COVER STORY — Ambiente Lavoro Energia, a company that makes you grow while saving


energy-139366A consolidated and continuous partnership with Val di Vara laundry allowed this cooperative from Genoa to put into practice some excellent solutions aimed at energy saving. Every single business, either with or without the collaboration with the Energy Manager whose presence can be mandatory for some businesses according to the law, can significantly benefit from it. “Our Energy Diagnosis – says Michele Viganego, an associate manager – reduces the costs and offers solutions for machines and systems optimization”. 

The future is a question of one “stem” less. The one whose absence makes the “m” for megawatt become “n” for “negawatt” which is the energy saving measuring unit. “Oh, there is no doubt – confirms Michele Viganego, a senior project-engineer and an associate manager of Ambiente Lavoro Energia – that all the laundries starting from huge industrial plants to self-services around the corner are destined to acknowledge it quite soon either because of questions relating to their budget or to the law. The future belongs to those who will save energy in the most intelligent and productive way”.

unnamed (1)Michele Viganego claims the above on the basis of some really solid suppositions. His career, first in the industrial automation sector where he gained some important work experience, led him to founding a technical consultancy studio called Michele Viganego, together with his wife Eliana in 2006. Later on, in 2010 he founded Ambiente Lavoro Energia (ALE), a cooperative with its headquarters in Genoa. The company provides project services and consultancy on energy consumption and environment protection to businesses. With a special “vocation” that has increased over years of monitoring and interventions for numerous laundries with Val di Vara Srl being one of them, an industrial plant in Campo Ligure (Genoa), where more than 80 employees produce a-six million euro turnover per year. “Who knows the business well – Viganego says – recognizes the fact that Val di Vara Srl is a solid structure, well rooted in the territory and it represents the excellence of laundries Made in Italy”.

SCHEMA VERDE INGLESEDocumento46“However, aside from how big a business is – he continues – the starting point is the same for everyone, for both big and small: fighting against wastefulness as a common enemy. Today, this principle concerns industrial laundries just like the traditional ones e.g. inside supermarkets where a-100 square meter laundry can consume 70 kilowatts per hour which is a lot”.

There are no limits in terms of size and consumption for any laundry to waste energy beyond limits. One of the biggest problems concerns the ignorance about regulations applied to the matter, which results in quite a high but not precisely definable number of companies that operate outside the established parameters and regulations. “The figure of Energy Manager – explains the associate manager of Ambiente Lavoro Energia – seems to be a perfect example  of how things are going. The figure is still perceived like some sort of news, a friendly newcomer to the Italian production world whereas the law has been very clear about it and has made their presence obligatory. This concerns companies with high energy consumption index that have gone beyond one of the following limits: the consumption of a thousand TEP per year, where TEP stands for equivalent tons of petrol, 250 employees, 50 million turnover or more. Such businesses are obliged to undergo ENERGETIC DIAGNOSIS and possibly hire or consult a qualified Energy Manager in the above mentioned cases according to Legislative Decree 102, 2014. The absence of this figure leads to paying a-40 thousand euro fine unless the business gets one, and in that case, even if the deadline is expired, the fine goes down to 4 thousand euro”.

G.Peluffo alt.2 (1)
Giacomo Peluffo, the MD of di Val di Vara

Giacomo Peluffo, the Managing Director at Val di Vara Srl confirms that the path towards energy saving actually started from Energetic Diagnosis that highlighted all the aspects to be worked on step by step, starting from inefficiencies improvement to self-production of energy. “When our company commissioned the environmental and energetic evaluation, – says Peluffo, the Managing Director – we were aware of the fact that the results could condition the future investments of the company. As a matter of fact, every strategic decision taken today that goes from economic analysis to technical feasibility involves both the environmental impact on the territory and the rational energy consumption that is compatible with the necessary productivity.”

unnamed (3)It is just an example, among the most convincing ones, of the central role that the energy factor assumed while programming activities of any laundry. “However, – Michele Viganego explains – the records involved are actually quite many and complex. In some cases, it is necessary to be well-documented and supported just like in case of contemporaneity index that is crucial for energy saving arrangements which work like an orchestra: the tumble dryer is stopped while the centrifuge is working; every single input gets neutralized during the drain stage”.

monitoraggioSimple operations as long as one is provided with energetic strategy based on the watchful diagnosis of productive mechanisms aimed at the maximum proficiency possible. Ambiente Lavoro Energia offers entirely customized management “that – Viganego underlines – goes from drafting the ENERGETIC DIAGNOSIS to the acquisition of economical and functional tools such as inverters, soft starters and projecting the insertion of distant monitoring measuring units together with an accurate diagnosis of boilers functionality that has always been a focal point as far as wastefulness is concerned”.

“Keeping an obsolete boiler at a full operating speed – adds the associate manager at ALE – will certainly mean some ridiculous energy waste. The scenario changes completely once the free kilowatts that accumulated gradually through the condensate return are used. In this way, the concept of “energy station” can be defined and fully recognized through Ambiente Lavoro Energia’s diagnosis and solutions based on it.” Interestingly, the term “energy station” has been conceived by the work group led by Michele Viganego.

Michele Viganego (002)
Michele Viganego

“We are now in the monitoring stage – says the MD of Val di Vara Srl – which means we are investing our energy in training our staff and providing the necessary equipment as well as all the energy measuring systems vectors that depend on the analysis and report software able to access the TEE, titles of energy efficiency”.

Michele Viganego concludes with these fundamentally important words: “As you might have understood, our projects are not about treatment but about growth that takes place thanks to energy saving”.

unnamed (1)Companies Profiles

 AMBIENTE LAVORO ENERGIA – A cooperative (projects and consultancy technical studio).

Headquarters and training centre in Genoa. Studio and equipment trial run laboratory in Rapallo (GE).
Web site:
Michele Viganego is also an associate founder of Studio Associato together with architects Diego Bottoni and Marco Giacomelli with headquarters in Genoa and Rome.
Web site:
Both companies operate on the national level and have taken part in energy requalification projects in civil and industrial fields through about 1200 recorded interventions and total turnover that only in energetic diagnosis and energy management sectors reached more than 500 thousand euros over the last three years.

Plant in Campoligure (GE) Via Isola Giugno 91, location Maddalena
Distribution centre in Camaiore (LU), via del Commercio 6
Web site:
Turnover more than 7 million euros.
2.200 sq.m. production, 500 sq.m. shipment warehouse and 2.000 sq.m. outside area.
3 continuous batch washers, 5 ironing lines, 10 dryers, one garments department.
Daily productive capacity: 300 quintals (8 hours). More than 6 million kg linen washed a year. More than 500 clients serviced weekly. More than 100 employees per season.

by Stefano Ferrio