Energy-Efficient Factories

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For at least a decade now, energy efficiency has become one of the most pressing issues around the world. Too much energy consumption has led to a whole host of environmental problems, from increasing carbon footprint to endangering the environment. This is why governments are urging private individuals and businesses, including manufacturing plants or factories, to minimize energy use as much as they can.


Achieving energy efficiency in manufacturing plants


There are many reasons to make energy efficiency a top priority in every manufacturing facility.


For one, it has environmental benefits. It can help preserve the environment for the generations to come. For another, it can help businesses cut costs, which they can use to fund other important aspects of the business.


Here are some tips on achieving energy efficiency in factories:


  1. Check the electric motors in production equipment.

Motors for pumps that are responsible for circulating air and liquids were mostly set to run full tilt. This makes up two-thirds of the energy consumption in most industrial facilities. To use power more effectively, factories should consider using variable-speed drives or inverters. In fact, these drives can pay for itself in a matter of six weeks. Aside from that, these devices can help extend the lifespan of industrial motors by starting up such equipment slowly. They prevent the motors from jolting into action once powered up to full speed.


  1. Form an energy management team.

It’s important in every organization to designate specific tasks to a specific group of people. One of the major reasons energy-saving initiatives don’t work is that there is no clear management. To avoid disrupting production, you should make it a point to assign a management team for the undertaking. You can pick one representative from each department to ensure that everyone gets a chance to lead. Make sure that everyone in the team has been briefed well.


  1. Maintain HVAC equipment regularly.

First, make sure the use of HVAC equipment in industrial plants is kept to a minimum if the facilities are closed. Second, filters and coils must be clean at all times. Electrical connections should also be checked and pulleys lubricated. Leakage in ducts should be dealt with immediately to ensure that all systems are working on the optimum. Also, HVACs should have a programmable thermostat to also reduce consumption. It would also be more efficient if there is a demand-controlled ventilation system to regulate outdoor air intake.


  1. A consumption meter should be installed.

This equipment will help plants monitor their energy usage. It can provide data on a weekly or monthly basis, automatically measuring and recording energy use at regular intervals. Through a consumption meter, companies will be able to see patterns of energy waste, allowing them to take immediate action in cutting energy consumption.


  1. Intelligently use every machinery.

It would be more beneficial for every manufacturing company to strategically schedule machine use. For example, check which equipment requires the most energy to operate. Then, schedule the operation of such devices before or after peak hours or when most of the machines in are not used.


  1. Replace older machinery with new, more efficient ones.

Older devices are more likely to be energy-hungry. This means that if a plant keeps using these less energy-efficient machines, they will most probably be using more energy. Machines these days use significantly less power to operate. So by replacing older equipment with new ones, factories will be able to improve their overall energy consumption.


  1. Schedule downtimes.

Shutdowns are important for manufacturing facilities. It allows companies to halt operations and to shut down machines for several hours. Your energy audit will help you determine the best times for downtimes to avoid too much disruption in the production. Also, machine start-ups should be scheduled, too, since there can be a large spike in electricity once machines are powered up.


  1. Use lighting for safety.

Indoor lights should be replaced with fluorescent lighting to cut energy consumption by 90%. Use LED lights to reduce carbon emissions even further. For outdoor lighting, use timers to automatically switch off fixtures outside the buildings. Opt for high-pressure metal halide or sodium lighting instead of mercury vapor and incandescent lights.


Bottom line


There are many ways to save energy even in large buildings, like manufacturing facilities. Do these and more to optimize your factory’s energy usage, cut costs, and help save the environment.