Marc Cain banks on energy systems from Viessmann

Founded in 1973, today Marc Cain is a premium brand for women’s fashion with global operations and its own production facilities in Germany. The company employs almost 1 000 people.

The picture shows the production and administration building of Marc Cain GmbH.

Fashion manufacturer heats with renewable energy and uses self-generated electricity – Positioned in the price segment for high-end women’s fashion, Marc Cain has withstood ruinous competitive battles and even expanded its market considerably. 210 Marc Cain stores, 292 shop-in-stores, 397 depot customers, and a further 1 087 upscale specialty stores in 61 countries characterize the selective distribution strategy.

High investments to secure competitiveness

To secure the company’s competitiveness, it recently invested some 82 million euros in administration, production, and research and development. 35 million euros were invested in an ultramodern logistics center alone. In the course of these investments, a considerable amount was also spent on building a new energy center at the company’s headquarters in Bodelshausen, near Tübingen.

Local heating instead of district heating

In 2015, the previous district heating contract with a local energy supplier was canceled and instead the company built its own heating center with a connected local heating grid. “District heating did not work in line with our plans and ideas,” explains Harald Scherm, who is responsible for building equipment at Marc Cain. “This is why we decided to build our own local heating grid, along with the new logistics center,” Scherm continues. This grid supplies the entire Marc Cain campus with a total building floor space of over 55 000 square meters.

Primary energy from biomass

To comply with the requirements of the German Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV), which stipulates that 25 percent of heat generated in new builds must come from renewable fuels and energies, Marc Cain immediately opted for biomass as the primary energy source. “The use of pellets proved to be more maintenance-friendly than wood chips,” says Harald Scherm explaining the decision to use wood pellets as fuel. “Another advantage,” says Scherm, “was that all components were supplied by Viessmann as a single source.”

Fully automatic wood pellet boiler covers the basic heat load

In basic load operation, a Vitoflex 300-UF wood pellet boiler with an output of 950 kilowatts provides heating and hot water. Automatic features for fuel feed, ash discharge, and pneumatic heating surface cleaning enable fully automatic boiler operation. A Vitocrossal 300 gas condensing boiler covers peak loads. Four hot water buffer tanks with a total capacity of 20 000 liters were installed to store heat once it has been generated. Hot water comes from a Vitocell 100-V with 300 liters capacity.

Five tons of pellets per day

The pellet store holds 160 tons, of which up to five tons are consumed per day. A cyclone filter and an electrostatic filter retain all suspended particles in the flue gas. Combined heat and power unit and PV for power generation To make itself less dependent on public energy suppliers, Marc Cain installed a Vitobloc 200 EM-20/39 combined heat and power unit and a 450 kW photovoltaic system. The mini combined heat and power unit with an electrical output of up to 20 kilowatts was delivered ready for operation as a compact module and could therefore be put into operation very quickly.