To remain globally competitive, companies must not only market new and better products, but also minimize their process costs. In 2004, WACKER launched a groupwide program – the Wacker Operating System (WOS) – to improve productivity across our entire supply chain, from raw-materials procurement, through production and maintenance, to packaging, storage and shipment.
This program’s first stage – from 2005 through 2007 – focused on specific operating costs. WACKER managed to cut them by as much as 20% during this period. In fact, the productivity gain was even higher when adjusted for negative factors (e.g. the strong increase in energy and raw-material prices over those three years). Since 2008, the Wacker Operating System has included the costs of raw materials, packaging and freight in its productivity analyses. WOS results are regularly reported to the Executive Board.
As part of WOS, an energy-efficiency project was launched in 2007. Called POWER PLUS, it aimed to lower specific energy consumption by 10% (compared to the 2006 level) by the end of 2009 at both Burghausen and Nünchritz (Germany). In 2007, these two sites accounted for over three quarters of WACKER’s energy consumption.
The systematic search for potential savings involves first determining a facility’s energy relevance, also taking into account secondary energy sources (e.g. compressed air, refrigerants, industrial gases and cooling water). The next step, using questionnaires and checklists, is to draw up a detailed analysis of the plant’s energy flows. WACKER specialists rate the improvement measures they identify according to technical aspects. In the economic evaluation, they consider the entire site – including measures that, though economically disadvantageous for individual operations, are beneficial for the site as a whole. Idea Management runs campaigns in support of the POWER PLUS project.