The supply of energy is guaranteed with conventional energy sources and a highly efficient cogeneration unit. This gas-fired unit generates both heat and electricity: approximately two megawatts each of electrical and thermic energy for the plant’s basic requirements. The waste heat produced in the generation of compressed air is fed into the heating network through a heat recovery system.
A low temperature network is used to heat the halls; the heating water has a maximum temperature of 75 degrees Celsius, which reduces heat losses and pressure levels compared with a high-temperature network. Most of the supply lines – including heating, cooling, cold water, electricity and compressed air – run above ground through a high-level conduit.
Drinking water for the plant in Münchsmünster comes from an external supplier, while the process water comes from various wells on the site. Rainwater landing on the roofs and roadways drains away via gutters and cavities in the ground; waste water is fed into the municipal sewage works and is processed there.
In the foundry, the plant’s own vacuum evaporation unit separates oil from the waste water and the air is cleaned by an ultramodern, multistage closed-circuit system. The waste water from cleaning the die-cast aluminum components also passes through a separate neutralization system. Only minimal volumes of fluids are involved in the mechanical production of suspension components: 1.2 milliliters of a water-oil emulsion suffice per component. The metal dust created by the machines is vacuumed off through a conduit and then recycled. Waste air is cleaned by filters.
In all departments of the plant, Audi strictly observes the efficient use of energy. In the production of components, the operating data system will display the plant’s consumption in the future. The furnace with a temperature of 200 degrees which bonds the paint onto the brake discs is fitted with a heat-recovery system. The waste heat from the cooling network serves to heat the floor of the logistics area. With the ovens in the aluminum die-casting foundry, Audi recycles waste heat directly into the process to heat the molten metal.
Another highlight of Audi’s efficiency concept will be the TS 32 middle press with its servo motors. When the presses are decelerated during downward movement, the braking energy is stored for a short time and then used during the upward movement.
At the other side of the railway line begins the residential area of Münchsmünster and the neighboring village of Schwaig. Audi developed a plant layout in which the press shop shields the other halls like an acoustic curtain in order to keep noise emissions as low as possible. During the planning phase, the company’s experts assessed 650 noise sources and examined them in a simulation. The buildings’ walls and doors include sound insulation and the air extractors are fitted with high-quality sound absorbers.