1. Can you introduce yourself please: what is your name and position/function in the company?
Dirk Saldsieder, Head of R&D and Process Technology at Wienerberger AG.
2. What are your products and who are your products´ buyers? To what extent would you say they care about environmental matters of production processes of your products? Wienerberger is the world´s largest producer of clay blocks and facing bricks, leading in the clay roof tile and concrete pavements market in Europe and one of the strongest market players in concrete and plastic pipes. Our market is global, stretching from the USA to India with our main market still in Europe. Our direct buyers are construction companies, architects, warehouses with building & renovation materials and retails stores. Only 5% of our buyers would be the end users themselves. Environmental matters? Clients still care more about the product price and the energy savings they can achieve with our products.
3. What challenges are you currently facing in terms of energy?
Wienerberger relies mainly on natural gas for its drying and firing processes. These processes consume a significant amount of energy which is, of course, connected with market competitiveness. A large amount of our production costs are due to energy and this one of our main challenges to solve. That is why Wienerberger invests to save energy and improve efficiency through following and implementing innovative technologies.
4. What challenges are you currently facing in terms of energy-efficiency technology?
Brick production is a traditional, old economy industry which represents an immediate problem of new technology compatibility. Nevertheless, we are modernizing our production plants and making investments to improve both productivity and environmental performance.
5. What is the motivation for installing Dryficiency industrial heat pumps in your plant?
The clear goal of Wienerberger is to reduce the use of resources in production. DryFiciency is offering a competitive advantage through demonstrating best available heat pump technology to recover latent energy from moist air flows. It´s what the industry needs.