© Photo | ebm-papst

Energy scouts for all!

The concept invented by ebm-papst has spread to other regions

At the end of 2010 four trainees at the Mulfingen plant went in search of “energy guzzlers” in the produc­tion process. Using tech­nical aids, they located, docu­mented and repaired leaks in compressed air systems: The Energy scouts were born. “In the first year alone, we elim­i­nated around 100 leaks and so saved 100,000 euro,” says Lisa Bahr, respon­sible for energy and the envi­ron­ment in the Oper­a­tion, Main­te­nance and Building depart­ment, who has been involved from the outset. The St. Georgen plant soon joined in with its own Energy scout programme. Since then all the German plants and the branch in Hungary have formed similar teams as well. Every year the people acting as Energy scouts pass on their knowl­edge to four new trainees to help the company save energy – after all, new leaks can appear at any time so that there is never any shortage of work for the scouts.

Prac­tical instruc­tion

The prize-winning project has also received posi­tive acclaim beyond the bounds of ebm-papst. “The idea is so good that it deserves to be more widely known,” says Stefan Gölz from the manage­ment of the Heil­bronn Franken Chamber of Commerce. Together with ebm-papst he is currently working on adapting the model for courses to be held by the Chamber of Commerce with a view to teaching trainees from other compa­nies how to become Energy scouts. The courses are intended to start in the Heil­bronn Franken region, to be followed by 18 Cham­bers of Commerce throughout Germany at a later date. “Partic­u­larly with regard to energy effi­ciency it is impor­tant to have concrete results to show and get employees directly involved. So the courses are of an extremely prac­tical nature. Trainees are the ideal target group for such a project, as they adopt the appro­priate atti­tude right from the start of their careers and keep the idea alive within the company,” says Gölz.

ebm-papst has not just passed on its exper­tise to Cham­bers of Commerce, but also directly to other compa­nies. As part of the GreenDay 2013, the Mulfingen Energy scouts provided a whole day’s theo­ret­ical and prac­tical instruc­tion for trainees and training managers from ten compa­nies. To accom­pany this event, two tuto­rial videos were also produced giving step-by-step instruc­tions on correct use of the thermal imaging camera and compressed air leak detector. Lisa Bahr: “It is a delight to see how much interest there is in the Energy scouts. This project shows how any company can save energy employing simple means.”

Learn more about our ebm-papst energy scouts project for appren­tices

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