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Operating and monitoring on production lines for heat pumps





Stiebel Eltron relies on operator stations from BERNSTEIN AG

Porta Westfalica/Holzminden, April 2024
Heating technology specialist Stiebel Eltron is planning to increase the number of jobs in heat pump production at its main plant in Holzminden (Germany) to around 1,200 over the next few years. The production area for heat pump heating systems will be expanded to the size of four football fields. This is the company's response to the change towards climate-friendly heating of houses. Stiebel Eltron is using the CS4000neXt operator stations from BERNSTEIN AG for the new heat pump production lines.

"Our initial task was to equip 10 assembly workstations for the heat pump production line with our operator stations. We advised, drew, changed, discussed and adapted again. We worked out the specific requirements together with the customer," says Oliver Kossmann, Head of the Enclosure Technology Division (PROTECT) at BERNSTEIN AG, describing the time it took to finalise the project. The tasks carried out at the workstations are different. Accordingly, although the structure of the columns is similar, they are not completely identical. The parts and components to be assembled are checked in or out digitally at all workstations. However, these are very different, which is why different types of tools are required at the operating stations, which are positioned in different tool holders.

"The challenge was to work out and implement the requirements for each individual workstation in order to ensure a smooth process of operation and monitoring within the line," summarises Frank Grimm, Project Manager for operator stations at Bernstein AG. "The collaboration with BERNSTEIN was constructive, trusting and absolutely effective," says Jan Müller, process engineer for heat pumps at Stiebel Eltron.

After the first production line has already been put into operation, those responsible are currently working on the realisation of a second line for the production of heat pumps for houses. And Stiebel Eltron is also already planning a third production line in collaboration with BERNSTEIN.

"The CS4000neXt was chosen because it can be customised and ergonomically adapted to production processes and employees. This makes it unique on the market," says Oliver Kossmann. Unlike conventional visualisation solutions with a single touch display, BERNSTEIN AG's unique support system meets the requirements of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC by integrating the EMERGENCY STOP function. Thanks to the 2-chamber column and well thought-out internal cable routing, the system scores highly with protection class IP65. The upright consists of a high-quality extruded aluminium profile (natural anodised finish). The CS-4000 neXt can also be customised to the ergonomic requirements of the operator: IPC and keyboard tray holders can be individually positioned in height. The IPC holder can also be tilted with a click.

Standardised components are available for connecting the IPC (VESA 75, VESA 100, pipe connection Ø 48). Pre-assembled manufacturer-independent components facilitate commissioning. On request, the support system is available fully wired as a plug & play solution, for example with control and signalling devices, emergency stop devices, main switches, worker identification systems, key switches, keyboards, IPCs / displays, supply and data cables and Ethernet components.

Thanks to the modular design, system components can also be added at a later date.

As one of the world's leading suppliers of industrial safety and enclosure technology, BERNSTEIN combines these competences in the DETECT and PROTECT divisions. The product portfolio ranges from switches, sensors and enclosures to support systems and operator terminals through to system solutions for operating and safeguarding entire machines and systems.

Today, the East Westphalian BERNSTEIN AG employs around 600 people in 10 countries and is now in its 3rd generation as an internationally active family business.

About Stiebel Eltron
Stiebel Eltron, founded in 1924, is one of the leading companies in the renewable energy, heating and building technology market with an annual turnover of over one billion euros.

As an innovation-driven family business, Stiebel Eltron follows a clear line in the production and development of products - for environmentally friendly, efficient and convenient domestic technology. With around 6,000 employees worldwide, the company consistently relies on its own expertise from product development to production. The result is efficient and innovative solutions for hot water, heating, ventilation and cooling. Stiebel Eltron produces at its headquarters in Holzminden (Lower Saxony), in Hameln (Lower Saxony), in Freudenberg (North Rhine-Westphalia) and in Eschwege (Hesse) as well as at five other locations abroad (Arvika/Sweden, Tianjin/China, Ayutthaya/Thailand, Poprad/Slovakia, West Hatfield, Massachusetts/USA).

BERNSTEIN Bedienplatz in der Fertigung von Stiebel Eltron