Processes

If managers deliberately take the environment into account every time they make a decision, many aspects can be improved simultaneously.

Worthington water power delivers green energy

Sustainable thinking is nothing new for us: We don’t do it because it is a recent trend or because we need it. We do it because it is in our blood. Because of the water rights that the company has thanks to its proximity to the Erlauf River, it constructed its own hydroelectric power station back in 1910. For over 100 years, this power station has delivered green energy to our company. As a production company, being able to generate our own power is a huge advantage with respect to supply security.

But it also involves responsibility: Fish must be able to pass through unhindered, the water feeds must be cleaned regularly, and dead leaves, wood, and other floating refuse must be disposed of.

  • 1910: constructed
  • 1988: automated (new generators and switches)
  • Two turbines are in operation
  • The power plant delivers about 140,000 kW per month

Saving and cleaning water

Water is extremely important for our production, but we don’t want to waste drinking water from the tap. That’s why we use water from an adjacent pond for cleaning and for cooling products and tools during forging. The water is then cleaned in our wastewater treatment plant in accordance with the Wastewater Emissions Ordinance and returned to the Erlauf River. Circular concepts are at work here as well: We take only what we need from nature, and return it as we found it.

Using excess heat

Presses and ovens used in production processes generate temperatures of up to 300 °C. But their exhaust heat is not lost – we use it to heat water for the entire premises and to heat the production facilities in the winter months.

By recovering the heat, we reduce usage of other energy sources and lower our operating costs. This allows us to save 450,000 liters of heating oil per year – or enough to heat over 100 homes a year. (On average, one household uses about 4,000 liters a year.)

No more heating oil: Since 2018, we have replaced heating oil with liquid gas in all of our system operations. This gas burns clean, resulting in low emission values and significantly reducing our carbon footprint.

All of our forklifts run on liquid gas now, too – instead of diesel as they used to.