Finding energy saving opportunities

30 September 2018

Sustainability is more than just a slogan for German chocolate manufacturer RITTER SPORT. The company works continuously to minimise the environmental impact of its production methods and strives to conduct its business responsibly to benefit both people and the environment. This includes the implementation of advanced energy management.

RITTER SPORT demands consistently high-quality raw materials and processing methods, using only sustainable raw materials. Since 2002 it has been operating its own block-type thermal power station based on the combined heat and power (CHP) principle. 

Following a 2016 upgrade of the power plant it now generates 9.9 million kilowatt-hours and covers about one-third of the company’s total electricity needs and 70% of its heat requirements. 

RITTER SPORT also has ambitious goals for improving energy efficiency, as Eberhard Pfeifer, workforce manager at Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG, explained: “We want to cut energy consumption by 1.5% each year.” To this end, the company wanted to implement an advanced energy management system that would meet the requirements for ISO 50001-conforming energy management but also to allow for the identification of savings potential in production. Pfeifer continued: “This system is the first step toward knowing precisely how much energy it takes to make each individual chocolate bar.”

In line with the company’s focus on excellence in all its operations, the new energy management solution had to meet a set of specific requirements. First, it would need to able to integrate all energy data from production, building technology, and power generation and store and archive them in a single database. Because RITTER SPORT wanted to be able to extract information on energy efficiency in its production from the energy data, the system had to provide the capability to link energy data and process information. And finally, the new solution had to be easy and intuitive to operate and support data analysis with dashboards and multiple reports so that production and energy management staff could easily access the data at any time.

With Simatic Energy Manager PRO from Siemens, the company has found a solution that meets all the necessary criteria. The system records production data as well as energy data from the Desigo Insight building management system. The solution offers a user-friendly system that RITTER SPORT can easily maintain and extend or modify in the future without having to call on external resources. The company plans to record measured values directly with Simatic S7-1200 and S7-1500 controllers as well as Simatic AI energy meters. It also plans to install Sentron PAC measuring devices to connect more measuring points to the system.

Siemens supported the commissioning of the new system and trained the staff at RITTER SPORT. The system was installed on-site within four days, and after the successful training staff were able to work with the new solution. Since then, the energy management system has met expectations. Pfeifer said: “Software, training, support – all aspects of the collaboration with Siemens have thoroughly impressed us.”

RITTER SPORT is now able to not only comply with the ISO 50001 requirements for energy management but is also able to integrate and link data from diverse sources, allowing it to relate consumption and production data to each other and gain profound insights into the energy requirements of individual processes. This provides a lever to identify hidden potential and further increase energy efficiency. Benjamin Flaig, energy manager at RITTER SPORT, explained further: “From the first presentations, we have been impressed by the easy data management and the excellent data visualisation that Simatic Energy Manager PRO provides. With the new solution, we have a tool for greater transparency. We now already know the major consumers, and we know where we need to dive deeper and take a closer look.”

Big gains, little effort
Simatic Energy Manager PRO provides a set of easy-to-use dashboards which allows RITTER SPORT to access energy and production data anytime and to easily evaluate and analyse the data. The information is readily available on tablet PCs and terminals in the production area – and also on mobile devices. “I can access the numbers wherever I am. This is very convenient,” said Flaig. “I have a motto – energy efficiency is smart laziness. Simatic Energy Manager fits into this perfectly, because you can make big gains with little effort.”

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