Inside VWG’s Manufacturing Cost Reduction Programme

Cost leaders enjoy competitive advantage. That is always true. But if ever there was a time to focus on cost reduction, it is now. A conflagration of negative economic factors, exacerbated by the recent ratings downgrade, is going to place extreme pressure on disposable income, dampening demand. The simultaneous upward pressure on input costs is Read more about Inside VWG’s Manufacturing Cost Reduction Programme[…]

An Innovative Service Guaranteed to deliver Sustainable Energy Cost Reductions

Energy costs are significant in most manufacturing facilities and large commercial undertakings, but tend to take a back seat to other operational priorities such as plant reliability, product quality, safety, throughput and cost management. Most organisations do not have dedicated energy management personnel, and also cannot be sure of the returns achievable through investment in Read more about An Innovative Service Guaranteed to deliver Sustainable Energy Cost Reductions[…]

Common Barriers to Low-Cost Manufacturing

Becoming a cost leader is a natural source of competitive advantage for manufacturers. Lower costs assist commodity producers to undercut their competition on price, while for branded product manufacturers with leverage over price, lower costs can significantly increase margins. Low-cost producers enjoy better cash flows than their more wasteful competitors. Assuming that a business is Read more about Common Barriers to Low-Cost Manufacturing[…]

Reduce Your Electricity Costs with Power Factor Correction

I was in the office of a successful textiles entrepreneur while on business in Durban a few years ago. He wanted my advice on a proposal he had received for a power factor correction system. “Show me your bills for the last 12 months”, I asked. He had them readily on hand, and after about 20 Read more about Reduce Your Electricity Costs with Power Factor Correction[…]

Keys to Manufacturing Cost Reduction

Manufacturing businesses incur a wide range of costs. As with any business, there are many fixed costs associated with manufacturing, such as salaries, maintenance, rent and the like. If you really want to sustainably reduce the cost of your manufacturing operations however, the costs you need to be focusing on are variable costs. In this Read more about Keys to Manufacturing Cost Reduction[…]

What is the Real Value of Energy Efficiency

There has been an enormous groundswell of interest in energy efficiency over the last decade or so. I have noted however that with most of the organisations I come across, energy efficiency has still not quite been mainstreamed into decision-making processes, leaving significant potential untapped. Achieving high levels of energy efficiency is set to become Read more about What is the Real Value of Energy Efficiency[…]

Why Optimising Steam Requires a Systems Approach

Steam is a convenient and highly efficient heat transfer medium that can also be used to perform mechanical work or to generate electricity on industrial and commercial sites. The operating costs associated with steam systems vary widely from one site to the next, and even on small sites, I often find that these costs can Read more about Why Optimising Steam Requires a Systems Approach[…]

How the Collapsing Rand Should Influence Your Approach to Resource Efficiency

While the recent sharp decline in the Rand is expected to introduce significant local economic shockwaves, the reality is that the currency has been depreciating steadily over a long period of time. What are the implications for your resource efficiency strategy and how should you respond? In simple language: “with extreme urgency”. Rand weakness is Read more about How the Collapsing Rand Should Influence Your Approach to Resource Efficiency[…]

How Steam Traps Influence Your Energy Costs

Steam traps are an essential component of any steam system, but often tend to go neglected in my experience. In most cases this is because the impacts of steam trap malfunctions on system efficiency and performance are poorly understood. Poorly functioning steam traps can lead to significant energy losses and also have a significant impact Read more about How Steam Traps Influence Your Energy Costs[…]

How Variable Speed Drives Reduce Resource Costs

Variable speed drives (VSD’s) are used in conjunction with induction motors, and exploit the fact that a motor’s speed is proportional to the frequency of the power supply. By varying this frequency, VSD’s change motor speed, unlocking much-enhanced process capability. VSD’s may be used in feedback loops such that motor speed is varied in response to a process variable, Read more about How Variable Speed Drives Reduce Resource Costs[…]