Going Green – Energy Efficiency Savings in Manufacturing

Not only should it appear as a standard item in your ISO14001 objectives, with energy efficiency initiatives, cost reduction and corporate responsibility go hand in hand.  So how?

Measure, analyse, act, measure

Wireless/web energy consumption monitoring tools are available such as those from factorylynx.com  These tools enable you to monitor electrical energy consumption and or temperatures in real time, to detect waste, and ensure that your reduction measures are effective.  Wireless is useful because it means you can make adhoc 1 studies for a short period of time, and then move the equipment to another machine.

Make sure you monitor all relevant energy streams, such as pneumatic compressors, gas consumption, electricity consumption, in as much detail as is economically justified.  The factorylynx monitors enable you visualize graphs and setup email alerts for excessive consumption.

Ensure that the relevant energy consumption KPIs for your plant are included in your management reports  (eg. kw /h per unit ).  It is useful to publish the same KPI in € s (€ energy / € total spend to provide a financial perspective.

Involve your staff

Energy measurement is a great motivator, since while productivity improvement may meet with resistance on a jobs preservation basis, no-one can argue against energy saving. A great deal of energy saving can be achieved by getting people to change behaviour, by turning off unused equipment, setting aircon and heating responsibly and putting forward suggestions for improvement.

Include energy efficiency for all capital investment appraisals

It is far more economic to buy energy efficient equipment than to retrofit energy efficiency at a later stage.  Make sure the concept of energy efficiency is included in your capex templates and insist that the analysis is carried out where appropriate.  Include a line for energy efficiency in your 3 year capital investment plan.

Reduce heating and aircon bills through insulation

Optimize settings of thermostats

Re-cycle Energy

For example re-using heat from a cooling process, or using regenerative motors which take advantage of energy produced when decelerating one motor  to accelerate another motor using a common “energy bus”.

Maintain Equipment

Pressure losses though leaking pneumatic,hydraulic and steam lines are direct energy losses.   Regularly audit installations to ensure that leaks don’t go undetected.

Energy Efficient Technologies

Automate equipment to switch on and off as and when it is needed.

Use energy efficient lighting

Use Variable Drive Motors to optimize efficiency


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