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[…]

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[…]

Considerations when Assessing the Efficiency of Your Boiler Plant

Steam systems are often the most expensive energy systems to operate on industrial sites and can also easily be responsible for most of a site’s emissions. Fortunately, there are several well-defined approaches available to significantly improve efficiencies and reduce costs in steam systems. The starting point for such an exercise is to conduct a comprehensive Read more about Considerations when Assessing the Efficiency of Your Boiler Plant[…]

Can Manufacturers Maximise Energy Efficiency Through Operational Excellence Alone?

The notion of operational excellence in manufacturing has been around for decades. Manufacturing managers face extreme challenges as they try to balance a range of often conflicting objectives. These include producing product reliably, meeting quality standards, operating safely, minimising costs, maintaining a heathy, motivated and skilled workforce, social objectives and now environmental objectives. In trying Read more about Can Manufacturers Maximise Energy Efficiency Through Operational Excellence Alone?[…]

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 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[…]