Lenze is a family business, with 70 years of tradition and very promising prospects for the future. These are good reasons for thinking about the long term and acting accordingly, for building on the tried and tested values of our founders and owners, and for investing strongly in the next generation. We take responsibility: for our company and for all those who are connected with us as partners; for the products and solutions that we develop for our customers; for our employees and their families; and for the environment and the society in which we work and live.
There are good reasons why Lenze is able to celebrate its 70th company anniversary this year. Firstly, there are the constants at the heart of our company: the pioneering spirit, commitment, and courage. These are qualities that have always been in demand, both back in our founding years after the Second World War and today, in an era of radical change brought about by digitalisation. And they go hand in hand with the traditional values that dictate our actions: honesty, respect, and mutual appreciation. What else makes us what we are? Global competence and the close ties to our roots. We know where we come from, we know our strengths, and we are open for new things – these are good conditions for creating innovation.
Lenze employed around 3,500 people at the end of the financial year, making the company an important employer. A large proportion of our workforce works at our headquarters in Gross Berkel and Extertal.
Lenze is investing more than € 35 million in our Extertal site over the coming years. It is the biggest investment in the company’s history so far. A Mechatronic Competence Campus (MCC) is to be created by the middle of 2020, with an automatic high-bay warehouse and a new logistics building. The MCC will feature an ultra-modern factory, streamlined value-added processes, and new working environments, areas which will enable us to focus on interdisciplinary cooperation. All this will significantly strengthen our power to compete, and it will lay the foundation for future growth.
The new Mechatronic Competence Campus will enable us to achieve close cooperation across departmental boundaries, transparent processes, space for creative ideas, and short development and production times.
As an industrial company we take responsibility for our products and the way they are produced. We expect ourselves to be good in both these areas. This ensures that we continuously reduce the environmental impact in relevant environmental areas such as energy, waste, emissions and water conservation. The standard we apply is Lenze’s Environmental Policy. In addition to our striving for reductions and continuous improvement, our policy also includes compliance with statutory environmental regulations.
The biggest contribution to environmental conservation comes from the continual improvements that we make to our products and along our value-added chain. This is because almost half of the electrical energy produced today is used by industry, and electric drives are responsible for about two thirds of this. The greatest potential for increasing energy efficiency therefore lies in precisely this area. A reduction in energy consumption by 20% can be realistically achieved by using intelligent solutions. And this has lasting effects, because when a device is being used more efficiently, the result is greater energy efficiency and less pressure on resources – and with an unchanged level of productivity. Lenze BlueGreen Solutions are contributing to this.
Our focus on making our products more energy-efficient and resource-efficient already begins in the development phase. This is not only because today’s statutory regulations require electric drive systems to have an ecological design. It is also because we are then able to save material, manufacture products at a lower cost, and therefore save our customers energy and costs. We have, for example, succeeded in massively reducing the thickness of the walls in gearboxes. We have taken products such as worm gearboxes, which no longer meet the modern standards of efficiency, out of our portfolio; this is an exemplary move. In our products we implement the relevant regulations on pollutants (such as REACH and RoHS), and various working groups are appointed in Lenze processes to make sure this happens. For example, we do not use leaded solder in electronic components and manufacturing processes; and by using so-called high-solid paints we have been able to achieve significant reductions both in the amount of solvents used for painting and in the temperatures needed for drying. Also, we normally sell unpainted gearboxes these days. This represents a significant contribution to resource conservation on our sites and in our products. These measures also aim to sensitise our customers to the topic of environmental conservation.
Lenze uses environmentally friendly enamelled copper wire in its motor production.
By using high-solid paints Lenze has been able to significantly reduce both the drying temperatures and the amount of solvents used.
Lenze’s Environment and Energy Management System is geared towards continuous improvement. It primarily aims to avoid environmental pollution altogether. If that is not possible, we strive to achieve a reduction. For this purpose we carry out detailed reviews, study opportunities and risks, and take into account the increasingly important topic of energy. One example of this is the implementation of the European guideline on energy efficiency 2012/27, and this also affects other production plants outside the European Union. Every year we set up environmental programmes and set specific environmental targets, which include the subject of energy efficiency worldwide. With the help of annual internal environmental audits we assess the adherence to the standards we have set ourselves and the adherence to Lenze’s environmental policy. Our Environment and Energy Management System is regularly checked and approved, worldwide: six of our eight plants have been certified as being in line with the international environmental management standard ISO 14001.
One of our strategic goals derives from the German government’s climate protection plan: we aim to reduce our energy costs by 20% by the year 2020.
To achieve this we have been carrying out the Lenze Energy Offensive (LEO) for a number of years now. Many projects are helping us to come ever closer to our goal. For example, Lenze is taking part in an initiative by the Ostwestfalen-Lippe Chamber of Industry and Commerce called “Energy Scouts”, which trains apprentices to become more aware of energy and resource efficiency. They then go through the company as Energy Scouts, looking for potential ways of saving energy; we check their findings and in many cases we can normally turn the potential into actual savings (as with compressed air, to name a current example). Also, when we have our annual Future Day, schoolchildren come to the Lenze headquarters for a look behind the scenes, and a firm fixture in the programme of events is the disassembly of old electric devices. This opens the children’s eyes to the materials used and sensitises them to the important topic of electronic scrap. To raise the environmental awareness of our employees, we rely on continual communication and information. Environmental notice boards form an integral part of LEAN management and they display information about environmental matters relevant to the different departments in the manufacturing division. Shop-floor meetings include a monthly five-minute briefing on the environment. Environmental topics are also dealt with in the intranet and in “transmission”, Lenze’s newspaper for its employees.
Environmental notice boards in every department ensure that employees are sensitised to environmental issues.
Lenze takes responsibility for its employees, and also for the region and the environment.
We enjoy sharing our knowledge and experience of environmental conservation, so we are involved in various specialist committees and initiatives. One example is Lenze’s membership in the Energy Efficiency Network of the VDMA, Germany’s association of machine-building companies. We are also working on norms for drive design and for the current EU initiative “Circular Economy Package” with the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association, ZVEI. We are members of Lower Saxony’s Sustainability Alliance and are taking part in the industry initiative KlimaExpo in North Rhine-Westphalia. Together with the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University and the Fraunhofer Application Centre for Industrial Automation (IOSB-INA) we have developed and tested energy-saving drive technology and control technology for logistics centres. For the results of this latter project we received an award in the “Energy-Efficient Intralogistics” category.
Lenze’s Energy Scouts are apprentices who are tasked with discovering potential for saving energy in company departments and, where possible, implementing solutions – for Lenze and for the protection of the environment.
The company headquarters are in Gross Berkel, near Hameln. It is from here that Lenze directs its activities in 60 countries and in every continent.