Any factory or manufacturing center has a vested interest in reducing energy consumption. Aside from human labor, electricity for power and lighting tend to be the most consistent yet controllable expense. It is difficult to use less raw materials without sacrificing quality, but energy efficiency is a noble goal to strive towards. Here are some major keys to reducing the energy consumption of your factory.
Using Automated Florescent Lighting
The flash lights made of multiple small florescent nodes have also been adapted into large ceiling lights suitable for industry and warehouses. These overhead lights are even more efficient than the tubes they are designed to replace and have a longer life span. The energy savings are increased further when sections of ceiling lights are controlled by computers preset to turn off at certain times or when motion sensors detect no activity. Lighting is still a major expense for all businesses.
Consider Pneumatic Equipment Where Applicable
Lead-acid batteries are heavy and tend to self-discharge over time. Air tanks are lighter, if bulkier, and only lose energy if they leak, and maintained ones do not. Many power tools for indoor application are driven by air pressure, which requires no combustion yet is capable of more energetic cycles than electric motors. Forklifts to floor buffers can be powered by air, and many tools can employ pneumatic power as an alternative to current. A single large compressor could be an energy efficient investment.
Keep All Machines Maintained and Oiled
Most major machine service companies, including PFC Equipment, strongly recommend filtering oil and having machines inspected and serviced once a month to a few times a year. From pumps and filters to controls and service, PFC Equipment is a leading provider of fluid handling equipment for all types of industrial applications. Located in Maple Grove, MN, PFC Equipment offers sales, support and service covering Minnesota, Western Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Any device that sees heavy use is worth inspecting regularly, and properly filtered oil can be as effective as new machine oil. Having clean oil is always the cheapest option, because machines that experience friction require more power and experience faster wear. This additional resource explains how lubrication saves energy.
Consider Night Shift, Crazy as It Sounds
Sometimes saving money is not a matter of how but when. Many cities offer a rebate to use electricity during off-peak hours. This would be later at night when most people are asleep and not running offices or appliances. If electricity is substantially cheaper at night, it could pay to run the factory with a third shift. While this might not increase shop efficiency, it increases efficiency for large generators. This is just as good for the environment and can reduce operating costs.
Regardless of the methods chosen, the drive towards efficiency is about increasing profitability in the short run and maintaining competitiveness in the long run. Other factories are also looking for ways to cut costs. Being smarter at this race means staying in business and not having to buy parts or labor from overseas. You can reduce factory energy consumption, saving both money and environmental resources.