September 2019 – Optimization of compressed air system at Schott in Hungary

Founded in 1884 as „Glastechnisches Laboratorium SCHOTT & Genossen” (Glass Technology Laboratory SCHOTT & Associates) the company first developed glasses for microscopes and telescopes and later technical glasses and ceramics as Ceran cooktops or the heat protection tiles on the NASA space shuttles. Currently SCHOTT AG produces in 34 countries with around 15,500 employees a wide range of special glasses and glass-ceramics for the household appliance industry, pharma, electronics, optical, life science, automotive and aviation industries.

Compressors consume 20% of electricity
At the Hungarian factory in Lukácsháza, about 600 employees fabricate around 1.3 billion pharmaceutical glass packaging items such as vials, ampoules and cartridges every year. The production process is highly automated and uses compressed air, generated by six compressors, for many production steps. The compressed air supply required more than 20% of the plant’s electricity consumption. The Energy Scouts Dóra Páti (logistics engineer), Dávid Németh (mechanic) and András Rege (team leader) examined the load profiles of the compressors and found that two of the six compressors could be more efficient. The next step was to optimize the compressed air system and to replace the two inefficient compressors.

Even out peaks and avoid stop-and-go mode
A frequency converter inside the new powerful compressor controls motor speed depending on demand. The on-demand operation mode saves around 25% of electricity compared to the load/idle mode before – like dimming a lamp instead of switching it on and off. In addition, the Energy Scouts analyzed the air consumption and eliminated leaks.

The new system reduces electricity consumption by 402,637 kWh per year, avoids CO2 emissions by 102.7 tones and saves the company expenses of 31,754 € per year. The investment costs of 28,555 € will pay back in 10.8 months.

In the Hungarian competition, the project was granted with a special award by the jury. SCHOTT and the German-Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry also highlighted the project in a workshop with around 20 energy efficiency experts in May 2019.

Compressed Air Systems

System Optimization

  • Industry sector: Glass industry
  • Energy source: Electricity
  • Energy saving potential: 402,637 kWh/a
  • Savings potential CO2: 102.7 t/a
  • Potential cost reduction: 31,753.71 €/a
  • Investment costs: 28,555.44 €
  • Payback period: 11 months
Energy Scout Dóra Páti is measuring the new compressor’s power input. (©DUWZ)
Energy Scouts Dávid Németh, Dóra Páti und András Rege in front of the new compressor. (©DUWZ)
During a workshop on energy efficiency, 20 experts discussed amongst others the optimization of compressed air systems in May 2019. (©DUWZ)