AVU Netz: Mobile marking system saves plant marking time and journeys


Creating the markings on site with a mobile printer  

Creating the markings on site

  • AVU Netz has installed and operates more than 1,800 supply plants for electricity, gas, and water throughout the Ennepe-Ruhr region.
  • The company was searching for a mobile printing system to enable the detailed marking of all of the plant components in its extensive water supply plant structures.
  • With the Thermomark Prime marking system, many journeys and walking distances can be avoided during maintenance work, for example.
  • In this way, the supply company obtains a high level of savings.

Customer profile

Water treatment in an ultra filtration plant in the Verbundwasserwerk Witten  

At the Verbundwasserwerk Witten water treatment plant, the water is treated in an ultra filtration plant as part of the new purification stage

Alongside the distribution of electricity and gas, AVU Netz ensures that the drinking water in the region is clean. The drinking water reservoir – the Ennepetalsperre dam reservoir – holds over 12.3 million cubic meters of water.

In cooperation with the Rohland water treatment plant and the joint Volmarstein water treatment plant, AVU Netz operates the water production for its network area.


Stephan Maubach, Network Service System Technology department at AVU Netz  

Stephan Maubach of the Network Service System Technology department at AVU Netz

“As a utility provider, plant documentation is a decisive factor,” explained Stephan Maubach of the Network Service System Technology department at AVU Netz. “Drinking water supply is a highly sensitive field and particularly when service assignments arise, our plant technicians must be able to access all plant components quickly and efficiently at any time.” Long maintenance and service times would unnecessarily block the distribution network, which should ideally be a continually operating system. In the event of plant repairs or extensions, the existing marking must be adjusted along with the new components in the control cabinet.

“We ran into problems with marking and plant documentation on site. The markings to be added were recorded on a sheet of paper by hand and submitted to our Production department,” added Maubach. “This incurred costs which had to be recovered in other areas. That is what motivated us to look for a mobile printing solution that would create the markings where we needed them.”


Marking the components in the control cabinet  

Every component in the control cabinet can be conveniently marked on site

The utility industry is also under intense cost pressure nowadays, forcing companies to continually search for new saving potentials and increase the efficiency of existing processes. A mobile marking device for the technicians that provides the same printing quality as the stationary printers used in control cabinet manufacturing in the workshop was an interesting prospective solution.

For this reason, AVU Netz decided upon a rechargeable battery-operated mobile printing system: THERMOMARK PRIME. Maubach suggests that all things considered, the new process represents a good 15 percent saving in time in comparison to the previous process with the stationary printers. “As we can enter the data for the labels directly on site, time-consuming and error-prone intermediate steps are no longer necessary. The time taken for reprinting in the workshop and the journeys and walking distances are no longer necessary either.”

To be able to ensure supply continuity, each terminal point in the system and plant is designated, documented, and marked in accordance with the same system. With its flexible application options and the clear and easy-to-read print image, THERMOMARK PRIME ensures the effectiveness and consistency in the control cabinet that play an important role for our AVU Netz system technicians. As Maubach reported, “We can even mark 40-year-old terminal blocks with the latest printer technology without any problems.”

The CLIP PROJECT marking software that is used in all Phoenix Contact printing systems and integrated into the mobile printer enables users to enter the required data directly on site via the installed touch display, which operates in the same way as a tablet. And once created, marking projects can be transmitted by Plug and Play via the device’s various interfaces, for example via a USB stick or even wireless connections, and then printed out and/or saved.


The high level of operational safety required in the regional distribution network would not be possible without highly accurate, consistent marking and documentation. “The selection of the THERMOMARK PRIME solution from Phoenix Contact paid off after a very short time,” summarized Maubach. “We now work much more efficiently on site. The key reasons for acquiring the THERMOMARK PRIME mobile printer were its high flexibility, intuitive handling via the touch display and – last but not least – the excellent interface connection with our EPLAN CAE system.” Maubach is also considering further projects. “We are currently planning to use the THERMOMARK PRIME in the field of station remote transmission in 10 kV local grids.”


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