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7 keys for energy efficiency in manufacturing


7 keys for energy efficiency in manufacturing

By their very nature, manufacturing facilities consume a lot of energy, and they do so at great expense. In fact, for many companies in the industry, power consumption is one of the biggest expenses they face on an ongoing basis.

With that in mind, the following tips will help them cut their energy use - and bills - going forward:

1) Think renewable first

One of the easiest ways to cut energy costs going forward - and reduce your carbon footprint - is to make the investment in solar power, according to Direct Energy. That obviously comes with some up-front costs (which can be offset by tax credits in many parts of the country), but in the long run, you could end up saving quite a bit of money with such an installation.

2) Set some goals for cutting consumption - and costs

It's not always easy to achieve goals of reducing power use consistently if you don't set benchmarks for doing so, Direct Energy said. This is something that demands continual attention, and evaluation of what's working and what isn't, when it comes to consistently meeting your goals.

3) Look at how you use energy now

You might not be able to get an accurate breakdown of exactly what parts of your factory consume the most power, but with careful monitoring, you may be able to determine some of the big drivers, according to Reliable Plant. When you do so, and can determine even a few of the big contributing factors, you can more directly address your problems.

4) Invest in the right equipment

In many cases, your factory may be using older equipment that is less efficient, both in terms of production and power consumption, Reliable Plant said. If it's been years or even decades since you made a switch, now is the time to upgrade.

5) Don't forget lighting

The cost of keeping a large industrial space sufficiently well-lit is not small, but it doesn't have to be as big as you're used to, either, Reliable Plant further advised. Swapping in high-efficiency bulbs, installing motion detectors and so on are great ways to make your lighting more efficient.

6) Don't accept waste as a cost of doing business

There are so many aspects of power use that the problem may seem too significant and baked-in to tackle, especially when it comes to things like air conditioning or producing your goods, according to Energy Star. There are always ways to find more efficiency in your processes, and implementing even a few small ones could lead to a big savings over time.

7) Think about your support equipment

While you might do more to address the power use by your production equipment, you also need to think about support equipment like forklifts that either run on fuel or have rechargeable batteries, Energy Star added. Doing more to make sure these are also being used efficiently - i.e., not leaving them running when they're not in use - could go a long way as well.

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