“Air is our passion”

As a specialist for air ducting and air purification, the STEAG subsidiary Krantz is conquering a growth market.

In a football stadium in the desert state of Qatar, in the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg or in nuclear power plants throughout Germany, the condition of the air that surrounds us determines our wellbeing and our health. In response to the customer’s requirements, Krantz GmbH experts purify, dehumidify, cool or heat the ambient air.

Depending on where they are working, Krantz employees are faced with very different challenges: Air conditioning in offices, for example, is all about creating a comfortable working atmosphere for employees - not too cold and not too hot. In industrial applications, on the other hand, the focus is on aspects of occupational health and safety, and compliance with legal regulations. In the vicinity of a production plant, for example, the team headed by Norbert Schröder, Managing Director of Krantz, uses air outlets specially developed by the Aachen-based company to dissipate waste heat and contaminated exhaust air. Environmental protection is not neglected either: Before the contaminated exhaust air is discharged into the atmosphere, the exhaust air treatment systems, which Krantz has been successfully marketing for 30 years and continuously developing during that period, are used. And that worldwide.

 

„Nothing here is off the peg. The employees put their backs into the work and create a customized solution for every problem.“

Norbert Schröder, Managing Director of Krantz GmbH

Norbert Schröder studied mechanical engineering and has been with STEAG since 1993. He has been Managing Director of Krantz GmbH since 2018.

“We have invested in a growth field”
“With the acquisition of Krantz, we have invested in a growth segment,” explains Joachim Rumstadt, Chairman of the STEAG Board of Management. “In the next 15 to 20 years, operators of nuclear power plants in particular will be dependent on nuclear expertise in decommissioning. With the know-how that is already available in the Nuclear Technologies division of our subsidiary STEAG Energy Services and the expertise that our colleagues at Krantz are now contributing, STEAG will successfully expand its market position in the field of dismantling-related services.”

The treatment of nuclear waste and the safe interim and final storage of materials arising from the dismantling of nuclear power plants is one of the most demanding tasks in air pollution control. The two STEAG subsidiaries are currently supporting energy utility EnBW in the dismantling of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant by constructing a residues processing center and an on-site waste storage facility in which the residual materials and waste from the dismantling process are treated and temporarily stored. “In these areas, nuclear plant components to which radioactive particles adhere are safely decontaminated by various blasting processes or material separation,” explains Krantz’s Managing Director Norbert Schröder. “The remaining radioactive waste, which does not meet the free release requirements, is then conditioned for final disposal, packaged and temporarily stored so that it can later be transferred to a repository.”

The mechanical engineer has been with STEAG since 1993 and has now additionally taken on the management of Krantz GmbH. “The range of expertise is impressive,” says the 54-year-old. “Nothing here is off the peg. The employees put their backs into the work and create a customized solution for every problem.”

 

„In the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, we naturally have to respect and make allowances for the sensitive acoustics.“

Detlef Makulla, Head of Research & Development at Krantz GmbH

39,000 air vents for stadium in Qatar
In 2009, for example, it was necessary to devise an air conditioning system in the football stadium for the Qatari first division team Al-Sadd SC. An average outside temperature of 45 degrees Celsius also prevailed in the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, and the requirement for the spectator seats was 24 to a maximum of 26 degrees. “That was demanding,” says Dietmar Rossbruch, head of the Air Handling Systems product group at Krantz GmbH. “We installed three specially developed air outlets under each seat, a total of 39,000. They create a microclimate, which is how we ultimately achieved our temperature targets.” And even more: With their ingenious solution, the people from Aachen created the world’s first open, air-conditioned football stadium, which also received the blessing of the global football association FIFA. And in this way the Krantz engineers have acquired a reputation which will assist them to qualify as suppliers for further venues of the 2022 World Cup in the desert state of Qatar.

In the approximately 1,000 square meter research and development laboratory with insulated laboratory rooms, an echo chamber, an air-conditioning room and a dedicated metrology room for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in Richterich-Uersfeld on the outskirts of Aachen, the Krantz specialists have already completed other, no less sensational tasks. The English football arenas in Manchester and Birmingham are also on the reference list, as are the Lanxess Arena in Cologne and the Hong Kong Convention Center, Madrid Airport, London Heathrow Airport, the Olympic stadium in Sydney, the arena in Auckland, New Zealand, and also – almost on the doorstep – Eurogress in Aachen. All highly complex solutions, some of which have also been patented. In 2016 alone, Krantz GmbH registered seven new developments with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office.

Dietmar Rossbruch and Martin Baltes explain the function of the test apparatus in the twelve meter high test bay.

Krantz GmbH
Founded in 1882 by engineer Hermann Krantz, who gave the firm its name, the Aachen-based company today develops, designs, manufactures and markets air ducting, heating and cooling systems for ceiling, wall, floor and façade installation. Krantz GmbH also produces filter and shut-off systems, is an expert in waste air treatment and has also made a name for itself in the field of plant construction and with its special service for the ventilation of nuclear facilities. Since the beginning of this year, the traditional brand with 218 employees has belonged to STEAG Energy Services.

In the Elbphilharmonie, not a breath of air may be felt
For the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, too, the ventilation experts developed an individual solution. “In doing so, we naturally had to respect and make allowances for the sensitive acoustics,” Detlef Makulla explains. Another difficulty was that the air was to be supplied from the central ventilation system through the floor, with a supply air volumetric flow of around 60 cubic meters per person per hour in the concert hall. To this end, Krantz employees installed a special air outlet in the floor under each of the 2,150 seats. Part of the air supply is distributed under the seat and a further part is guided upwards behind the backrest. “In this way, every single member of the audience is supplied with air. This is done in such a way that the desired room air temperature is maintained without any excessive differences between the foot and head areas. In this way, the concertgoer feels nothing of the air movement. He or she is, so to speak, wrapped in the envelope of supply air.”

1,000 AVACS sails for Daimler in Sindelfingen
Krantz recently developed the AVACS (air ventilation and cooling system) specifically for office rooms. It comprises a ceiling sail which can be integrated in almost any existing office architecture. The fittings contained in these ceiling elements can, for example, ventilate open plan offices, and also heat and cool them. At Daimler in Sindelfingen, for example, over 1,000 AVACS sails are installed. “Air is our passion,” says Managing Director Norbert Schröder.