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[…]

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[…]

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?[…]

Water Management Considerations for Factories

Despite increasing scarcity, water is still a relatively cheap commodity and this is perhaps why, except for the most water-intensive industrial sub-sectors, water is often not given the priority it deserves. Certainly in my semi-arid home country of South Africa, while increases in water prices have outstripped increases in energy prices, water prices have not Read more about Water Management Considerations for Factories[…]

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?[…]

Is Your Boiler’s Efficiency Maximised?

Reducing steam system costs and emissions requires a systems view that encompasses generation, distribution, steam usage and condensate recovery. While generation is but one component of the steam system, efficient steam production (within the context of the technology and fuel employed) is a logical first goal when embarking on a steam system optimisation exercise. It Read more about Is Your Boiler’s Efficiency Maximised?[…]