Commitment to greater energy efficiency: stoba trainees become energy scouts

Seven young talents from the stoba training department in Backnang have been IHK-certified “Energy Scouts” since this week. To this end, they have identified areas in the company where energy efficiency can be optimized – and then developed corresponding proposals for solutions. The results are to be implemented this year.Compressed air leaks and lighting – these were the two core projects that the trainees, six of whom are mechatronics engineers and one a cutting machine operator, focused on in their projects. “We first received training on the topic of energy efficiency,” explains Marcus Bolter, a 3rd year apprentice. “Then we went through the whole company in two groups and looked closely at where we could use our energy even more efficiently.” They then compiled their ideas and each decided on a focus topic. Over the course of four weeks, the apprentices then did a lot of research, carried out measurements and analyses and developed proposed solutions. “It was really great to be able to work so independently on a practical project and do our own thing from start to finish,” says Daniel Wolf, also a third-year apprentice.

Convincing solutions

The apprentices’ final presentation to the representatives of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce showed that they had done their job well: both groups impressed with well thought-out approaches and clever solutions, which were awarded 98 and 100 out of a possible 100 points. The approaches included, for example, replacing halogen lamps with LED lamps and installing motion detectors and timers. In the area of compressed air, the focus was on detecting leaks in compressed air guns. “Many people take it for granted that compressed air is available. But it’s hard to believe how expensive it is to actually generate it using electrical energy,” explains Kevin Jauernig, part of the compressed air project group.

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“We therefore need to communicate to our colleagues how important it is to recognize porous hoses or loose connectors, for example, and replace them in good time.” In this context, both groups came to the conclusion that raising employee awareness of such issues is a decisive factor for successful energy management. The trainees were also able to back up their proposed solutions with a comparison of investment costs and potential savings as well as a presentation of possible approaches. Their ideas were also met with enthusiasm by the audience from stoba. “The guys did a really good job and the results represent important potential for how we can fulfill our responsibility for people and the environment,” said Arne Bihler from the Health, Safety and Environment department. “They contribute to our major overall goal of energy-efficient, CO2-neutral production.” Implementation of the ideas should therefore begin as soon as possible. To this end, three of the trainees will be taken on directly in the appropriate area after successfully completing their training. Markus Gebhardt, Head of Training in the technical area, summarizes: “The energy scouts once again show how valuable it is to work with young people in different areas of the company. We challenge and encourage them – and that brings enormous added value for both the trainees and stoba.” The certification is one of many measures that stoba has taken to assume responsibility for sustainable management as a company. Other examples include the work on C02-neutral production at the Backnang and Weinstadt sites , the strong commitment to training and the sponsorship of the Tour Ginkgo.

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