At the end of June, over 60 experts in refrigeration and air conditioning from more than 25 countries came to the first Bitzer International Refrigeration Seminar (IRS) symposium.
The event began on 28 June and concluded on 1 July, with the agenda including an overview of the general situation in the market, digitalisation and refrigerants together, as well as many more subjects.
Kicking off the symposium, Professor Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker's lecture was a real highlight. The internationally renowned scientist, current co-president of the Club of Rome and former director of the UNO centre for science and technology summarised the results of his decades of research with some astonishing examples in his lecture, entitled ‘Good technology requires good politics’. He stated: ''We have to make it clear to ourselves how much potential there is in just one kilowatt-hour. Even a quarter provides enough energy to transport ten kilos from sea level up to the summit of Mount Everest. The number of possible uses is enormous – but the efficiency of our use is abysmal.''
According to Professor von Weizsäcker, just 25 percent of the energy available today is theoretically sufficient to completely meet our needs, if we use it efficiently.
Professor von Weizsäcker showed the connection to environmental protection and was optimistic as far as Germany is concerned. He then went into the so-called Kuznets curve for local pollution of our environment. This curve shows that, during industrialisation, the environmental pollution in states initially increases. However, he explained: ''At some point, countries become so rich that they can afford expensive environmental protection, and then they become cleaner. In Germany, we have already passed the pollution peak.''
Professor von Weizsäcker continued: ''Technical progress is almost always driven by politics and society. If, as a society, we really want something, then technology is able to offer solutions incredibly quickly. After all, experts already have very good approaches on the shelf for many problems.''
For example, Bitzer’s service and maintenance network is outstanding. This has the effect of extending the service life of technically outstanding products, while simultaneously increasing the efficiency of the use of resources.
A varied programme
In addition to a number of interesting lectures, the presentations by Bitzer employees Hermann Renz, technical programs manager, and Philippe Maratuech, director of services and after-sales, were well received.
Mr Renz discussed ‘Energy efficiency improvement of RAC systems – a global challenge’, while Mr Maratuech put the focus on ‘Digitalisation and smart services for efficient solutions’.
Meanwhile, Bitzer's Erik Bucher, director of sales refrigeration, and Mathias Layher, director of sales AC, Marine and Process, teamed up to deliver a presentation entitled ‘Bitzer facts and figures – market situation and development’, in which they spoke about the company’s global presence and the worldwide trends in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector.
Finally, Barbara Bergmann, director of the Schauwerk Museum in Sindelfingen, dedicated her talk to cultural questions before finishing up with ‘Contemporary art at Bitzer and Schauwerk’.
Tours through Bitzer and the Schaufler Academy
Between the presentations, the visitors had time to discuss what they had heard. Guests showed a lot of interest in the factory tour around the Bitzer sites at Rottenburg-Ergenzingen and Hailfingen, led by technical coordinator Michael Schwarz, as well as in the interactive ‘Tabtivity tour’ led by Volker Stamer, director of Schaufler Academy, through the Bitzer training centre.
The Schaufler Academy impressed the visitors with its equipment, which has won prizes for its energy efficiency. Furthermore, in a QR code quiz, participants could take a look behind the scenes at aspects such as ice storage and heat pumps.
The three-day symposium was rounded off by a varied accompanying programme, with tours through the Schauwerk art museum, a guided tour in English through picturesque Tübingen, trips in a punt, and an outdoor ‘Olympics’ with a Segway tour and an e-obstacle course.