Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann visits LAUDA at the Hanover Messe exhibition grounds
Important visit for LAUDA DR. R. WOBSER GMBH & CO. KG at Hydrogen + Fuel Cells EUROPE exhibition. At Europe’s biggest exhibition for hydrogen, fuel cells, and stationary batteries, which takes place at the Hanover Messe exhibition grounds, the world market leader in precise temperatures was able to welcome Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann. LAUDA’s Managing Director for Sales, Dr. Ralf Hermann, personally greeted the Minister-President at the LAUDA booth and explained to him the family company’s temperature control solutions, which have been specially developed for cooling of hydrogen. Efficient, high-performance temperature control technology is needed for electrolysis and the application of liquid hydrogen, one of the key technologies of the energy transition.
“Hydrogen holds great opportunities for medium-sized businesses as part of a nationwide or Europe-wide energy transition strategy,” explains Dr. Ralf Hermann. “Which is why, as a world market leader, we are all the more pleased that our innovative solutions for hydrogen cooling have the interest and backing of the state government.” LAUDA will continue exhibiting its innovative cooling solutions in the hydrogen section of Hydrogen Fuel + Cells EUROPE at Stand B 20 in Hall 13 until April 21st, 2023.
“The increased use of hydrogen is just one of the ways that we can make our economy and society more ecological and sustainable. I am delighted that companies from Baden-Württemberg, such as LAUDA, are contributing to the success of this transformation. Temperature control for hydrogen is one of many fields that play an important role in this area,” said Minister-President Kretschmann.
LAUDA offers precise cooling for hydrogen applications
Temperature control solutions for the cooling of hydrogen are especially utilized for the cooling of electrolyzers in the manufacture of green hydrogen. Likewise, they are also used where hydrogen is used and supplied, i.e. at hydrogen filling stations and in compression cooling. Refueling of heavy vehicles, such as trains or ships, uses liquid hydrogen, which must be heavily compressed. This results in high technical requirements for the systems involved in transport, storage and the actual refueling process. For this purpose, LAUDA offers innovative constant temperature equipment that meet both the particular requirements of hydrogen as an energy source, as well as external factors when refueling.
LAUDA participates in an EU research project for inno-vative hydrogen fueling in the heavy-duty sector
Hydrogen has a key role to play in managing the energy transition. Hydrogen is extremely important for an environmentally friendly energy system, both for energy storage to supply heat and for future mobility. But this element has its downsides. Powerful cooling devices are needed to handle it. As the global market leader for temperature control technology, LAUDA already offers the relevant technology for electrolyzers and hydrogen fueling. As part of Horizon Europe, the new EU research project RHeaDHy is expanding this expertise even further with the development of innovative and powerful solutions for faster refueling in heavy-duty applications.
4 million euros for European hydrogen development – LAUDA is setting new standards
Launched on February 1, 2023, the innovation project RHeaDHy aims to advance the development of high-performance hydrogen fueling stations. To this end, the European Union will contribute almost 4 million euros in funding to the project. The ultimate goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from freight transport using hydrogen-powered vehicles. However, in order for the solution to be viable, it must be possible to refuel trucks and other means of transport of a similar size within a short time – the target for refueling a truck with 100 kg of hydrogen is ten minutes. In order to do this, the hydrogen must be refueled under high pressure, which significantly increases the temperature. As a member of a consortium consisting of several European partners, LAUDA will be responsible for the development of a high-performance cooling system. LAUDA will also set standards for the future while helping to develop new standards for hydrogen refueling. The project is scheduled to run until early 2027. By the end of the project, near-series technology should be available and installed at two locations: one refueling station will be opened in Germany and another in France.
Refrigeration technology for the hydrogen industry ready for series production
LAUDA has been a strong partner to producers and operators of hydrogen refueling stations since 2015, and in this time, has delivered dozens of systems to various industry leaders. These systems include SUK 350 L process cooling units for cooling hydrogen during refueling, as well as Ultracool line circulation chillers for cooling the electrolyzers during hydrogen production, both of which are serially produced.
In view of the strong market growth in the hydrogen industry and the forecast of around 3,000 additional hydrogen refueling stations by 2030 in Europe alone, LAUDA is preparing to significantly expand its production capacities for SUK units. The Ultracool series has already been prepared for the increase in demand: firstly, investments of around 7 million euros have allowed the multiplication of production capacities. Secondly, work on redeveloping the product line began as early as 2019 to make it more compact, more powerful and more energy-efficient. Several new models will be launched later this year to meet the growing demand for even more powerful units. LAUDA can cover cooling capacities of up to 240 kW with the serially produced Ultracool product line.
The temperature control specialists from LAUDA have committed themselves to provide outstanding performance for a better future (Empowering Excellence. For a better future). Once again, they have shown their willingness to break new ground and devote themselves to pioneering technologies. With the EU research project, LAUDA is also underscoring its expertise in the field of hydrogen cooling and its will to continuously promote innovation and development.
LAUDA invests in start-up for sustainable magnetic cooling technology
Together with other investors, temperature control specialist LAUDA has invested in the start-up MAGNOTHERM. With this round of financing, concluding at over 5 million EUR, the multiple award-winning start-up plans to start serial production of its first sustainable refrigerator. LAUDA has been following the development of the promising start-up from Darmstadt since 2019, through its innovative subsidiary new.degree GmbH. The two companies now want to utilize this longstanding relationship and the latest investment of 300,000 EUR to identify strategic reference points for subject areas and projects of shared interest.
MAGNOTHERM was founded out of the Technical University of Darmstadt by the current managing directors, Dr. Maximilian Fries and Timur Sirman, and develops sustainable cooling solutions without the use of conventional industrial refrigerants – which are often harmful to the climate. The start-up uses a temperature-active, magnetic metal to cool a water mixture. In principle, this revolutionary technology can be used for any type of cooling – an advantage that has piqued the interest of the world market leader for precise temperature control: “Equipment from LAUDA is used to control temperature in the applications and processes of major future industries around the world,” explains Dr. Mario Englert, who as Chief Financial Officer is responsible for investments. President and CEO, Dr. Gunther Wobser added: “As the world market leader, we want to make the world a better place with precise temperatures – that is our vision and what we put into practice every day. In the future, energy-efficient systems will be needed that conserve resources and minimize harmful emissions. MAGNOTHERM has taken an important step in the right direction, which complements our technological expertise as a world market leader. With our investment, we are laying the foundation stone for a successful collaboration between the start-up and industry, and can benefit from one another.”
LAUDA is building a new parking lot with a photovoltaic system
The further expansion of the LAUDA DR. R. WOBSER GMBH & CO. KG company premises at the Lauda-Königshofen site was launched with an official groundbreaking ceremony. 180 new parking spaces are being built for the rapidly growing team of LAUDA employees. The parking spaces are being built directly on the company premises and will be canopied with a modern photovoltaic system to maximize use of the site. In addition to the LAUDA management and Works Council Chairman Elmar Mohr, the mayor of the city of Lauda-Königshofen, Dr. Lukas Braun, and representatives of property developer Faul + Bethäuser and Sparkasse Tauberfranken also attended the groundbreaking ceremony on February 16. President, CEO and advisory board member Dr. Gerhard Wobser also took part in the groundbreaking ceremony held to mark the start of the construction work.
The new parking lot is not only intended to provide parking for the growing number of employees that have joined the company over the past year: President & CEO, Dr. Gunther Wobser, explained in his speech "It's not just about providing parking for cars, it's about sustainability, the careful use of resources, and our responsibility as a company." LAUDA has set itself and its employees the task of making an important contribution to environmental protection as a company. In addition to the installation of a roof-mounted photovoltaic system and charging infrastructure for electric cars that can also be used by the public, the family business was one of the first companies in Germany to make the company car fleet accessible to the public with a car sharing solution. Covering the parking lot with a photovoltaic system is another logical step in helping the company achieve its ambitious goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2030. Furthermore, the family business will also soon have its own bus stop.
The construction project will create another 90 parking spaces, doubling the capacity of the previous site in the west to a total of 180. 100 of these parking spaces will be covered. Scheduled to start up by September 2023, the photovoltaic system installed on the canopies above the parking spaces will generate 350 kWp of power, thereby covering around 30 percent of LAUDA's electricity requirements. The global market leader is investing around another 1.2 million euro in this expansion project.
The mayor of Lauda-Königshofen, Dr. Lukas Braun, paid tribute to the growth strategy of the global market leader: "The structural expansion of the Lauda-Königshofen site is a clear demonstration of the company's commitment to the region." According to Dr. Lukas Braun, the construction of the parking lot can also be seen as a sign of further growth. Plans to expand the site further north toward Distelhausen are already in the pipeline.
LAUDA achieves record turnover
LAUDA DR. R. WOBSER GMBH & CO. KG closed 2022 with record turnover. With a consolidated group turnover of around EUR 121 million, the global market leader exceeded the original target of EUR 120 million by EUR 1 million, and for the first time in it's history, was able to announce a turnover of more than EUR 100 million. In addition, the LAUDA Group also closed the month of December with a record turnover of around EUR 15.56 million. This record is the result of the comprehensive Drive250 strategy project, which LAUDA has been pushing forward for a year now. The family-owned company has set itself ambitious growth targets with a new structure, future-oriented investments and process optimizations: By 2026, the number of LAUDA employees is set to almost double internationally, from 530 at present to over 1,000. Turnover is expected to increase from the current level of around 120 million euro to 250 million euro in the five-year period under consideration. The 2022 record clearly shows that the strategy of the global market leader is working and that everything is going according to plan in terms of content. This is particularly remarkable given the geopolitical and socio-political backdrop of the previous year.
"We have made amazing progress since the implementation of our Drive250 strategy project," explains President & CEO of LAUDA, Dr. Gunther Wobser. "As a result, we hired almost 60 new employees in 2022." In spite of a year full of unpredictability, the company managed to stay on course. "2022 was extraordinary in every respect and was extremely demanding for everyone at LAUDA. It was characterized by large volumes of incoming orders, material shortages and bottlenecks." Nevertheless, LAUDA was still able to pursue its ambitious goals. The success of the company is also down to the performance of its employees: "I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this outstanding result and I am sure that we will achieve our goals together again this year," concludes Dr. Gunther Wobser.