GERMANY: Compressor manufacturer Bitzer is to open a new 1500m² international training centre in October.
Construction of the new facility began in August at the company’s screw compressor facility in Rottenburg-Ergenzingen.
The Schaufler Academy, named after CEO Peter Schaufler, has been designed as a multifunctional building, also serving as the new main entrance and reception building for the entire factory.
“We decided to build the Schaufler Academy for many different reasons,” says Rainer Große-Kracht, chief technology officer at Bitzer. “The complexity of Bitzer compressors and products is always increasing, for example due to the integrated frequency inverters, electronic components and new CO2 systems.”
Technically demanding solutions also require well-trained service staff. The Schaufler Academy will be the central training location for customers and employees from all over the world.
“Here we’ll offer the training courses that keep the maintenance teams of our business partners up to date,” adds Rainer Große-Kracht.
A major advantage of the three-storey, 10m-tall academy is that it will be capable of hosting several training courses at the same time – offering five rooms for teaching the necessary theory and three for practical training.
Planned as a multifunctional building to make optimal use of all the new space, it will, for instance, enable three training rooms to be combined to create a larger space with enough seating for up to 60 people.
According to Rainer Große-Kracht, the training courses will offer a variety of benefits: “Bitzer can present the theory behind the added value provided by cutting-edge compressors and electronic components as well as demonstrate the practical advantages when used with new technologies and carry out testing on real systems,” he says.
The new facility will act as a showcase for Bitzer’s latest products and also provide offices for the training staff and a company restaurant with seating for 110 employees and training course participants.
Innovative energy concept
One of the Schaufler Academy highlights will be the innovative energy concept, featuring heat pumps for heating and cooling, underground latent storage (ice storage), the solar thermal collector and the block-type thermal power station.
Bitzer maintains that having pursued sustainability for quite some time, the company is now demonstrating how cutting-edge environmental protection works.
“We’re happy to assume higher investment costs for the ice storage, for example,” says Jürgen Kleiner, Bitzer’s chief procurement officer. “We use it to collect temporarily available cooling and thermal energy and retrieve it again when necessary. This allows us to compensate for the fluctuating energy supply and use renewable energy sources that are suitable for heating and occasionally for cooling. Of course we also use the existing waste heat released by the testing and demonstration systems.”