Milestone Compressed Air Technology /Compressors
Milestone Compressed Air Technology/Compressors
A Passion for Pumping Gases
Major Challenges at the Turn of the Millennium
There were changes at the top again in 2000. Hasso Heller handed over the management of the company to his son. Klaus-Hasso Heller (born in 1967) had already taken on an active role as assistant to the management in 1999. The new millennium brought major challenges for the industrial engineer, because the weak economy made life difficult for the machine building industry. He restructured the company’s product range and perfected the modular building block design. The machinery pool was modernized, and another storage hall and an assembly hall were built. This enabled Aerzen to benefit from the recovery in 2004 — swiftly reaching the limits of its capacity again. A major investment of 65 million euros was due, with the money being spent on a production center for screw compressors and blowers with floor space of around 11,000 m2, which was inaugurated in 2008.
In this year, developments picked up speed at international level. Subsidiaries were created in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania and Russia. And the company management concentrated more and more on growth markets in Asia, South America and Africa. A production site was built in 2008 in Baroda/India (Vadodara), along with a company building for assembly in Shanghai in 2013. Aerzen founded a first foreign production site for main components in South Korea. They had already worked closely together here with the company KTurbo, developer of a speed-controlled turbo blower with air suspension. This became the nucleus of Aerzen Turbo.
All the way through to the 21st century, ever new generations of machines have demonstrated the unwavering innovation capacity of the company, which presented the fifth generation of Delta Blower compact blower units in 2006, the likewise fifth generation of the Delta Screw in 2008 and, most recently, a new series of water-injected air compressors. In the following years, Aerzen kept going “one better.” For example, in 2018 Aerzen’s G5plus generation of compact turbo units raised the bar by a further ten percentage points in terms of energy efficiency.
Pioneering Developments in Compression
In 2010 Aerzen presented the rotary lobe compressor Delta Hybrid, which was another highlight in compressor engineering. It combines the advantages of screw compressors and positive displacement blowers by using two different rotor profiles to cover low pressure differences up to 800 mbar and higher pressure differences up to 1,500 mbar. “With this, we have developed a completely new approach to compressor design,” says Klaus-Hasso Heller. “It is 15 percent more energy efficient in operation than other compressors, which makes it interesting particularly for energy and cost-sensitive processes like those in sewage treatment plants and cement factories.” As part of this pioneering development, Aerzen filed no fewer than seven patent applications — including for the bearing system, which ensures a record-breaking service life.
Three different model series have been available since for heavily fluctuating process air demands in biological sewage treatment plants: Delta Blower, Delta Hybrid and Turbo Blower, which can be coordinated using the combined Aersmart control system. Performance3 is what Aerzen calls the resulting intelligent coordination between the systems. Since 2017, Aerzen has pushed even further into the solutions business with its offerings Aerwater and Aeraudit. Aeraudit is a service that covers the volume flow measurement for the actual load demand, while Aerwater is a complete solution that intelligently combines machines, electronics and service packages.
But it is not just the innovative products that will secure the future viability and sustainability of the company. In 2011 — soon after the directors Bernd Wöhlken and Björn Irtel joined — the company set out an ambitious program for itself in the form of its “Vision 2022.” Its goal is to make Aerzen one of the three world-leading application specialists in the transportation and compression of gases. The focus is on products and production methods that are energy-efficient and make effective, sparing use of resources. The high quality standards that have always been in place not only for products and solutions, but also in terms of delivery dates and reliability, are being underlined with a quality initiative. Part of the Vision 2022 is also an uncompromising focus on the needs of the customers as the basis for product development.
The creators of Vision 2022 laid the foundations for “Systematic Growth.” This is bearing increasing fruit, for example in the form of the Process Gas Division founded in 2011, the activities of which are defined by the application. In addition, it also provides impetus for further product developments, for example the Alpha Blower series of large blowers in 2017, which features 104 model variants. Aerzen has also prioritized the application in its solutions for the refrigeration industry as well. Today, customers receive complete refrigeration units that are manufactured at a production site in Hungary and are tailored to their individual requirements.
Globalization is pressing ahead at Aerzen. In a company history and timeline of Aerzen, which was prepared to mark the occasion of the company’s 150th anniversary, Klaus-Hasso Heller wrote: “Our headquarters remain our most important site. However, overall our company Aerzener Maschinenfabrik will develop from a company with an international outlook into a group of companies with even stronger inter-cooperation.” The new company slogan “Expect Performance” represents a promise that Aerzen feels obliged to meet. Despite this, Klaus-Hasso Heller assures that, in the future, the company will not completely give up on the SME approach adopted by his predecessors: “Over the course of the last almost 155 years, this was the driving force behind our development, and it will remain it in the future.”