Koenig & Bauer launches solution for holistic energy management

Energy efficiency in print & packaging production

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Koenig & Bauer
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Global climate change, resource scarcity and high energy prices are sending a clear message – sustainable action is not only a question of social responsibility, but also a highly relevant economic factor. Accordingly, Koenig & Bauer is placing a scalable digital tool in the hands of its worldwide customers to help them save energy and thereby reduce costs in future – an optimized energy management system developed specifically for the print and packaging industry.

Sustainability as a social challenge

Together with the active print industry, Koenig & Bauer has significant leverage when it comes to shaping sustainable print production. “Sustainability is the greatest challenge of our time,” says Koenig & Bauer CEO Dr Andreas Pleßke. “And as a company whose history extends back more than 200 years, we do, of course, also bear responsibility for future generations.” Alongside the development of energy-efficient machines, Koenig & Bauer has been championing the use of ecological process consumables and biodegradable print substrates for many years. When seeking to reduce carbon footprints, however, it is expedient to view the energy requirements of the entire production facility – from the shop-floor equipment to the building services and installations.

Energy savings using digital solutions

Today’s digital technologies facilitate the recording and visualization of energy consumption data, and subsequently the realization of savings potential. Koenig & Bauer’s new energy management solution optimizes these functions to address the specific requirements of the print and packaging industry, but is equally suitable for use in many other fields. The core element is the energy management system VisuEnergy X, which automatically processes incoming meter data for presentation in clearly structured and individually customizable dashboards. VisuEnergy X records the consumption of all equipment connected to the machine, analyzes this consumption in relation to the production output, and can then calculate job-specific parameters such as the energy consumption per 1,000 sheets. It is possible to upgrade the system beyond energy data to include production-relevant parameters such as temperature and humidity.

The three elements of the Koenig & Bauer energy management solution – the automated recording of meter data, visualization of the analysis results and the derivation of appropriate measures in response, accompanied by professional energy consulting – enable production to be made more efficient. “VisuEnergy X allows our customers to achieve sustainable energy savings of 7 to 10 per cent on average – and that usually from the very first year,” says Michael Billa, product owner for digitalization at Koenig & Bauer.

Product launch with immediate effect

Koenig & Bauer offers the energy management system on a subscription basis as an SaaS solution (software as a service). It is available with immediate effect, initially for customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The global roll-out is to follow at the beginning of 2023. The system is certified in accordance with DIN ISO 50001 and is eligible for energy efficiency grants from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) in Germany.

The energy management system is the first product to be developed and brought to the market by a new digital unit at Koenig & Bauer. This underlines the press manufacturer’s commitment to providing digital solutions that support customers on the road to more sustainability and efficiency. Everything follows a clear plan: sustainability and digitalization are two of the three key goals that Koenig & Bauer has placed at the focus of corporate activities under the group-wide ‘Exceeding Print’ strategy – thereby bringing together the greatest challenge and the prime mover of our times.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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