“Up to 170 tubes can be connected to a 16-amp fuse,” says Oliver Grim, chief executive officer of the Luxembourg-based bulb producer ECRES, presenting the low energy consumption of his LED bulbs. A whole new generation was born in the Luxembourg workshop. Now the bulbs of the future are also coming to Saxony-Anhalt, lighting up the energy turnaround here. ECRES has set up its subsidiary in Bartensleben in Bördekreis [Börde district] - and brought an innovative “innovation” with it: light bulb leasing.
As he held a stick in his hand, Oliver Grim energetically hit the inspection light on the table. An instinctive ducking of his head: but the expected flurry of glass splinters failed to appear. And what is more: connected to the grid, this flash light radiates with its full glow. The ECRES chief executive officer also beams because of the successful demonstration effect. This does not just show that the LED bulbs of ECRES, the Luxembourg-based European Center for Renewable Energy Systems, are extremely hardwearing, impact-proof and shock-resistant. “They also require 60 to 90 percent less electricity than the currently conventional lamps,” says Grim, pointing out their enormous energy-saving potential. “ECRES bulbs work in a voltage range of 85 to 240 volts and a frequency range of between 47 and 63 Hertz.” And: “There is a six year guarantee on ECRES LEDs. They perform fully for at least 53,000 operating hours.” At this point in his speech, Oliver Grim issues a message of caution. Because from 2014, all European companies which consume over 100,00 kilowatt hours of electricity a year must have a DIN-compliant energy management system in place.
The young Luxembourg-based company also wants to be ready in Central Germany when companies and operations have to convert their lighting equipment to LED.
Increasingly, the ECRES chief executive officer and his finance chief commute between their main headquarters in Luxembourg and the subsidiary in Saxony-Anhalt that was founded in 2012. It is currently being built in Bartensleben in Bördekreis. From August 2013, the mechanical parts for LED bulbs and lights are set to be produced here.
The two businessmen believe that good reasons have convinced them that their company has found the right home in Saxony-Anhalt. With help from the Investitions- und Marketinggesellschaft (IMG) Sachsen-Anhalt, they found a good location near the A2 motorway and also an important partner to deal with the sale of LED bulbs: Hövelmann Logistik, a company from Haldensleben. ECRES also receives IMG support to make contacts with companies and operations in the state. A contract has already been signed with Enercon Magdeburg, the constructor of wind turbines.
Companies from the steelwork industry and glass manufacturing have also shown interest. “Our LED bulbs are particularly interesting for these industries,” says chief executive officer Grim, proud of the in-house development of an as yet unique niche product: LED bulbs, which withstand temperatures of +85 degree to -45 degrees without any damage. Grim explains that the latter have been used in refrigerated warehouses for example. They are critical for the lighting, when cold air of up to -50 degrees is blown into the room to further cool them after a loading procedure. Up to now, the bulbs have had to be switched off.
On the other hand, it gets hot in factories, in which work is carried out at high welding temperatures. Here, the assembly lines have to be switched off to replace broken bulbs. As a result, Grim says a bulb replacement could cost up to 20,000 Euro due to the production downtime, thus emphasising the advantages of the ECRES bulbs. Among other reasons, they last longer and can be changed within two minutes because they can be hung freely without a casing.
As well as trade and construction, another industry that is strongly represented in Saxony-Anhalt is among the target groups with special requirements - the food industry. First of all, according to Grim, the bright light of the ECRES LED bulbs is on a par with daylight. Secondly, there are no disturbing pulse frequencies, so no flickering. Which ultimately also benefits the health of the company’s workforce.
As a first in its industry, ECRES offers bulb leasing. It seems to be tailored to the requirements of the SMEs in Saxony-Anhalt. “For large companies as well,” says the financial expert Claude Schettgen. Ultimately, there is money left over for other important investments as a result. And after a maximum of three years, the bulb leasing has already brought a return.
The Luxembourg- based company has invested 1.5 million Euro in the building phase of the ECRES factory in Bartensleben. “Another one and a half million will be added to this,” says finance chief Schettgen. When he and his chief executive officer look three years into the future, they have a vision of about 100 employees at the site, who will complete about 5,000 to 10,000 bulbs a day with the production of mechanical parts. Initially, the production department in Bartensleben will start up in August with six employees. The intention is to employ specialists from the region - toolmakers and engineers.
Author: Kathrain Graubaum (text / photo)
Chief Executive Officer
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