One of the biggest costs any manufacturing businesses faces on an ongoing basis - beyond people and parts - is power. It takes a lot of energy to keep a factory running efficiently, and if you can make even incremental improvements to your consumption, the savings can add up quickly over the course of a year.
With that in mind, you should take a look at your current power needs and determine if any of the following steps could help you reduce your carbon footprint in addition to your monthly bills:
1) Change up your lighting strategy
When you're trying to reduce power consumption, it's not enough to merely make sure all the lights in your facility use highly efficient bulbs and are set on timers or motion sensors, according to Sage Automation. You might also want to think about just how well-lit every area of your facility needs to be. For instance, offices and break rooms probably don't need as much lighting as the actual production facility, and adjusting accordingly could go a long way.
2) Don't leave production machines plugged in
Even if machines are off, they may be using more power than you realize, Sage Automation said. This is called "ghost electricity" - power devices like TVs, computers and, yes, even your heavy equipment uses when it's off but still plugged in. Making sure they're all unplugged when they're not in use will cut your bills more than you think.
3) Upgrade older equipment
If your trusty old equipment is working well after years or even decades, you may not see the need to update, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. However, those older machines probably use a lot more power than modern options, which will also tend to work better and more effectively overall. Making the switch can often help pay for itself over time.
4) Check your HVAC system
If the ducts you use to heat and cool your facility aren't properly insulated, your boiler and air conditioning systems have to work harder, NIST advised. For that reason, investing in some efforts to patch or upgrade that insulation can go a long way toward reducing your power or gas bills.
5) Look at the patterns and determine the causes
If you consistently run into issues with energy bills spiking and the like, you may be in a situation where there's a persistent problem cropping up, according to Electro Industries GaugeTech. Look at the patterns and see where and when these issues occur, and try to account for the discrepancies between expectation and reality. For instance, you may need to think about more efficient ways to heat or cool your facility at certain times of the year.
6) Go natural when you can
Part and parcel with changing your lighting and heating or cooling strategies overall is the need to utilize natural light, air flow and more to make the most of what nature provides you, Electro Industries GaugeTech added. If you can last just one extra month without turning on the heat or A/C, or use natural light as your primary light source on a sunny day more frequently, the savings really add up.
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