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Henkel saves energy with Atlas Copco compressed air solutions for efficient, safe production

June 29, 2015

Henkel Central Eastern Europe (CEE) in Vienna has saved energy at its modern production facility for laundry detergents by establishing three air networks fed by Atlas Copco compressors with different operating pressures for various applications throughout its plant premises.

Henkel CEE, based in Vienna, Austria, is one of the most successful branded goods companies in Eastern Europe. Vienna is also home to one of the most modern production facilities for laundry detergents, with a focus on the production of liquid detergents. Approximately 230,000 tons of detergent are produced each year, which means a correspondingly high demand for compressed air for the entire Vienna site. The production facility is operated with many oil-injected screw compressors, such as the GA 160 with variable speed drive (VSD), as well as oil-free low-pressure Class 0 ZA/ZR screw compressors.

Throughout the facility, the demand for compressed air varies depending on the application. For loading and unloading tank trucks, a low-pressure network of 3 bar is required. The control air to drive the units on the plant premises requires 7 bar working pressure, and an operating pressure of 11 bar is used for the production area of the stretch blow molding plants, where PET bottles are made. Because of this, Henkel decided to set up three compressed air networks with different operating pressures to achieve cost efficiencies and energy savings.

“Operating the entire network using 11 bar would mean wasted energy because each 1-bar reduction leads to an energy saving of 7 percent,” explains Di Hannes Dengg, technical director of Henkel CEE at the Vienna site.

Atlas Copco’s innovative designs for both the GA and ZA/ZR compressor lines feature a variable speed drive, which further reduces energy costs by up to 35 percent on average by automatically adjusting the air supply to meet demand. At the Vienna plant, the drive outputs vary between 75 and 315 kW respectively. In addition, when speed-controlled compressors are used in the winter months, the waste heat from the air-cooled compressors is used to heat the high rack, a testament to Henkel’s commitment to sustainability.

Cold-air adsorption dryers and compressed air filters ensure clean and safe production. This is critical in the production of laundry detergents, and the Class 0 certification of the ZA/ZR compressors means zero risk of oil contamination to Henkel’s products.

Production is not restricted to the Vienna site. Henkel also has plants in Central and Eastern European countries, including Turkey, Serbia, Hungary, and Poland.

“With production plants in different countries, it is important to work with a reliable partner who delivers reliable supplies and supports us with overall project development. Atlas Copco is a global player in the field of compressed air technology and guarantees consultancy and on-site service with its worldwide presence,” explains Christian Weiser, head of liquid production at Henkel CEE.

Austria Europe Society and environment Energy efficiency GA oil-injected screw compressors Value creation Chemical and petrochemical ZR oil-free low-pressure screw compressors Research and development Sustainability