Focus on energy

Efficiency increases and cost savings

The Energy Manager Pro tool, which Siemens has further developed specifically for Vetropack, will make it possible to clearly record, harmonise and compare all of the energy flows for every Vetropack Group plant in the future.


Glassmaking is an energy-intensive process, with furnaces operating at a temperature of around 1,600°C. Kurt Hagenberger, Vetropack’s Energy Lead Buyer, says that: “Energy consumption is a major cost factor for us. It’s something that we obviously want to reduce – and an energy management system will allow us to do just that.” Ulrich Ruberg, Head of Corporate Procurement, adds: “Pure energy management software has been around for quite a while, but we take an integrated approach. We want to be able to link market data, implement our procurement strategy and know what our costs are in real time – and we need a fully automated auditing system.” There is currently only one piece of software that makes it possible to achieve all of these objectives – Energy Manager Pro, which Siemens has further developed specifically for Vetropack.

Meters feed into the database

At its most basic, Energy Manager Pro is a gigantic database. Its meters measure energy consumption and the readings are comprehensively analysed. As Kurt Hagenberger puts it: “In production, we use electricity, gas, compressed air or water meters. We then relate the readings to production volumes, among other things, which allows us to calculate a benchmark for effective energy consumption and costs.” For his part, Ulrich Ruberg is convinced that, in a world that is growing ever more complex, the line departments need to band closer together to make the most of opportunities for optimisation: “Due to the increase in the amount of energy generated by renewables, for example, the cost of energy fluctuates throughout the day. Only tools such as Energy Manager Pro enable us to respond and, together with all line departments, to ensure optimisation. For the first time, we have concentrated all of our data in one tool,” Ruberg says.

All plants connected by 2023

The tool was first implemented a year and a half ago, at the Straža plant in Croatia. “We’re in the optimisation phase at the moment, and the tool is running smoothly”, Kurt Hagenberger says. Energy Manager Pro was subsequently introduced by Vetropack Austria and will start being used at the glassworks based in the Czech Republic and Slovakia later this year. The tool will be rolled out to all plants by 2023.

But conclusions can already be drawn on its effects. In the words of Kurt Hagenberger: “The tool is making us more energy-efficient and actively supports our energy purchasing. The volatility of the markets means that it is of the utmost importance for us to have good online access to market data.” Ulrich Ruberg adds that “the potential for optimisation exists wherever energy is consumed. Our focus is on obtaining an accurate analysis of energy consumption for our furnaces and other energy consumers downstream. Based on this analysis, we then run simulations of cost optimisation measures”. The tool allows users not only to measure energy consumption for furnaces, but also to run simulations of cost reduction measures. Ruberg continues: “Once measures have been implemented to increase efficiency, the tool makes it very easy to track them in terms of effectiveness and ability to reduce costs. Energy Manager Pro is an indispensable tool for cost optimization and supports us in meeting our obligation to use energy resources efficiently.”