We see noise protection as an important part of our social responsibility. Noise causes stress for people – we work hard putting measures and projects in place to reduce noise at our production sites. And it has paid off: noise pollution at the Burghausen site has dropped significantly over the past 40 years. The immission-control experts from the Environment department are constantly patrolling the site. They check the noise level at workplaces and monitor the sound level the plant emits beyond the premises. The decibel levels measured at a central location in Burghausen are considered representative of the noise pollution emitted from the site. Under normal operating conditions, noise from the production plant comes in at around 43 decibels at the measuring point – nearly 20 decibels less than the sound of a normal conversation.
The noise produced by the site is one twentieth of what it was when measurements began in 1976, even though the number of plants on site has increased by well over 100 percent during the same period. The basic principle underlying emissions control is that for every new source of noise, a previous, louder source has to be eliminated or improved. Some 1,800 sources of noise have been identified at the Burghausen site where they are categorized according to loudness and included in a comprehensive acoustic emission calculation.
Relatively small sources of noise are reviewed every ten years and more significant sources every three years. When new buildings are erected, the noise-protection experts are involved early on in the planning phase. Acceptance measurements are carried out for all new plants, but also when changes have been made. In addition to in-house monitoring, an independent body conducts emissions testing every three years.
We use insulation, enclosures, mufflers and noise barriers to reduce noise produced by individual machines. When considering noise protection, the big picture must be taken into account: if, for example, loud machines are installed in high buildings with large windows, the glass surface will vibrate and increase the noise level.