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Economy and ecology working in harmony

Healthcare News | 2012-07-11

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The products manufactured in Kemnath are deployed in almost all Siemens Healthcare systems.

2012 is a very special year for the Kemnath manufacturing and development facility. Located in Germany's Upper Palatinate region, the plant is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. About 1,200 workers are producing components, systems, and subsystems for computed tomography, surgery, angiography, and radiography, as well as manufacturing parts for in-vitro diagnostic systems and robot arms for the high-tech systems in cardiac catheterization laboratories.

Since 1996, the site has run an externally certified environmental management scheme with the most stringent requirements. Due to its numerous ecologically relevant processes, such as surface engineering and processing of metals, Kemnath established a culture of energy-efficient production and reduced environmental impact at a very early stage. Today the Kemnath plant is cutting energy costs to the tune of EUR €520,000 per year. CO2 emissions are also being reduced effectively by around 2,700 tonnes per year. As a comparison, the level of CO2 emissions equates to each of the site's 1,200 employees driving 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles) annually in their cars.

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The wood chip heating plant delivers a maximum heat output of 1.6 megawatts.

Measures for increased efficiency

In the spring of 2011, the Kemnath site together with other Siemens entities started to work on implementing the concrete measures for increased efficiency. From then on, heating for the site has been generated by a natural gas-fired peak load boiler and a biomass boiler. Wood chips sourced locally within the region are used as biomass. A block-unit power plant produces additional heat and electricity. The result is an ideal combination of regenerative and fossil-fuel resources. The lighting, cooling, and ventilation systems have also been renewed for optimized energy efficiency. The town of Kemnath, in cooperation with a local energy provider, has taken a step further towards improved energy efficiency by installing solar carports on the plant’s parking lot. This solar-powered installation can produce 450,000 kWh of CO2-free electricity annually. Siemens intends to use the produced electricity for the electric vehicles which will in future commute between several nearby Siemens locations.

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Aerial view of the Kemnath plant in 2012

A historic production site is set for the future

In January 1962, Siemens-Reiniger Werke, a predecessor of the Siemens Healthcare Sector today, purchased a spinning works site in Kemnath and within a short time production was up and running with an initial staff head count of seven. By the end of 1962, there were already 107 workers based in Kemnath. Today, Siemens has over 1,200 employees on site which has increased in size to 141,000 m2 (1,517,711.368 ft²). The site has now developed into a global competence center for mechatronics, continuing to set industry standards in the future.

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