Manufacturing companies bear a very special responsibility for the environment. KSB production sites such as the one in Shirwal in India meet the latest energy and environmental protection requirements and make an important contribution to the careful use of resources. The latest production plant of the pump and valve manufacturer consistently focuses on sustainability.
Around a quarter of India’s population – more than 300 million people – still have no access to electricity. So the demand for safe, economical and clean energy is high. For this reason, KSB has invested some 40 million euros in a new production site for power station pumps.
The ultramodern Shirwal plant not far from the West Indian metropolis of Pune sets standards in terms of sustainability. “During the planning and construction phase of the plant we were already using advanced technologies to protect the environment,” reports plant manager Nitin Patil. “When choosing our location, we were guided by the need to have as little impact on the ecosystem as possible.” The run-up to the project involved detailed analysis of natural resources and the sustainability of their planned usage; for example, not a single tree had to be felled on the construction site.
KSB designed the factory buildings to consume as little energy as possible. The construction method used allows daylight into the production halls so that employees do not need artificial lighting at all for at least eight hours a day. If it is too dark, highly efficient LED lights of the latest generation can be switched on.
High temperatures are common in Shirwal, but in KSB’s production halls employees need not work up a sweat. Well insulated buildings avoid excessive heat build-up from the sun, while the long side walls are in the shade for most of the day. Air conditioning also creates pleasant working conditions in the halls. The ventilation system solely employs evaporation to cool in an environmentally friendly and energy-saving manner without refrigerants. “Our cooling equipment has lower energy consumption compared with other systems,” explains Nitin Patil. “In India we have already implemented this solution at two locations.”
Electricity from the roof
The factory in India self-generates more than 50 percent of the electrical energy it requires via its own solar energy equipment. Around 3,000 modules are distributed over the roof areas of the entire plant. This not only makes economic sense in times of rising electricity prices, but also saves Shirwal more than 1.2 million tonnes of CO2. In India, KSB already operates solar energy systems at three other locations.
“We are committed to preserving natural resources for future generations,” says plant manager Nitin Patil. Economic success and sustainable corporate governance go hand in hand at KSB.
Efficiency comes up trumps
Inside the production halls, everything is geared towards maximum efficiency. Stateof-the-art systems and machines consume very little energy. One example is the compressed air used to clean dirty components – this is usually a real energy guzzler in manufacturing. At KSB, the compressed air system operates with speed control and adapts to actual demand. This reduces power consumption by about 30 percent compared with conventional systems. “The system costs more to purchase, but the energy savings pay off after about two and a half years,” explains Patil.
Short distances in the factory ensure that the individual production steps, from the delivery of the individual components to the dispatch of the finished pump, all take place under one roof. This saves time and avoids unnecessary transportation.
Water is a precious resource. And this is particularly true at KSB’s Shirwal location. Here, most rainfall occurs during the four months of the monsoon – for the rest of the year water is in short supply. The groundwater level is falling from day to day. KSB therefore uses a system to store rainwater. Travelling via a natural gradient, rainfall flows to a recharge well connected to the groundwater.
Green outside, digital inside
KSB has planted around 1,000 trees and ground cover plants around the factory buildings. As well as improving the landscape, they also protect against soil erosion. Many plants have been positioned on the slopes of the hills in order to prevent rain from eroding the valuable layer of topsoil.
Digitalisation also contributes to environmental protection in Shirwal. Web-based time recording for employees and document management systems for processing orders reduce paper consumption at this location and help conserve the scarce resource of wood.
Learn more about sustainability at KSB