Apprentices as Energy Scouts Save Electricity
Project presentation for the “Karlsruhe Energieschule”
In June, Michelin apprentices presented their first successful energy efficiency projects to various guests from the political and economic fields during the launch of the “Karlsruher Energieschule” ("Karlsruhe Energy School"). This happened in the context of acting as energy scouts and consultants. In accordance with its values such as respect for the environment, the tire manufacturer has, in a comprehensive approach, linked the professional training of young mechatronics with the conscious use of energy resources.
“We are particularly pleased that young colleagues can actively contribute to the ‘Karlsruhe Energieschule’ project”, said Christian Metzger, director of Michelin Reifenwerke in Karlsruhe. “The commitment of the apprentices shows the great interest of the upcoming generation in the topic of energy and what kind of important measures can be implemented when the conditions are right.”
The goal of the “Karlsruhe Energieschule” is to showcase successfully implemented energy-saving projects to other companies and support them with the integration of these measures in their own operations. Based on the ISO 50001 energy mandate in companies and due to the fact that ‘environmentally friendly energy and material use’ is part of the mechatronic professional training, Michelin has decided to combine these two points in a training module. This way, future skilled workers can get to learn and ensure environmentally friendly use of energy resources and, at the same time, pass on this acquired knowledge to other employees. “We have learnt a lot about the energy requirements in the production field and can certainly put our knowledge to good use in our future jobs”, added Tim Hoffmann, a mechatronics trainee at the Michelin Reifenwerke in Karlsruhe.
Integration of practically oriented contents in the training schedule
To effectively provide the apprentices with the relevant knowledge on the energy topic, Michelin has integrated five theoretical learning modules in the curriculum:
- “Primary energy sources: advantages and disadvantages”
- “Does electricity really come out of the socket?”
- “ISO 50001: what is that?”
- "Ways to save energy”
- “Compressed air: energy guzzler at Michelin?”
During practical training, the young mechatronics were able to apply their newly acquired knowledge on the factory premises right away. Within the course of the project “Saving energy in the administration building”, the trainees conducted 56 interviews with staff members and were able to cut down consumption of different energy consumers in the building. As a result, Michelin currently saves approximately 6,700 kWh per year, an amount that can be compared to the annual energy consumption of two four-person households and is equivalent to the emission of about three tons of CO2.
In addition, the ambitioned Michelin energy scouts also addressed energy losses in the field of compressed air. A total of 80 weak points in the production flow were identified and eliminated. Michelin now saves about 40,000 kWh annually in the production of compressed air, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by 17 tons. Lastly, the apprentices also focused on energy supply, conversion and distribution at Michelin and came up with additional improvement suggestions.