In order to make itself fit for the future and to take further steps towards climate neutrality, Dornier intends to invest more than €8 million at its sites Lindau and Esseratsweiler, both Germany. The money will go into photovoltaic systems and the modernization of the machinery. For the family-owned company, this amount, financed entirely from its own resources, is the largest investment project in recent decades. The investments address not only climate change, but also the shortage of skilled workers and young talent, as well as the requirements of digitalization.
In order to be able to supply itself with self-generated solar power in the future, Lindauer Dornier GmbH, Lindau/Germany, put a photovoltaic system into operation on the roof of the production hall in Esseratsweiler at the end of 2022. Approx. 1,900 solar modules on an area of 4,000 m² will supply about 750,000 kWh/year of electricity from now on. It would theoretically be possible to cover the entire power consumption of the district of Esseratsweiler with its approx. 740 inhabitants with electricity from the Dornier plant.
The company will use about 2/3 of the solar power generated itself, such as for lighting offices and production halls or to weld and bend sheet metal parts for its machines and plants. To ensure that any unused solar power, i.e. the electricity generated at weekends, is not lost, it is fed into the public grid via the public utility company.
As a next step, the machine and plant manufacturer also plans to generate electricity from photovoltaics at its main plant in Lindau. The challenge here: Some areas of the business premises are subject to the protection of historical monuments. In addition, there are many decades-old trees between the production halls in Lindau.
A considerable part of the investment sum will flow into machinery, EDP and logistics. One focus will be on technologically optimizing processes so that sustainable end products are produced even more economically and energy-efficiently. Dornier plants will in future not only supply film for hygienic packaging, but also for solar modules as well as for batteries and capacitors in the drive train of electric cars. Their weaving machines produce fabrics that protect against injuries, help to clean exhaust gases and produce hydrogen in electrolysis plants for a future "hydrogen economy".
As part of the sustainability investments, a new nitrogen plant has already been installed at the Esseratsweiler factory. It has been successfully in operation since the end of November and will supply the company with self-produced nitrogen in future. This is required for flame and laser cutting of sheet metal parts and previously had to be purchased at high cost from external sources. As a result, CO2-intensive lorry journeys, which were necessary several times a week to transport the nitrogen in large tanks to the site, will belong to the past.