Key Steps to Sustainable Resource Efficiency Performance

Low-cost manufacturers are not the ones with the lowest staff complements, but those who manage their variable costs effectively. The efficient use of raw materials, energy and water and the minimisation of waste are the hallmarks of cost leaders in the manufacturing sector. The issues are very complex and unless you attack this challenge in Read more about Key Steps to Sustainable Resource Efficiency Performance[…]

The Links between Plant Maintenance and Resource Efficiency

The factors which drive resource efficiency are complex, and include raw material quality, operator work practices, machine settings, process set-points and technology. For a given technology, it is important that machines are operated at design specifications. This requires responsible operation and also means that these machines need to be well cared for. It is a Read more about The Links between Plant Maintenance and Resource 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 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[…]

Gauteng Water Crisis – What Should Industry Do?

Crisis? What crisis? Water shortages in Gauteng have been looming for years, and even when additional water is finally sourced from the Lesotho Highlands through current infrastructure projects, the long-term disparity between supply and demand will persist. One of the biggest problems in my opinion has been that despite sharp increases in water prices in Read more about Gauteng Water Crisis – What Should Industry Do?[…]

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[…]

Why Large Steam Users Should Consider Cogeneration

Power companies make it their business to generate electricity as cheaply as possible. It is not uncommon to find coal-fired boilers operating at efficiencies in excess of 90% at large power stations and at newer facilities, steam is generated at ever-higher pressures in a bid to maximise turbine efficiency. The scale of power generation plants Read more about Why Large Steam Users Should Consider Cogeneration[…]

The Simple Power of the kilo-Watt Hour

Energy is measured in many units, even within single measurement systems, and hence it is not surprising that, particularly for non-quantitative types, people often get confused when trying to understand the basics of energy efficiency and energy management. In my home country of South Africa we employ the metric system, and hence when we measure Read more about The Simple Power of the kilo-Watt Hour[…]