Rising energy costs and environmental incentive taxes mean that in order for industrial companies to remain competitive they must increase energy efficiency. Production processes should not only have maximum profitability, but should also conserve resources and produce low emissions.

Classical approaches to energy optimization usually focus on improving the efficiency of individual unit operations. Experience shows, however, that the optimal integration of energy flows in the overall process usually results in better energy efficiency than the often costly improvement of the individual efficiencies through purely technical means.

Pinch Analysis - the tool of process integration

Process integration is the common term for such a system-oriented and integral method. An important tool used in the integration process is pinch analysis. Process integration using  pinch analysis ensures a more energy efficient and cost-effective operation. The key to this result is primarily through the use of an holistic approach. The focus of the analysis is not the optimization of individual unit operations, but the overall system.

With the support of the Federal Office of Energy and a team of experts,  the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts  - Engineering and Architecture, has developed the user-friendly software  Pinch. With this software  can a pinch analysis can be practically and economically performed, for both  large industrial firms as well as  small to medium enterprises.