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Encon makes working at Punch Powertrain more enjoyable

Energy saving Others Heating systems Lighting

Encon discovered that a lot of money could be saved by installing a customized lighting and HVAC system. 

Encon makes working at Punch Powertrain more enjoyable

The Punch Powertrain branch at Sint-Truiden serves not only as the head office of this manufacturer of transmission systems, but also houses 11,000 m² of production areas. Encon discovered at Punch Powertrain the savings potential of installing a new lighting system and the improved convenience of installing a new HVAC system. Encon implemented both projects for Punch Powertrain, from the study phase up to and including the completion of the project.

An Encon audit clearly revealed that Punch Powertrain needed a lighting system that would help save energy and offer greater convenience to its staff. A new lighting system was introduced delivering illuminance levels of 350 lux (previously 200 lux) and offering a payback period of only two years and nine months.

No more people forgetting to switch off lights

This new energy-efficient lighting system is operated by means of a smart control system using dimming. This control system involves light sensors in the production area and motion sensors in the warehouses. Based on the amount of daylight available, the light sensors assess where additional lighting is required. Thanks to the motion sensors, Punch Powertrain is able to avoid energy losses when people forget to switch off the lights.

The savings from this new lighting concept are considerable. Compared to the previous installation, energy costs have dropped to barely a third, while maintenance costs have been reduced to only a seventh of what they used to be. For Punch Powertrain, this represents an annual profit of approximately € 30,000.

Efficiency and convenience through HVAC

Another audit showed the need to upgrade the HVAC system. Encon was tasked with providing an HVAC system that would contribute to an efficient and pleasant working environment using sustainable techniques.

The entire project was completed in 8 to 10 weeks, without compromising the production at Punch Powertrain. Encon managed the project from the study phase up to and including its commissioning using a design-build concept.

Expanding an existing installation

The heating system was retained, as well as the distribution system with the collector and the circuits. There were, however, two new air groups installed. These are equipped with a heating battery that gives off the heat to the air. Through an insulated duct system on the roof, this air is then distributed throughout the production area and blown into the building. Encon installed three 10 m x 10 m grilles for this purpose.

Staff also complained about the heat (up to 27°C) at certain locations within the company. This heat was caused by the outdoor temperatures and by the internal heat load of the machinery.

Smart cooling

Encon used a thermal measurement technique to map the hottest spots in the company.

We applied a ‘smart cooling system’ at these spots by installing two air groups, each with a flow rate of 50,000 m³/hour. For this purpose, air vents were installed through the roof at ten different locations and a pipe system was fitted underneath the roof. The air groups use this route to extract the hot indoor air and to bring in chilled outdoor air. Two air-cooled 300 kW and 380 kW chillers on the roof ensure that the outside air is cooled down to 15-18°C according to demand.

Need for fresh air

Because of the built-in valves, these air groups can either recirculate up to 90% (i.e. no intake of outside air), supply 100% fresh outside air or a combination of both. The valves are operated by using a CO2 measurement system in the return duct or the free-cooling principle.

In addition to cooling, the system also ensures better air quality at Punch Powertrain. The ARAB (work environment) legislation requires rooms to be ventilated with fresh outside air at a flow rate of 30 m³/h for each employee present. The production area was assumed to be occupied by 150 people and a ventilation flow rate of approximately 4,500 m³/hour was envisaged.

Like the new lighting system, this new HVAC unit allows for significant energy savings. More importantly, the staff's well-being is significantly increased in terms of ambient temperature and air quality.

‘Thanks to Encon, we discovered the savings potential of a new lighting system and enjoyed an increased level of well-being due to a new HVAC system.’