Sustainability - March 2020

Intelligent use of waste heat

Waste heat instead of new energy

Wherever machines are used in production, waste heat is generated. At Geberit, this waste heat is utilized. This does not only save energy but also helps to protect the environment.

Injection moulding machines, tunnel kilns, block heating stations and compressors at the production plants all generate heat that often remains unused and is wasted. In contrast, Geberit recycles this waste heat and puts it to good use.

«Processing plastics at Geberit is always a thermodynamic process. While heat is required in some places, it is emitted in others. As engineers, it is our job to develop clever solutions for utilising this interplay of heat in a sustainable manner.»
Rainer Brehm, Head of Process Engineering, Geberit Pfullendorf (DE)

The principle: The plastic granules used for manufacturing cisterns are stored in huge outdoor silos, and are thus subjected to changing temperatures and moisture. As a result, the granules then have to be dried and pre-heated to around 60 °C before being processed in the injection moulding machine. Instead of tapping new energy sources here, the Geberit technicians and process engineers have developed a method for using the generated waste heat for drying and pre-heating the plastic granules. At the production plant in Pfullendorf alone, it was possible to save 0.4 gigawatt hours of energy in 2019. This corresponds to the average electricity consumption of around 65 households in the Western world.