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[…]

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[…]

Common Efficiency Mistakes in Compressed Air Systems

Compressed air systems are significant energy users in most industrial facilities, and understanding how to maximise their efficiency and minimise their operating costs is vital.  The understanding of the basic drivers of efficiency in these systems is however fairly low, since as a utility/service, compressed air is not considered to be “core”. In this post I’ll Read more about Common Efficiency Mistakes in Compressed Air Systems[…]

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[…]

Resource Efficiency Breakthroughs Require a Systems Approach

Resource efficiency in the industrial sector is fascinatingly complex. Industrial sites employ a wide variety of materials, resources and processing equipment, all arranged into various systems. There are resource efficiency opportunities to be found among each of the various components in a typical industrial plant, but the truly ground-breaking opportunities are generally found at the Read more about Resource Efficiency Breakthroughs Require a Systems Approach[…]

When to use Variable Speed Drive (VSD) Screw Compressors

Oil-filled screw compressors are used extensively in industry, and are favoured for their large capacity, relatively quiet operation and flexibility. The latest innovation with these machines, besides the technical aspects of air-end design, is the use of variable speed drives to modulate compressor speed and hence capacity. It is tempting, particularly when making machine replacements, Read more about When to use Variable Speed Drive (VSD) Screw Compressors[…]

Energy Efficiency Opportunities Associated with Induction Motors

Induction motors are often described as the “workhorses” of industry, and can be found in every factory. In many plants they are the largest consumers of electrical energy and contributors to peak demand, and hence it makes sense to evaluate opportunities with respect to motors if one is seeking to reduce electricity costs and emissions. Read more about Energy Efficiency Opportunities Associated with Induction Motors[…]

Does Your Factory Have a Resource Efficiency Strategy?

There are many overlaps between operational excellence, resource efficiency and broader sustainability issues. Improving product quality reduces rework and saves raw materials, energy and water. Sound preventive maintenance programmes improve safety, product quality, reliability and throughput. The elimination of bottlenecks, achieved through structured constraints analysis, increases throughput and reduces idling of machines, reducing energy intensity. Read more about Does Your Factory Have a Resource Efficiency Strategy?[…]

Reaping the Benefits of Drag-out Loss Reduction

The use of process baths for the batch processing of metallic items is common, and brings with it the potential for inefficient resource use, risks to human health and the pollution of water resources. The minimisation of drag-out losses is an important part of any strategy to mitigate these impacts. The types of processes where Read more about Reaping the Benefits of Drag-out Loss Reduction[…]

Understand Demand Charges and Slash Your Electricity Bills

Electricity bills for industrial sites typically contain a number of cost elements, but of these the most important are energy charges and demand charges. Energy charges are proportional to the amount of energy consumed (in kWh), but can also vary based on when the energy is used (so called “time-of-use”) and the time of year Read more about Understand Demand Charges and Slash Your Electricity Bills[…]