Acting together for energy efficiency

In Henkel’s laundry detergent factory in Ratibor, Poland, our employees have submitted a regular stream of suggestions for improvements over the past five years. This commitment to always seeking a better way to run our operations has helped to substantially reduce the energy needed to produce laundry detergents and washing active substances.

Helena Buks is a packaging team leader who has contributed an especially large number of ideas: “In the past few years I’ve handed in a lot of suggestions for improvements because I think it is important to work as efficiently as possible. I’m delighted that many of them have actually been put into practice.”

She and her colleagues have concentrated mainly on the spray tower, which is used to produce powder laundry detergents. This manufacturing process consumes more energy than any other at the site. There were three key aspects to consider: safety, efficiency and production flexibility. By making better use of resources, improving powder detergent formulations, optimizing energy utilization when drying the powder products, and recovering waste heat, the site has succeeded in reducing the energy consumption per production unit by 23 percent over the past five years.

In December 2011, the excellent work of our employees was confirmed by external auditors in line with the new energy management standard ISO 50001. The Ratibor plant is the first Henkel production site worldwide to obtain certification to this standard. Ratibor’s achievement also illustrates how we strive to produce our laundry detergents and household cleaners in a resource-efficient way.

The factory in Ratibor has been part of Henkel in Poland for more than twenty years. It produces powder detergents and washing active substances for the European market. The site’s energy efficiency has been continuously increased ever since it was acquired.

23 % energy savings per production unit over the past five years, achieved through better processes, heat recovery, improvements in laundry detergent formulations, and other measures.

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Helena Buks (right)
Team leader in packaging.
Marcin Szarek
Shift foreman in laundry
detergent manufacturing.

Last updated: March 8, 2012