Production

Company-wide steering instruments and regional action programs

Comprehensive analyses and simulations are the basis for company-wide programs that increase productivity, quality and safety, while simultaneously reducing resource consumption, waste, and maintenance costs. The diversity of our products makes varying demands on our production processes. For example, fundamentally different processes are needed to make tile adhesives, household cleaners, and skin creams, and these processes also differ widely in terms of their water and energy consumption. The experience and activities of our individual plants are therefore channeled into the company-wide efficiency programs. In fact, process-specific ideas and the creativity of employees often make major contributions to the achievement of our objectives.

In addition to optimizing local production processes, the Laundry & Home Care business sector has set itself the goal of reducing the growing complexity between its 31 production sites and its suppliers, distribution centers and customers. A planning and steering system was already introduced for this purpose in 2006, and this has increased the transparency of the worldwide processes. It enables us to identify inefficient processes and effect integral improvements in the interplay of the various partners. For example, we increasingly group production capacities in the geographical vicinity of our markets. Taking a cross-border view of our production network enables us to locate our logistical distribution centers in such a way as to optimize the distance between sites and customers, thus reducing transport mileage to a minimum.

Since 2006, we have systematically carried out analyses of the processes in our eight cosmetics plants as part of our Total Productive Management Plus program. The aim is to identify losses in the various production processes and the supply chain, so that we can continuously increase added value. On the basis of detailed analyses which were carried out at the start of the program, our sites specify actions and quantified targets each year. To achieve these objectives, we rely on the process-specific experience and the ideas and creativity of our employees. To involve all employees as unbureaucratically as possible in the process of continuous improvement, “blue cards” have been placed at clearly visible locations in all cosmetics plants.

Our employees can use these cards to submit suggestions for improving processes. Regarding the production of our Adhesives, Sealants and Surface Treatments, we continued to consolidate our worldwide production network in 2010 and have reduced the number of sites to 149. Key aspects of our production planning are production in the geographical vicinity of our customers, as well as economies of scale and the resulting optimized utilization of resources.

Photo Haiti I.S.A.R. Germany

Use of renewable energies

Pilot projects: In Spain, we have installed small-scale solar thermal systems at our sites in Seville and in Montornès (photo). These systems use the heat from solar radiation to provide hot water for the sites.

In the area of climate protection, our primary focus is on the efficient provision and utilization of energy, to prevent climate-damaging emissions in the first place. As a basic principle, we explore all other options for reducing energy consumption first before considering the use of green electricity or carbon offsetting certificates.

Nevertheless, we regularly check whether and where the use of renewable energy sources for electricity generation or the provision of heat is economically worthwhile for us and can make an additional contribution to climate protection. Our Laundry & Home Care business sector has developed a scouting tool to help with this. It takes into account the local availability of different forms of renewable energy, as well as the changing economic conditions and the demand at our sites.

In 2010, as a result of all our worldwide programs, cuts were achieved in energy consumption at 62 percent of our sites, in water consumption at 57 percent, and in waste at 55 percent. We were thus able to further improve our performance on important sustainability indicators in 2010 and have already achieved the 2012 environmental targets we had set for our production sites.

Examples for efficiency programs

Cross-Regional Projects

Efficiency drive:
Excellence in Site Services (EISS) is one of our worldwide efficiency programs. Since 2006, it has helped us to increase the productivity, quality and safety of our sites, while simultaneously reducing resource consumption, waste, and maintenance costs. Comprehensive analyses and simulations often provide a basis for local improvement measures. As a result of the EISS program, we have identified 731 individual measures at our sites worldwide, in the fields of energy, water, waste, building management, safety, health and the environment, and plant logistics.

Wassertrüdingen and Dülken, Germany / Maribor, Slovenia / Sfax, Tunisia / Bogotá, Colombia / Chonburi, Thailand: Numerous optimization measures were carried out in 2010 as part of the Total Productive Management Plus program for our cosmetics sites. These enabled us to reduce the energy consumption by a total of 10 percent, water consumption by 12 percent, and waste by 19 percent.

Toluca, Mexico / Mixco, Guatemala / Perm and Engels, Russia / Port Said, Egypt / Düsseldorf, Germany / Montornès, Spain / Ferentino, Italy:
Through the use of new production technologies, we succeeded in optimizing the production process for laundry detergent powders. A comparison shows that the new process needs 13 percent less energy per year.

Europe, Africa, Middle East

European Union: Emissions trading  
Since January 2005, some 12,000 industrial installations in the European Union participate in the world’s largest emissions allowances trading scheme. The objective is to achieve a reduction of 8 percent in carbon dioxide emissions in Europe (base level: 1990) by the year 2012. Henkel’s power plant in Düsseldorf-Holthausen, the company’s largest source of direct carbon dioxide emissions, is subject to the emissions trading scheme. The power station is technically very well equipped. Its efficiency is almost 90 percent, thanks to the especially effective use of cogeneration. As early as 1990, the construction of a gas turbine brought about a reduction of approximately 25 percent in carbon dioxide emissions. With the help of further improvements in energy management and a tripling of the carbon dioxide neutral fuels from production residues, emissions per kilowatt hour of electricity and steam have been reduced by an additional 20 percent since 1990.

Europe: Sale instead of disposal
Marketing of all left-over stocks, including raw materials, packaging, finished products and equipment, via a virtual surplus goods marketplace, where they are sold to interested external parties. Result: significant contribution to avoiding waste and conserving resources by returning surplus materials to the recoverable materials cycle. In addition: considerable savings in disposal and warehousing costs. The money earned covers part of the production and purchase costs of these left-over stocks.

Düsseldorf, Germany:
The introduction of the Late Customization technology and other actions enabled us to reduce wastewater volumes and the associated product losses in liquid laundry detergent production by 60 percent.

Wassertrüdingen, Germany: 
Installation of a new steam-driven heat exchanger in cosmetics production. With the help of waste heat from a compressor, we now heat the test baths for hair and deodorant sprays. This enabled us to cut our gas consumption and to reduce radiation losses. Result: energy savings of about 6 percent in 2007 – equivalent to 250 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Körösladány, Hungary:
By converting the hot-water generation system in the liquid detergent production facility to calorimetric technology, we reduced the annual consumption of natural gas for heat generation by 10 percent.

Ankara, Turkey:  
Comprehensive analysis and overhaul of the existing plant for the generation of deionized water used in the production of liquid laundry detergents. Result: The new process cut the plant’s energy and water consumption by, respectively, 67 and 36 percent.

Maribor, Slovenia:  
Weekly monitoring of the water and energy consumption of the production lines. The resulting measures included renewing the hot water network, the complete recycling of the steam condensate, and pressure optimization in the steam and compressed air generation systems. Result: reduction of 22 percent in water consumption and 12 percent in energy consumption.

Vienna, Austria:
Numerous projects for boosting energy efficiency. These included changing the lighting fixtures in two production lines, the installation of heat exchangers for steam generation, and switching to automatic control of the compressor ventilation and the air-conditioning systems. Result: reduction of 22 percent in energy consumption.

Montornès, Spain:  
A new technique enables washing powder ingredients to be mixed without the addition of water. The detergent therefore no longer needs to be dried in the spray tower. Result: cut of 20 percent in gas consumption and 23 percent in water consumption.

Norrköping, Sweden:  
Implementation of numerous optimization projects in all areas of adhesives production. Result: reductions of 8 percent in electricity consumption, 22 percent in water consumption, and 14 percent in waste.   

Engels, Russia: 
Installation of an on-site steam generation plant as part of a comprehensive modernization project. Before, the site used to be supplied to by an external steam power plant. Considerable amounts of heat were lost as the steam was transported through long-distance pipelines, and the reliability of the supply was somewhat uncertain. Result: In addition to assuring continuity of energy supply to production, annual energy consumption was reduced by up to 30 percent.

Nairobi, Kenya: 
Comprehensive measures to achieve reductions in the amount of wastewater and the associated water consumption of the production facilities. Result: Targeted optimizations reduced the plant’s wastewater amount by 17 percent, along with the associated water consumption.

North and South America

Salisbury, North Carolina, USA:  
Implementation of a project to minimize hazardous waste. Liquid wastes from adhesives production are delivered to customers in the USA for reutilization in their production facilities, e.g. for cleaning production lines. Result: reduction of 35 percent in hazardous waste.

St. Louis, Missouri, USA:
Switch of laundry detergent production to concentrates. Result: reduction of 33 percent in water consumption and 29 percent in waste at the site.

Hayward, California, USA:
Detailed screening of the plant’s operations for potential improvements. Result: changes in production planning and cleaning processes helped to cut wastewater volume by more than 15 percent and gas and electricity consumption by even 40 percent.

Bogotá, Colombia:  
Extensive optimization of the cleaning process and the wastewater treatment plant in the cosmetics production facility. Result: reduction of 22 percent in the volume of wastewater and a cut of 53 percent in waste.

Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico:  
Implementation of various pilot projects to increase energy efficiency. These include the installation of solar tube systems that reflect sunlight from the roof into building interiors. Result: Reduction of 60 percent in the energy consumption of the test building.

Mixco, Guatemala:
Investment in a new heat recovery system for the detergent production line to recycle waste heat from production to our processes. Result: reduction in energy consumption by about 15 percent by recovering the 100 degree Celsius waste heat from the spray drying tower and using it for our production processes.

Toluca, Mexico: 
Appointment of a site water committee – composed of employees from production and administration – to monitor and steer water management more effectively in the future. The committee is responsible for precisely monitoring total water consumption each month and devising ways of reducing both water consumption and the volume of wastewater. The efficiency of water use in the office buildings is considered just as attentively as the utilization of recycled water in production.

Itapevi, Boituva and Diadema, Brazil:
Organization of three-day information campaigns to raise awareness among employees of the need to adopt a responsible approach to water as a resource. At Diadema, our employees also visited 250 apartments and houses in the neighborhood, where they distributed brochures with information and advice on saving water in the home.

Itapevi, Brazil:
Continuous projects to raise awareness among employees, their families as well as neighbors with regard to environmental protection, health, and accident prevention. These may also include some unconventional methods. The fashion show “From trash to luxury”, for example, makes use of creative works of art to show what is disposed of each day and make people aware of recoverable materials.

Asia-Pacific

Cabuyao, Philippines:
Through improvements to the production process, we reduced the number of operating hours and therefore the energy consumption per batch. Overall, the more efficient adhesives production planning resulted in a reduction in energy and water consumption by 15 and 36 percent, respectively.

Navi Mumbai (Thane), India:
By optimizing the water flow in the hotmelt production lines we were able to exploit natural gravity. We now no longer need to run the water pumps at such high delivery rates as before and have thus reduced the energy they consume. Moreover, we adjusted the cooling water tanks to the site’s actual production capacities. As a result, we have achieved decreases in water and energy consumption of, respectively, 26 percent and 4 percent.

Pune, India:  
Optimization of the adhesives production process through installation of a new extruder unit for mixing adhesives. Result: reduction of 30 percent in the plant’s energy consumption.

 

Shanghai (Songjiang), China:
Besides conventional hot air blowers, the use of special moistureabsorbing fabrics in production supports the drying of the industrial adhesives produced there. This has enabled us to reduce the energy consumption for this line section by some 60 percent.

Auckland (East Tamaki), New Zealand:
The installation of a closed-loop system for chilled water reduced the annual water consumption in adhesives production by about 50 percent. At the same time, the new process brought about significant financial savings in the form of reduced costs for water intake and disposal.

Chonburi, Thailand: 
Startup of the site’s wastewater treatment plant. This enables wastewater from the cosmetics production units to be filtered before it is discharged into the municipal wastewater treatment plant. Result: reduction of 62 percent in the organic load of wastewater.