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Energy costs represent a significant outlay for all businesses and especially in plastics processing. A large portion of these costs arise from operating machinery, but also include energy used to operate the site or sites – for instance lighting, heating and office equipment.
A few changes to your current setup could seriously help to reduce business energy consumption across your plant, meaning a welcome boost to your bottom line. If you don’t know where to start, these three tips will help.
The first step to reducing energy is to create an accurate picture of usage across the entire site, which can be easier said than done. Nevertheless, you’ll need to consider:
Where are you using energy? Machinery, lighting systems, cooling systems and heaters will likely use the most energy within your site. It’s a good idea to create a guide or map of energy usage in different areas of the site, which might be hard if you’ve only one or two meters (as opposed to sub meters monitoring different areas).
When are you using energy? For this, it helps to focus on the base load – as in, the energy used outside of the actual processing of plastics. Identifying unusual peaks and finding ways to reduce baseload can result in significant savings in the long term. You also need to consider peak demand periods and charges, if applicable, and cutting energy usage during these times.
An effective building management software can help you monitor both of these factors. Making the job of reducing energy usage, an easy one.
A significant energy reduction strategy will require a good deal of time, commitment and resources. But there are things you can assess and action almost immediately in order to help you to maximise machinery use and lower energy costs. These include things like:
Minimise energy waste – are heaters running when not in use? Is energy used to keep equipment on idle when it could be turned off? Are compressors running when they needn’t be? Walk around the site and, at each point, consider: ‘Is energy being wasted here?’
Examine motors used in machinery – could smaller ones be used while delivering the same efficiency?
Don’t forget old production lines – if you have any old production lines not in use, make sure the ancillary equipment isn’t still running and wasting energy as a result.
Maintenance – is all machinery and equipment maintained to the highest possible standard and are there any obvious upgrades that could bring immediate energy efficiencies?
End-of-day duties – is there someone responsible for turning off all the equipment and machinery and the end of the day or shift.
If you’re slightly daunted by the task of finding a way to reduce energy consumption levels across your site, why not leave it to the experts?
We’ve launched an innovative initiative designed to help businesses tackle rising energy costs and climate change by inspiring them to boost their energy efficiency. It’s called the Revolving Green Fund (RGF) and it enables you to receive interest free funds to put towards energy cost saving technologies and initiatives.
The great thing about our RGF solution is that we’ll do all the groundwork – identifying your energy consumption, designing a tailored energy saving solution to suit your business and requirements, implementing it and then monitoring its impact. This frees up your time to focus on other areas of the business.
We’d like you to consider us your partner in energy; a one-stop shop that delivers all the solutions you need to lower energy costs across your plastics processing site and boost your bottom line. Find out more today.