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Eco-friendly energy conservation at Druckhaus Dresden

Sep 7, 2007 12:00 AM

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There is a lot of hot air generated about the need to cut CO2 emissions, switch to sustainable resources and conserve energy. One of the hottest issues facing the print media industry is the contribution it can make toward protecting the environment. Druckhaus Dresden is ahead of the curve.

Druckhaus Dresden adopted a central energy and process management system (EPMS) in the summer of last year, when the construction of a new, 2,000m² (21,500ft²) production hall and warehouse, and the installation of a new Rapida 105 eight-color perfector press and a Rapida 105 five-color hybrid coater press with extended delivery offered the ideal opportunity. The two Rapidas, along with two smaller Heidelberg presses, are embedded in a JDF workflow and networked with pre-press and administration via LogoTronic and Rogler software.

EPMS, which was developed by Quint, is the key component in a print peripheral system that is sheer genius. EPMS handles fount solution preparation, osmosis, washing, temperature control, return cooling, UV cooling, cold-air blasts for the UV and hybrid coating processes, and heat extraction from the entire press line (see sidebar, below). It incorporates Binder’s new evaporation-based air humidifier system. The four installed evaporator units use mains water, so there is no need for osmosis water. The savings in energy consumption and associated costs are staggering.

But energy savings were not the main reason for adopting this novel concept – it also delivers substantial quality benefits. Karl Nolle, managing partner at Druckhaus Dresden, considers cheap, run-of-the-mill systems a waste of money. “In the final analysis they are much more expensive because they consume an excessive amount of energy and consumables in the course of their productive life, without guaranteeing the process stability that is indispensable for standardized print production.”

Cutting energy consumption

With EPMS it is possible to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the energy consumed by peripherals. “Even without heat recovery we calculate that the initial investment cost will be recouped in less than six years, and with heat recovery in just three years,” says Karl Nolle. At a single stroke it complies with the Kyoto protocol on reducing CO2 emissions and promotes stability and quality throughout the printing process. Druckhaus Dresden is one of the first printing plants in Saxony and Thuringia to achieve PSO (Process Standard for Offset) accreditation.

But adopting EPMS is just the first of three steps. Soon a heat-recovery system will be put into operation that uses heat pumps to extract heat emissions during production. This means that, in the winter, the gas boiler for the central heating can be switched off during triple-shift production.

In 2008 the central heating system will be converted to a geothermal system and exhaust heat conducted to a groundwater pipe system that can be used as a seasonal heat accumulator. This third and final step in Druckhaus Dresden’s sustainable energy conservation project will totally eliminate the need for external air-conditioners. The potential bottom line benefits are impressive. Based on a saving of 330g (11.5oz) of CO2 per KW of electrical power the following reductions will be achieved:

70 tonnes of CO2 per year from adopting EPMS, 5 tonnes of CO2 per year through air humidification with no com-pressed air or osmosis, 60 tonnes of CO2 per year through heat recovery and geothermal heat.

When the system is fully operational, the total saving will be approximately 135 tonnes (148.5 US tons) of CO2 per year, with a 70 percent reduction in heating costs compared to conventional systems.

What are the benefits of EPMS?

  • Up to 25 percent less chemistry.
  • Up to 30 percent greater cooling efficiency.
  • Up to 50 percent lower running costs.
  • Intelligent heat extractor system.
  • Up to 70 percent less energy consumption.
  • Chilling efficiency infinitely adjustable from 15 to 100 percent.
  • Optimum adjustment to printing process.
  • Ultra-clean, stable fount solution.
  • Stable temperatures.
  • Online measurement of all consumption.
  • No water pollution.
  • CO2 emissions below Kyoto thresholds.

What benefits does evaporation-based air humidification deliver?

  • 50 percent reduction in volume of water required.
  • 66 percent reduction in energy consumption compared to other systems.
  • 5 tonne reduction in CO2 emissions per year.