Optimal conditions for environmental simulations

They are synonymous with expertise in temperature and climate in equal measure: BITZER and Vötsch Industrietechnik GmbH, which develops and manufactures testing systems for customers to check the effects of environmental influences. BITZER has been supplying components for vötschtechnik® devices and systems for over 20 years

Be it heat, cold, moisture, corrosion or radiation – how does technical equipment react when exposed to these environmental influences? The answers are provided by testing devices from vötschtechnik which are even able to simulate environmental influences in space.

Integration into Weiss Technik companies

Based in Balingen in Baden-Württemberg, Vötsch Industrietechnik GmbH was established in 1929 and taken over by Weiss Umwelttechnik GmbH in 1995. Following this takeover, centres of excellence were established at the individual sites and Vötsch Industrietechnik GmbH has been the centre of excellence for standard testers ever since. The company develops standard products and special solutions for environmental simulation. The specialists are often approached by customers with the most unusual of requirements and then create tailored concepts which even cover custom implementation.

An unusual place for BITZER compressors in vötschtechnik® testers: Carsten Bräuer (Head of Development and Testing) with the milestone product

BITZER inside

When there is an environmental label on Vötsch industrial technology, BITZER will usually always be behind it: Vötsch uses BITZER compressors for environmental applications in testing areas with temperature ranges from –10°C to +95°C and in temperature ranges from –80°C to +180°C – because each of the devices has its own individual refrigerant circuit.

Carsten Bräuer, Head of Development and Testing at Vötsch Industrietechnik, reports: ‘Reciprocating compressors from BITZER certainly have the lion’s share here at Balingen. However, when the circumstances permit, we more and more frequently also use shell and tube systems from BITZER when we need condensers. Refrigerant receivers are also arriving slowly. Complete condensing units are used in special solutions such as media temperature control systems. And at our Lindenstruth site in Hesse, we even use screw compressors and CO2 compressors from BITZER where necessary when working with cells.’

BITZER compressors are normally used in vötschtechnik® screening devices

An innovation partnership in the compressor segment

In order to face the new challenges arising after its acquisition by Weiss Umwelttechnik GmbH, Vötsch Industrietechnik GmbH formed innovation partnerships and chose BITZER for the compressor segment:

‘In light of the increasingly rapid rate of change, it is necessary to have steady partners. Partners that can rely on one another. That is why BITZER was an obvious choice for the innovation partnership in the reciprocating compressor segment. Looking back, our decision was an excellent one in terms of procurement as well as from a technical perspective. We underlined this by signing a quality assurance agreement in 2013 and a supply agreement in 2015,’ explains Reiner Sauter, Global Director Procurement at Weiss Umwelttechnik GmbH.

In the early days at Vötsch Industrietechnik, the procurement of compressors with a motor power of 2 PS or more was dominated by BITZER products. Later on, after acquisition by Weiss Umwelttechnik GmbH, the OCTAGON compressor series covered 90 per cent of the mid-range power demand from 4 PS to 14 PS. With the introduction of the NEW ECOLINE reciprocating compressor series, BITZER positioned itself in the upper capacity range of vötschtechnik devices too: 95 per cent of the compressors used at Balingen with a capacity of 4 PS or more are reciprocating compressors from BITZER. As is standard for vötschtechnik solutions with BITZER components, larger compressors feature VARISTEP capacity control – where necessary, one or two cylinders can be switched off quickly.

Series 3 of the weisstechnik testers

The right place at the right time

The expertise of BITZER matches the requirements of vötschtechnik and both companies can profit from their geographical proximity to one another. Environmentally friendly refrigerants, intuitive user interfaces and smart control elements – many other parallels can be drawn between vötschtechnik and BITZER. The first joint project in the innovation partnership instantly became a milestone of the partnership: the project involved the implementation of prototype compressors from the NEW ECOLINE series which was still in development at the time. They found their home in the then new refrigerant circuits of the vötschtechnik screening series. Following the relocation of the centres of expertise, all compressors – OCTAGON from BITZER as well as 4- and 6-cylinder models from competitors – were replaced by the NEW ECOLINE series during this time. BITZER manufactured prototypes especially for vötschtechnik for this purpose. Carsten Bräuer reflects: ‘Both sides were lucky to be busy with mutually compatible development stages at the same time. Had BITZER been unable to support us directly, we would probably have continued on with a competitor. We have been counting on BITZER ever since.’

BITZER manufactures at 16 sites worldwide. It manufactured its three millionth product (compressors and condensing units) at its Schkeuditz factory near Leipzig in late 2019. This milestone product was received by representatives of Vötsch Industrietechnik GmbH and the compressor will now be used in a screening device for car accessory tests.

The Weiss Technik companies

Under the slogan ‘Test it. Heat it. Cool it.’, the Weiss Technik companies provide solutions which are used all over the world in research and development and in the manufacture and quality control of numerous products. With 22 companies at 40 sites in 15 countries, its strong sales and service organisation provides the best customer support possible and ensures that the operating reliability of systems is high. vötschtechnik® is a trademark of Weiss Umwelttechnik GmbH. It is one of the world’s most well-known brands in the fields of environmental simulation and heating technology and is a firmly established name in development laboratories, quality assurance departments and production halls. It is synonymous with the best quality, the highest reliability, technically refined innovations and outstanding service.

The Weiss Technik companies are part of the Schunk Group which is based in Heuchelheim, Giessen.

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