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Greater efficiency in energy and energy management

The HÜBNER Group introduced an energy management system at all German sites back in 2014. This has enabled it to significantly increase its efficiency and reduce energy costs, particularly in the area of compressed air.

In addition to its headquarters in Kassel, the HÜBNER Group is present at 30 other locations worldwide. The company is a global leader in the field of gangway systems for rail vehicles (Mobility Rail) and buses (Mobility Road) as well as a supplier of chassis technology, cockpit display solutions and door sealing and safety profiles. HÜBNER is internationally recognized as a specialist for sophisticated solutions using elastomers, insulation and composite materials (Material Solutions). The area of laser technology (Photonics), which develops applications for cancer diagnostics and spectroscopy, for example, and thus contributes to a better quality of life, safety and environmental protection, is also developing successfully.

Environmental protection has also long played an important role at HÜBNER itself. All German locations are certified according to ISO 50001 (energy management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management).


Das Monitoringsystem, das HÜBNER anfangs für sein Energiemanagement nutzte, war jedoch lückenhaft und störanfällig. Deshalb wechselte das Unternehmen zu unserer Energiemanagement-Software econ4. Sie integriert alle Datenquellen herstellerunabhängig, sodass die vorhandenen Messgeräte einfach weiter genutzt werden können. 

Aktuell erfasst HÜBNER in seinen drei Werken in Kassel beim Strom die Lastgänge des Energieversorgers sowie alle Hauptverteilungen, außerdem Gas und Druckluft. Die Messdaten visualisiert econ4 z. B. in Form von Lastgängen mit Zeitvergleichen, ABC-Analysen, Spektralanalysen oder Sankey-Diagrammen sowie als Kosten- und CO2-Berichte. „Anfangs ist es zwar ein gewisser Aufwand, die Berichte zu erstellen, aber dann läuft alles automatisch“, erklärt Thomas Meibert, als Senior Consultant Energie- und Dienstleistungsmanagement verantwortlich für das Energiemanagement der gesamten HÜBNER-Gruppe. 

Keeping efficiency high thanks to an early warning system

He now receives a regular report with the analyses that are relevant to him, while the specialist departments receive the evaluations that are of interest to them. For example, every Monday morning the maintenance manager receives a weekly report on the leakage rate of the three compressed air centers. If the rate is higher than usual, he can promptly look for the cause and rectify it. If the leakage rate rises to such an extent that it reaches the specified limit value, the maintenance manager receives a message immediately so that he can react straight away. Thanks to this early warning system, HÜBNER has been able to increase its energy efficiency in compressed air by over 100 percent within ten years and reduce compressed air costs despite a doubling of electricity prices and a significant increase in production.

The compressors are monitored in a similar way: if their power consumption is at zero for a longer period of time, econ4 immediately sends an e-mail to the security service, which is always manned. This is because tests and experiments that require compressed air run around the clock, seven days a week. "As luck would have it, a compressor often breaks down on Friday evening after work. Without monitoring, this has gone unnoticed for the whole weekend. The fact that we can now do something about it quickly has already saved us a lot of money," reports Thomas Meibert.

In addition to the automatically generated reports, he also creates manual reports as required, for example on the electricity consumption of certain areas, which Controlling uses for cost calculations.

Reducing consumption and costs

Cost savings were also achieved by comparing the recorded electricity consumption with the amount of purchased electricity: When the energy supplier calculated an additional payment of several thousand euros due to a high peak load, the evaluations from HÜBNER showed no peak load during this period. When asked, the energy supplier admitted that a measured value had been missing, for which an estimated value - which was clearly too high - had been entered manually. "Without recording your own energy data, you wouldn't even notice," says Meibert.

Load peaks practically never occur at HÜBNER. The exception is the plant of PolymerTechnik Ortrand near Dresden, which belongs to the group. Peaks occur here when both large rolling mills are running simultaneously. HÜBNER has found a pragmatic solution for this: Both machines are video-monitored and the images are transmitted to the other. If one rolling mill is in operation, the operator of the other waits until it is at a standstill again.

Kollege erklärt das econ case system

Mit mobilen Messgeräten Maschinen genauer unter die Lupe nehmen 

Zusätzlich zur fest installierten Messtechnik nutzt HÜBNER drei mobile Messgeräte. Damit werden beispielsweise die Großverbraucher temporär überwacht, um Effizienzmaßnahmen ableiten zu können. Dazu gehören die Vulkanisierpressen. Sie liefen früher das ganze Wochenende im Stand-by, damit ihre Heizplatten am Montagmorgen zu Schichtbeginn um sechs Uhr heiß sind. Durch die Messungen weiß Meibert nun, dass die Heizplatten vom ausgeschalteten Zustand vier Stunden benötigen, um die erforderliche Temperatur zu erreichen. Eine Zeitschaltuhr schaltet die Vulkanisierpressen jetzt Sonntagnachts um zwei Uhr ein. Damit spart HÜBNER Energie, ohne irgendwelche Abstriche machen zu müssen.

Außerdem setzt Thomas Meibert die mobilen Messgeräte ein, um Unregelmäßigkeiten unter die Lupe zu nehmen oder wenn Zeitvergleiche mit dem Vormonat oder dem Vorjahr unerklärliche Abweichungen zeigen. „Bei econ4 kann man den aktuellen Verbrauch und den eines anderen Zeitraums einfach übereinanderlegen, so sieht man das ganz schnell.“ 

Energy management is teamwork

Meibert is responsible for energy management throughout the HÜBNER Group. He works closely with the site managers who implement it locally at the branches. The principle has proven itself, but not equally well at all locations. This is because the personnel resources or the necessary know-how are not available everywhere - as is the case with many companies.

These locations make use of the "Rent an Energy Manager" offer from our sister company BFE. Read here how the energy managers support HÜBNER.

In order to further increase the efficiency of energy management itself and energy efficiency at the other European locations, HÜBNER is currently also connecting them to our econ4 software. "For me as the energy management officer for the entire group, it is a great support when a lot of things run automatically there too," says Meibert.

"econ4's automatic report generation makes my work as energy management officer for the entire group of companies much easier."

Thomas Meibert, Senior Consultant Energy and Service Management at the HÜBNER Group

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