One thing is clear immediately: air filtration in paint shops is highly energy-intensive. Dust and fine particles must be reliably filtered out of the air to prevent paint inclusions. The case of the BMW factory in Leipzig, Germany, shows that high-performance filtration can also be implemented highly efficiently.
Maximum performance with minimum use of resources – the combination of ecological and economic aspects has always been the focus of our projects. At the BMW plant in Leipzig, too, the energy and thus economic optimization of an air filter system was a central concern. Together, we identified the available potential and developed a highly efficient concept for painting sheet metal bodywork and components on site.
In this case, the greatest savings potential in supply air filtration was identified in the prefilter area. The existing filter elements showed excessive pressure drops in comparison with their separation rate, which resulted in a high level of energy consumption. For this reason, they were replaced with Viledon WinAir 45 pocket filters. As a prefilter, the WinAir 45 combines outstanding filter characteristics for coarse dusts with very low pressure drops. This is important because, in many systems, excessive pressure drops in particular cause a high level of avoidable costs. Test series and service life tests demonstrated a noticeable increase in efficiency. Changing the prefilters has enabled BMW to save 700 MWh a year. This corresponds to a CO₂ reduction of around 365 tonnes.
The common goal – to exploit existing potential in terms of energy and CO₂ savings – was successfully achieved in BMW’s Leipzig paint line. Above all, the low pressure drop has enabled minimum energy consumption while still guaranteeing the required filter performance. A positive side effect has been a significant increase in plant availability. The reason for this is the extended service life and maintenance cycles of the Viledon filter elements. In this case, the lower pressure drops also contribute to additional control reserves in the system and enable a flexible air balance. In brief, the new filter concept has led to simpler handling at the Leipzig facility and has reduced operating costs.