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Full Transparency

Janitza electronics

More transparency in energy distribution! No, this is not a campaign pledge in the run-up to Germany’s general elections, but a promise of the Lahnau company Janitza electronics GmbH to its customers. Janitza’s intelligent measuring technology systems ensure transparency in energy consumption and power quality.

Companies love visualizing their success story in bar charts – especially three-dimensional ones. It’s easier for Markus Janitza. He only has to look out of his office window on the top floor of the new head office building. From there, you have a three-dimensional view of the success story of Janitza electronics: each of the buildings that have been added one after another since the company was founded over 30 years ago.

When Eugen Janitza set up his company in 1961, his son Markus had not even been born. The small company produced classic control units and switchboxes for the mechanical engineering industry. They were such a success that the Eugen Janitza GmbH extended its production facilities in Naunheim in 1969. Markus Janitza was to follow in his father’s footsteps at a young age. However, instead of starting in his father’s firm he went his own way: “Just after I’d done my A levels, my father signed over to me a building plot in Lahnau-Waldgirmes so that I could set up my own company. That was in 1986, the year the story of Janitza electronics began. This company would never have existed without my father.”

To give us an idea of what those times were like, Markus Janitza takes a few analog displays off the shelf that used to be built into huge switching cabinets. Relics of the past that are, at the most, of sentimental value in our digital age. Only two years after its foundation, Janitza electronics launched the world’s first electronic power factor controller with harmonic limit values and automatic switch gear. Admittedly, that sounds complicated, as Markus Janitza knows: “It’s supposed to illustrate the way we’ve been working for three decades. We develop new technologies to meet market demand and combine already existing applications to create convincing products. By doing so, we have acquired the know-how that enables us to keep a step ahead of our time.” This know-how is shared by many long-serving employees. Some of them have worked at the company from day one. Others, like the software development team, are mostly younger. But you notice instantly, that they all bring in their specific knowledge and a great enthusiasm for the products.

Janitza products are designed to make energy visible and thereby controllable. The technical modules with their blue housings are relatively compact and are mostly built into switchboxes. The displayed data are collected by devices for measuring energy and differential current, and can be centrally analyzed and controlled via an Ethernet interface. In the course of digitalization, the measuring and monitoring devices have become more and more efficient – and complex. Meanwhile, the company’s product spectrum ranges from transformers and measuring devices via the setup of the IT environment to databases and analysis software. So it all adds up to highly interconnected systems that in principle provide all kinds of energy data for retrieval at any time and any place; systems that communicate with the user and with other systems; systems that can be serviced from Lahnau via VPN even in Toledo, Tokyo or Timbuktu.

The hardware and software are developed in Lahnau. An additional hall is currently being modernized to extend the manufacturing facilities. At the core of production activities are the electronic assemblies bearing circuit boards equipped with 4,000 components and more. They are mounted in a fully automated process on large machines. Once they have been assembled in cases, the devices are subjected to extensive function and load tests on test benches. No product leaves the company without thorough quality control. “That’s a matter of top priority for us,” stresses Markus Janitza. “Just imagine what would happen if a residual current monitoring device were faulty. That would be fatal. And that’s exactly what our customers like about our products and systems: their precision and their reliability.”

They prove their worth in hotels and canteen kitchens, in zoos and leisure parks, in large banks and in car industries. Around 40 per cent of the customers are based abroad. 75 per cent of DAX companies are Janitza customers. They benefit from the measurable economic and environmental advantages. In specific cases, this transparency is even a preventive “life insurance” – including particularly sensitive buildings such as hospitals, data centers or Germany’s largest airport. For them, power quality and security of supply are essential. A problem with the power supply can have incalculable consequences in such environments. Janitza measuring systems ensure that critical hazards can be localized and remedied at an early stage. If the worst-case scenario does occur, the measurement data of Janitza class A power quality analyzers can even be used for legal settlement.

However, the causes of “residual current” are not always system-inherent. The fact that “clean” power cannot always be guaranteed has been shown by the energy revolution, for example. Although power from renewable energies is gained cleanly, there is a lack of possibilities for storing it and providing a constant supply of clean voltages. Reliable energy monitoring is all the more important in this context. Also, power quality is playing an increasingly significant role in some countries such as the USA. And electromobility is another new market with a global reach that will demand additional stable capacities in the near future.

The benefits of intelligent energy management are particularly obvious in these sensitive and far-reaching areas of business. However, they show positive effects on a small scale, too – in places where precise measurement data and intelligent control systems save energy costs and significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Janitza sets a good example here by constantly measuring the energy consumption in its production facilities. The energy center in the new head office displays power consumption and power supply from the photovoltaic installation on the roof.

Markus Janitza is particularly pleased with the in-house developed GridVis® system software and the Energy Portal. Here, energy data can be retrieved online at any time and from any location. The cloud-based solution saves the customer the cost of buying, operating and maintaining software, a server and a database. The portal guarantees ultra-high data security and is above all easy to use. The system architecture is flexible and configurable to individual requirements. This means that energy efficiency can be optimized by corporate enterprises on the basis of key figures and their progressions – or equally by homeowners wanting to reduce their electricity, gas and water consumption.

So in these cases, more transparency really does equate to an economic and ecological benefit. Janitza electronics shows how it’s done. Wherever Janitza installs its measuring systems – at your local baker’s, in industrial enterprises or data centers – customers are soon convinced. And that’s a key success factor in this success story.


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