When it comes to energy conservation, industrial companies have certainly made some strides within recent decades to up their game and reduce their usage. In fact, in the United States many of the large industrial manufacturing companies have adopted an internal energy efficiency program (Source: eere.energy.gov). However, a study conducted shows that nearly 70% of companies still have significant room for improvement in their energy use.
The primary incentive for companies to care? Cost reduction, of course – many such companies often have anywhere between 5-15% of their total expenditures in utilities costs, and when these companies are dealing in millions, or even billions of dollars, that translates to quite a large sum! Pursuing energy reduction is a compelling venture, considering energy costs can often be reduced easier than labor or material costs.
Another factor that cannot be understated is the growing consumer concern about environmental issues such as climate change. The energy costs of industrial companies affect consumers in ways that are not readily apparent, as well. In 2015, one-third of the total energy consumed in the United States went to industry (source: needtoknow.nas.edu). Not necessarily surprising – food, automobiles, natural gas, construction, and other products take considerable energy to produce. The companies’ expenditure on energy is passed down to the consumer in the form of cost of goods and services, product quality, and job availability.
To achieve these cost benefits, utilities and states are constantly pursuing programs aimed at their industrial customers who consume large amounts of energy. These programs inject a range of technologies and management practices to reduce energy consumption.
For industrial companies, here are a few of the major areas where energy consumption is at its highest:
- Chiller and refrigeration systems
- Compressed air systems
- Motors and drives
- Ventilation and fans systems
- Packaging systems
- Monitoring and control systems
- Packing systems
- Machining equipment
- Injection molding equipment
- Painting and coating booths
- Stamping and metal forming presses
- Electric arc furnaces
So, are you wondering how industrial companies achieve these energy savings? Here are some insights into the methodology!
- Measure the usage!
The first step companies take to tackle their energy usage is to measure it! Energy audits can be performed in-house using an energy audit guidebook and assistance from facility experts, but many companies opt to use professional help from an energy specialist.
Countries, states, and municipalities often offer accredited measurement and verification (M&V) protocols to assess achievement towards goals, show potential return-on-investment, and help manufacturers see the external impact of their practices.
- Set goals and follow them!
Like all pursuits in life, setting short and long term goals are important to creating progress. Creating too lofty a goal, or goals that lack in ambition, can often lead to burnout due to unrealistic expectations – a sentiment which can be compounded due to the usually large size of these companies. And the best way to make sure that goals and benchmarks are kept?
- Hold people accountable.
Cost and energy-saving initiatives can fail within companies whenever there exists confusion about who is responsible for what. Developing an internal team comprised of individuals from a wide variety of departments is a good start! Some companies offer bonuses for the completion of the energy saving goals created in step 1.
The power is in the people in a company – and dedicated employees can spur on great change if given the proper incentives!
- Communicate your progress.
Sharing the progress on your goals is crucial for success and accountability. Showing partners, investors, and customers your dedication to reducing energy costs – and your progress in doing so – can result in an environment of progress and education that can spur others to follow suit.
- Don’t cut corners – but become more efficient.
Investments in energy can be large or small for companies of considerable size. On the small side – make it a point to have new construction be built with energy efficiency in mind. Things like low energy lighting, low water usage in bathrooms. On the larger side, measuring the energy cost of large-scale machinery and choosing to run it at separate hours can be a choice that pays dividends.
Based out of Monterrey, Mexico, Corefficient’s state-of-the-art facility is a joint venture transformer core company committed to adding value to their transformer core products. The experience and success of these two companies comes together in the fields of transformer core engineering, transformer core design, magnetic core expertise, cold rolled steel, grain-oriented steel, electrical steel, and – most importantly – customer service.
Visit Corefficient online @ corefficientsrl.com, contact our North America Sales Engineer: 1(704) 236-2510 or call us directly in Monterrey, México: (81) 2088-4000.