in using district heating supplied by a biomass power plant and since 2012 has been creating a new geothermal plant. More than 5,000 probes have been connected to the 4 Climaveneta high efficiency TECS2-W/H 1053 chillers which will provide the best air conditioning in the new bodywork production plant in Emden.
Even BMW has built a pioneering production plant in Germany. With over 5.400 employees and 45 hectare built-up area, the BMW Plant Leipzig is a masterpiece of architecture, efficiency and sustainability. The iconic central building designed by the recently passed away Architect Zaha Hadid elegantly links the several production blocks, organized for maximum sustainability and environmentally friendly use of resources. For the process cooling of the production blocs they have chosen Climaveneta BH/SRAT and NECS air-cooled high efficiency chillers, which feature extended operating limits, an extraordinary energy efficiency ratio at full and part loads, 3000 kW total cooling capacity, and no CO2 local emissions for this state-of-the-art HVAC system.
In addition the Volkswagen Plant in Bratislava has designed a new HVAC system based on free-cooling technology to maximize the total energy efficiency. 8 Climaveneta FX-FC units in free cooling mode have been installed: the fluid is cooled by outside air, thus reducing the load of the compressors until it is completely canceled, with an energy cost very close to zero. Furthermore, 20 Climaveneta FOCS and NECS units with a total cooling capacity of about 10.000kW have been installed to replace the previous air conditioners, improving the total energy efficiency and reducing the running costs of the plant. Climaveneta units have been selected for their high efficiency and environmental respect, as they do not emit any CO2 pollution.
Besides these examples every other major European manufacturer has significantly invested in reducing the environmental impact of vehicle production over the last decade. In fact, to improve production quality, while respecting the sustainability goals imposed by EU regulations and by their own social responsibility policies, all car companies have created specialized production plants of excellence all over Europe or upgraded their existing ones.
When dealing with process cooling and sustainability, even in the most technologically advanced production plants in the world like car factories, Climaveneta is the ideal partner to achieve the safest and healthiest working conditions while respecting the environment.
For an overview of Climaveneta installations in the automotive industry: https://www.climaveneta.com/EN/Projects/By-Application/24/automotive/
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Sara Di Clemente