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LAUDA manufactures high-temperature system up to 400 °C for German chemical company
LAUDA Heating and cooling systems, the plant construction division of the world leader in precise temperature control, specializes in the manufacture of individual solutions based on customer requirements. In this respect, the experts from LAUDA hold sway over a temperature range from -150 to 550 °C which is required for production facilities in the pharmaceutical industry or test stations in the automotive sector. The temperature control specialist has now designed and manufactured a heat transfer system for a long-standing customer, one of the biggest German chemical companies. This was also quite the exception for the experienced engineers at LAUDA.
The customer ordered a system which must reach a working temperature of 400 °C without any problems. The heater is used in the field of materials research, in so-called scale-up tests and for the preparation of reactions which make such a high temperature essential. "Heat transfer systems with a working temperature range up to 350 °C are part of the day-to-day business of LAUDA", says project manager Ralph Herbert. "The range up to 400 °C is in the premier class." However, this is increasingly in demand in the meantime, according to Ralph Herbert, because it allows more effective heat transfer, thereby enabling a higher throughput and optimization of temperature-relevant production processes. Depending on the requisite outflow temperature and application area, these heat transfer systems use various types of thermal oils (silicone oil or eutectic mixtures). Generally speaking, they are electrically heated and generate a temperature-controlled liquid flow which heats the customer application in turn. A cooling option via heat exchanger can be integrated depending on requirement.
In-depth technical expertise essential
The particular feature of the jump from 350 to 400 °C is that the engineers at LAUDA have to deal with significantly higher working pressures. The stainless steel reactors used on the application side also have to withstand a higher load. "The maximum pressure in the heat transfer fluid circuit in normal heat transfer systems with thermal oils is 6 bar, but it increases up to 21 bar in the 400 degree systems, depending on the thermal oil used", explains Ralph Herbert. This requires expertise in pipeline construction and the individual equipment components which not every manufacturer can offer.
LAUDA manufactures heat transfer systems in this high temperature range several times a year – whereby the planning and design are always especially important aspects for the LAUDA experts, confirms Ralph Herbert. The team of engineers at LAUDA is currently planning thermal oil systems with a maximum working temperature of up to 430 °C. The system was completed on schedule for the customer from the chemical industry, inspected and approved in the test bed at LAUDA and then commissioned on site together with the customer.
LAUDA again named world market leader
For the fourth time in a row since 2016, LAUDA DR. R. WOBSER GMBH & CO. KG has been appointed world market leader in the field of "Constant temperature equipment and systems for precise temperature control". The list of world market leaders is drawn up annually under the direction of the economist Prof. Dr. Christoph Müller from the renowned University of St. Gallen. The WirtschaftsWoche business magazine has been awarding this prize since 2016. LAUDA has been a member of the world market leader index since 2015.
»We are very proud to receive this award again,« explains Dr. Gunter Wobser, President and CEO of LAUDA. »The repeated confirmation of our achievements shows us that our two locations in Germany and our twelve foreign subsidiaries mean that we are excellently positioned internationally. By acquiring the laboratory equipment manufacturer GFL, we have further expanded our product range and strengthened our portfolio in the field of laboratory technology.« An important part of the innovation strategy of this family-owned company with around 510 employees is the consistent cooperation with innovative start-ups. LAUDA recently announced a cooperation agreement with ENER-IQ GmbH. The company is developing a data platform based on artificial intelligence to increase the efficiency of heating systems. Since the end of 2018, the company has also been working with a multi-award-winning start-up, watttron GmbH from Freital. Watttron develops and produces intelligent heating systems that enable point- and temperature-accurate heating.
The October issue of WirtschaftsWoche lists LAUDA as one of a total of 456 companies from various sectors that have been recognised as world market leaders – out of just under 14,000 companies with sales in excess of 50 million euros across Germany. In order to be allowed to hold the title of world market leader, a company must meet various criteria. Annual sales must be at least 50 million euros – 50 percent of which must be generated abroad on at least three continents. To determine the world market leader index, the scientists from St. Gallen only use official figures.
LAUDA leadership team meets at the seventh World Jour Fixe
The LAUDA international leadership team completed a week of intensive work, constructive discussion, and strategic decision-making. This was the annual World Jour Fixe, where the managing directors of all the twelve foreign businesses gather to meet with the leadership group of LAUDA DR. R. WOBSER GMBH & CO. KG. This event took place for the seventh time, and, after Barcelona, was back in its traditional headquarters in Lauda-Königshofen.
The aim of the meeting of international leaders is the direct and intensive exchange of information about collaborative projects and the strategic goals of all the LAUDA companies active on the global market. Global strategies were on the agenda alongside an extensive view of the development of the individual business sectors and the planning for the following year. Consistent customer orientation of the international sales and marketing logistics of the global market leader were discussed under the label of GOAL (Global Ordering and Logistics). An additional item at the forefront of this year’s event was the advancing integration of the GFL Gesellschaft für Labortechnik mbH, which was acquired by LAUDA at the end of last year.
The direct exchange between all participants is a significant factor for the company culture of LAUDA. For this reason, the annual World Jour Fixe has a constant entry in LAUDA’s diary. President and CEO, Dr. Gunther Wobser says: “The international meeting reinforces the trust and collaboration between the worldwide LAUDA companies. This year the feedback was staggering and our route to becoming a global company was confirmed” In addition to digitalization, the healthy growth of the company benefited markedly from “intensive personal communication at the level of equals”.
In addition to the strategic tasks, the collegial interchange amongst the participants did not miss out, for example, there was a visit to the Königshöfer Fair and a joint tour of the Marienburg Castle in the neighboring university city of Würzburg.
Innovative founders are hosted by LAUDA
LAUDA DR. R. WOBSER GmbH & Co. KG presented an in-house exhibition with four highly innovative start-up companies at an event held to mark the 80th birthday of the former Managing Director and current Advisor and Shareholder Dr. Gerhard Wobser.
Cloud Software with Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the Optimization of Heating Systems and Heating Networks is an innovative project of ENER-IQ GmbH (Würzburg/Hamburg). According to the Federation of German Heating Industry (BDH), around two thirds of heating systems and district heating networks are operated inefficiently. The reasons for this include defective components, inefficient control settings and, above all, deficient system tuning due to a shortage of qualified personnel. ENER-IQ's solution approach consists of sensor-based recording of the heat generation and distribution parameters. The collected data is transferred to a cloud application developed by the start-up company. From there, the systems and properties are monitored, the data analyzed, key performance indicators calculated for more efficient management and data supplied for optimization purposes. In the long term, it is used for the AI-supported optimization of the systems and remote adjustment as well as recommendations for action for tradesmen.
MagnoTherm Solutions from Darmstadt develops energy-saving and gas-free refrigerating or heating machines based on magnetocaloric materials. Compressors for refrigeration plants have reached their efficiency limit. Cold and heat are generated using magnetocaloric materials such as lanthanum-iron-silicon instead of greenhouse gases in the device developed by the start-up company. The solid body heats up when it is brought into a magnetic field and cools down when it leaves it. The heat or cold is conducted away from the material and made usable via a water mixture. Significant energy savings can be achieved through the isentropic process. The lower pressures and water as a medium mean that the cooling unit is safe for the end user and requires less maintenance. Since the materials can be adjusted to different temperature ranges, it is possible to create highly individual and energy-efficient applications.
The patented invention of watttron GmbH in Freital near Dresden is an innovative system for industrial heating processes, initially for the packaging industry. LAUDA has been cooperating very closely with this award-winning company in various areas for almost a year now in an atmosphere of mutual trust. The modular heating system enables material savings of up to 30 percent to be achieved in the manufacture of packaging. Different shapes can be realized according to the customer's wishes by linking modules in a sequence. Each module has 64 heating pixels which can all be individually controlled and regulated. This makes it possible to create individual heating profiles which can be selectively changed within seconds. This process allows packaging to be produced more efficiently in a thermal process or with contact heating. For example, the material in areas of a yoghurt pot which require high deformation is heated more, while the areas which are hardly or only slightly deformed are heated less. In principle, the heating process developed by watttron can also be used in many other industrial precision heating processes such as bio, pharmaceutical, chemical and automotive technology.
The Berlin-based start-up company Coolar has developed a cooling system which can make use of adsorption cooling technology based on water as a sustainable refrigerant for the first time. This means that compact refrigerators and transport boxes operated without electricity can be developed without climate-damaging, toxic or highly flammable substances. The first application was a so-called off-the-grid medical refrigerator for off-grid health care facilities which was successfully tested in completely self-contained operation in the field in Tenerife at the beginning of 2019. This solution means that Coolar can offer a low-cost, ecologically sustainable and pollutant-free solution for medicine and vaccines without the need for electricity, batteries or complicated control technology. In addition, the cooling system, whose compactness and simple control system are uniquely flexible, provides a sustainable, water-based alternative for a large number of small to medium-sized fields of application in the cooling technology industry, which is currently undergoing radical change.
"We aim to use these collaborative partnerships to identify and become aware of technical trends and technological developments at an early stage and provide innovative start-ups with cooperation on equal terms," underlined Dr. Gunther Wobser, CEO of LAUDA, speaking at the presentation of the four start-ups and their inventions. "LAUDA has carried out some excellent preliminary work in cooperation with start-up companies," said Robert Tietze, who has been Start-Up Manager at LAUDA since May 2019, talking about his experiences of the first few months. It had become apparent that universities provide a concentration of experts within specific areas of research from which interesting start-up companies arise.
LAUDA presents the brand new generation of its suc-cessful Integral process thermostats
LAUDA, the world market leader for constant temperature equipment and systems for precise temperature control, is steadily expanding its comprehensive portfolio. With the fully redeveloped, future-proof LAUDA Integral product line, the company presents a further milestone in the field of professional temperature control. The powerful Integral process thermostats have been a permanent feature of the LAUDA portfolio since 2000, and have become established as a reliable solution in all manner of applications and industries. Major areas of application include the temperature control of reactors in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, temperature tests at test stations in the automotive industry, or space simulations in mechanical and electrical engineering. The company is now driving the further development of the process thermostats and bringing the models in the T and XT series into the digital age. As a result, the new generation of Integral process thermostats have a variety of new features, including a brand new, intuitive control concept using mobile devices, increased pump output and a modular, expandable interface concept.
LAUDA Integral T and XT: 20 years of success
LAUDA's new Integral T process thermostats ensure efficient control of external temperature control processes in the temperature range from -30 to 150°C. The devices have an adjustable heating and cooling capacity and small internal volume that enables rapid temperature changes. Thanks to the open hydraulic system, the device aerates quickly and without loss of function. This makes it ideal for temperature control processes with frequent changes in consumer or test object. Classic application areas include controlling reactions or climate simulations. A reliable, powerful submersible pump and an internal bypass to limit the pressure are part of the standard equipment of the Integral T.
The extremely dynamic, high-performance LAUDA Integral XT process thermostats, on the other hand, operate with a cold oil blanket according to the flow principle and make it possible to use just one temperature control medium across the expanded temperature range from -90 to 320°C. Thanks to an electronically controlled, magnetically coupled, eight-level LAUDA Vario pump, the flow rate can be optimally thermally set for the requirements of pressure-sensitive consumers, as well as applications with high hydraulic resistance. An internal bypass, another new standard feature of the XT models, also increases flexibility. It increases the flow rate inside the device when only low flow rates are possible externally, to optimize the temperature control process.
For the new Integral XT models, LAUDA offers an optional through-flow control unit, which is particularly indispensable in creating reproducible test processes. An excellent example of such use is in test processes in the field of electric mobility. In order to achieve a high level of quality in production, validated test processes in this field use a defined flow rate that must be complied with. The optimized hydraulics and speed control of the new Integral devices also improve the conveying capacity of the thermostats considerably. Operated with future-proof refrigerants – the process thermostats conform to the European F-gas regulation – the new Integral devices provide the usual rapid temperature control along with high operating safety. The proven Smart Cool System of LAUDA Integral XT devices is now also featured on the new Integral I models. Here, electronic injection valves control the cooling output of the devices for greater energy-efficiency.
Integral process thermostats – Ready for the digital future
With the new Integral devices, LAUDA is driving forward the networking of temperature control technology. As the first series device in the history of LAUDA, the process thermostats have an integrated web server. This allows the devices to be integrated in existing company networks and therefore monitored and controlled via PC, or with mobile devices like a tablet or smartphone, if desired. The devices can be installed and operated in separate locations, if required. This enables location-independent monitoring and control. The thermostats can also be easily controlled via a modern OLED display directly on the device.
Newinterface concept provides flexibility
The new Integral process thermostats enable maximum networking of user processes, thanks to their modular and future-proof interface concept. The devices feature interfaces such as Ethernet, USB and Pt 100 as standard. Further interfaces and communication protocols can easily be added via additional modules. This allows Integral thermostats to be flexibly integrated in different communication scenarios. In addition, all the three-phase devices in the LAUDA Integral series are equipped for operation with a mains frequency of 50 or 60 Hz (bifrequent) – a great benefit for users who want to use their devices flexibly in different locations worldwide.
Modular design for simplified maintenance
LAUDA Integral devices are available in three different casing sizes and with a cooling capacity of 1.5 to 18 kW. Whereas the operating unit for the smallest casing size is mounted on the top of the device for best ergonomic advantage, on the medium and large casings, it is located at eye level on the right hand side of the device. The electrical and hydraulic connections are located on the right hand side for all devices. This means they will be easy to operate and see. With the Command Touch, LAUDA offers an intuitive operating unit with a touch display and expanded range of functions as an accessory, which can be connected to the device via a cable.
LAUDA Integral – A new generation
The process thermostats from the Integral series have proven successful on the market for decades. The development of the next generation takes the proven strengths of the series and combines them with future-proof components. By doing so, LAUDA offers its customers a piece of constant temperature equipment that fulfills today's requirements for refrigeration technology and guarantees a seamless transition with maximum process reliability.
An important aspect in the development of the Integral series was the European F-gas regulation. This will gradually restrict the quantities of partially fluorinated hydrocarbons available on the market until 2030. Demand for future-proof constant temperature equipment that conforms to the F-gas regulation has risen considerably. “We have put a lot of thought and expertise into the development of the refrigeration technology,” explains Dr. Jürgen Dirscherl, Head of Research & Development at LAUDA, for “simply replacing the refrigerant would limit performance data” and jeopardize customer processes. The goal of the LAUDA experts was to develop a new generation of devices that can seamlessly replace older models of existing Integral devices. “This will ensure the reliability of our customers’ process,” says Dr. Dirscherl. The new Integral series retains many of the proven functions and technical solutions of the old one.
With the new generation of Integral devices, LAUDA has put forward a technically more advanced version of a tried-and-tested product line, explains the Head of Research & Development. The new LAUDA design may be the most obvious new feature of the new devices, but that’s not the only difference. “For example, the new design enables simplified maintenance, thanks to improved accessibility of the components without separating the hydraulic circuit from the application. Further powerful benefits of the new generation of Integral devices include the position of the connections, enhanced communication options with process control systems, the integrated web server, pumps with a higher output range and, above all, considerably higher flow rates,” says Dr. Dirscherl.
Example applications for LAUDA Integral process thermostats
LAUDA process thermostats reliably heat and cool in a wide range of applications in the most varied of industries. For example, the devices can be used for the temperature control of stirrer tanks as well as reactors in chemistry, pharmacy and biotechnology, and in temperature tests on test stations in the automotive industry, be it for climate simulations or performance and material tests. Integral process thermometers are also the ideal partner for material inspections. In microreactor technology, the devices are used for temperature control in scale-up processes. And in mechanical and electrical engineering, LAUDA Integral process thermostats are an elementary component of space simulations.