Friedr. Lohmann: Tough-as-Steel management for climate protection

At two sites in Witten, the seventh generation of Friedr. Lohmann GmbH produces special and stainless steels and highly heat and wear resistant castings. This family-run company established an environmental management system as early as 1996. Since then, the steel production company has been setting itself new environmental and climate protection goals on an ongoing basis, thus making massive savings on resources and reducing CO2 emissions.

Friedr. Lohmann GmbH was founded as far back as 1790. This steel production company is still 100-per cent family-owned. Its products are sought after all over the world. The company works on maintaining and improving the high quality of its products on a continuous basis. At the same time, this family-run company places ever-higher demands on the environmental compatibility of the technologies it uses.

With this in mind, Friedr. Lohmann GmbH established an ISO 14001-compliant environmental management system as early as 1996. The company also set up its energy management in 2012 in line with ISO 50001. This steel production company thus ensures that the environmental, energy and climate protection goals it has set itself are achieved. The company also communicates this to its employees: Staff are informed of all steps and actively involved in the company suggestion scheme.

Climate protection objective:

  • Reduce gas consumption by approx. 370,000 kilowatt-hours per year through new burner technology
  • Save 1.5 million kilowatt-hours’ heat energy per year through a new module cast production line including the recirculation of clean air by filter systems
  • Expand the use of LED lighting
  • Improve waste heat recovery on the forging furnaces by waste heat-to-energy conversion and the use of improved recuperators for preheating of air

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Photo: Friedr. Lohmann GmbH

Aerial photo of Friedr. Lohmann GmbH

Steel plant in green area uses renewable energies

The steel plant is situated in a sensitive environment in Witten, where landscape conservation, housing and tourism play a key role. Friedr. Lohmann GmbH is not a “foreign body” in this area. Rather, it has integrated well into the region historically: The company has been using the water power of the Ruhr as an energy source since 1860. What was once a grain mill with a water wheel drive is now a modern hydro-power station. It generates more than 4.2 million kilowatt-hours of power per year and thus saves 1,680 tonnes of CO2. 2010 saw the addition of a photovoltaic system on three large roofs over production areas, which reduces CO2 emissions by a further 70 tonnes per year

Continuous optimisation of production processes

Today, furnace systems that run on electricity, natural gas and shielding gas with progressive burner and control technology are used in production. Nevertheless, the production processes are subject to continuous monitoring for climate protection and efficiency improvement potential. The company replaces systems so as to harness efficiency improvement potential on an ongoing basis. For example, through an innovative optimisation of the raw materials and processes used for steel sheet products, Friedr. Lohmann GmbH decreased annual CO2 emissions by over 500 tonnes and reduced consumption of the raw material – steel. Other efficiency projects – including the expansion of LED lighting in the company – have resulted in further CO2 emission reductions of over 150 tonnes.

New climate protection goals for increased efficiency

On top of all that, Friedrich Lohmann GmbH is setting itself new climate protection goals within the scope of KlimaExpo.NRW: Over the next few years, the company will convert other conventional light sources to LED, reduce gas consumption in the preheating of boilers using new burner technology, save energy in the stainless steel foundry through a new module cast production line and improve waste heat recovery on the forging furnaces. These ambitious plans make the company a real role model for the industry.

Photo: Friedr. Lohmann GmbH

For generations, we have been convinced that sustainable action leads to success. Therefore, our company philosophy is “Think in generations.”Roland Müller, Head of Environmental and Occupational Safety Management

Partners and sponsors

Counselling centers:
  • Effizienz-Agentur NRW (EFA)
  • EnergieAgentur.NRW
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
  • Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit