KOSTAL Pressebereich


The PLENTICORE – a success story made in Germany

The PLENTICORE hybrid inverter is an extremely efficient and versatile inverter that has established itself as a permanent fixture on the solar market.

As part of the KOSTAL Group, KOSTAL Solar Electric is committedto both tradition and innovation. Building on decades of experience in industrial electronics, KOSTAL launched the PLENTICORE hybrid inverter in 2018. This followed a huge amount of work on the part of the research and development teams. KOSTAL became the first company to unveil a hybrid inverter to the public. In 2022, the second generation of the PLENTICORE appeared; it now features WLAN and three additional switched outputs to control load.

The PLENTICORE is produced at the KOSTAL factory in Hagen, a city in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. This is also the headquarters of KOSTAL Industrie Elektrik GmbH & Co. KG, to which KOSTAL Solar Electric belongs. 

We took a look behind the scenes and spoke to two members of the team working under Maik Gessler, the head of production: Rocco Maroni (Production Department Manager) and Dalibor Nater (Inverter Department Manager).
Dalibor Nater, department manager for inverters

KOSTAL is a German company with a long tradition. But is the PLENTICORE actually manufactured in Germany?

Yes, the PLENTICORE was developed entirely in Germany and is also manufactured here.

Let's talk about the PLENTICORE's manufacturing process. How many people are involved in its manufacture? 

As of January 2024, 72 employees work on final assembly of the inverter.

How many steps does it take to complete the PLENTICORE?

116 individual steps are required for the final assembly of an inverter.

Which steps of the production process take place in Hagen?

The inverter is manufactured in its entirety in Hagen, from assembling the printed circuit board to the complete final assembly and subsequent packaging. The PLENTICORE leaves our factory just as the end customer receives it. 

As part of the KOSTAL Group, SOMA manufactures products for testing technology and automation, including autonomous robots. Are these also used in the manufacture of the inverter?

So-called autonomous mobile robots are used to test the inverters. These independently pick up the fully assembled inverter and then transport it fully automatically to the test cells. Once testing is complete, the inverters are transported to the automated labelling station and then set down at the transfer point for packaging.

Manufacturing the PLENTICORE

The industry faced major challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly because supply chains were severely disrupted. How has availability been affected over the last year or two?

The COVID years showed us how sensitively the market can respond in terms of the availability of materials. Only through the efforts of KOSTAL Industrie Elektrik have we managed to get this situation under control over the last few years such that we have now been able to significantly improve availability. 

What measures has KOSTAL taken to improve availability?

Additional capacities were created in manufacturing, development and logistics as well as in purchasing in order to meet increased requirements. We had to do this to be able to respond to extreme situations such as material availability. 
At the same time, manufacturing equipment, production lines and output quantities were continuously improved and optimised in response to the ever-changing market situation.

Manufacturing the PLENTICORE

More than ever before, everyone is talking about sustainability and environmental protection. The urgency to do business in a way that preserves resources is one of the many potential contributions a company can make. What is KOSTAL doing in terms of sustainability?

The factory in Hagen has been ISO 50001 certified since 2015, making it a pioneer in the field of energy management. The system essentially consists of energy and power measuring devices. Meanwhile, electricity, natural gas, heating oil, heating and cooling quantities and compressed air are monitored and analysed to identify potential for improvement and savings.
The photovoltaic system on the factory premises is able to power the entire climate control system in the manufacturing area via heat pumps. In December 2023, the KOSTAL Group also received the ESG Transparency Award for outstanding sustainability reports from EUPD Research, a consulting firm with over 20 years' experience in research and analysis.

Manufacturing the PLENTICORE

Let's take another look at production and business. Where do you see particular challenges?

The constantly changing market situation and supply bottlenecks pose particular challenges. In some cases, components are completely discontinued. When it comes to validation and manufacturing processes, we therefore have to put in a vast amount of work in terms of development and manufacturing. 

All of this demands a high degree of flexibility from everyone, which can ultimately only be achieved with a strong sense of company loyalty on the part of every KOSTAL employee.

What have you done to increase production capacities?

The production line and production processes undergo continuous improvement. By reorganising some of the work processes, we have managed to achieve small increases in capacity, which add up to a big leap in terms of competitive advantages.

By reacting flexibly to fluctuations in manufacturing with extra shifts, we can also compensate for capacity losses. Production lines have also been continuously expanded, modernised and further automated.

What impact has this had?

So far, since the introduction of hybrid inverters we have been able to increase our output by 30%.

Thank you very much for talking to us!


The second-generation PLENTICORE – an excellent inverter

The PLENTICORE plus is a highly versatile and long-established hybrid inverter that has won numerous awards for its efficiency and popularity with end users and installers. Thanks to the large and ever growing number of compatible PV components such as battery storage systems and heat pumps, it offers unbeatable advantages for everyone involved.

Retailers always have the right inverter in stock for a large number of products, installers benefit from an easy-to-commission, established device and numerous services from KOSTAL, and end customers can expand their PV system extremely flexibly at any time. 

And thanks to the AutoUpdate function, the PLENTICORE always updates itself automatically to the latest software version.

Everything you need to know and information about compatible partner products can be found in the download area: https://www.kostal-solar-electric.com/en-gb/download/download/