When it comes to large scale production, small changes can have a large impact. Findings from the Carbon Trust show that cutting energy use by 20% can have the same benefit to the bottom line as a 5% increase in sales, so it’s worth making these changes where you can. So, here are some factory energy saving ideas that are kinder both to the environment and your pocket.
Use natural daylight as much as possible. When a great deal of electric lighting is necessary though, there are lots of factory energy saving ideas to help you use it most efficiently. Something that is often forgotten about is that dust on lights and shades can greatly dim lighting. Make sure lights are cleaned regularly, so you can get the most out of them. Fluorescent lighting uses about a quarter of the energy of more traditional lighting, with a lifetime that is 10 times longer. LED lighting is also a great way to save energy where lighting is kept on for long periods of time, such as in stairwells and for signs. If you want to go ultra green, you can even install solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity.
Make sure you’re not overheating your factory. Keep thermostats set to around 20˚ C, only on during working hours, and keep them away from machinery so that the temperature is not skewed. It sounds like an obvious thing to avoid, but one way that energy is commonly wasted is through simultaneous heating and cooling. Leave a temperature gap between your heating and cooling systems to ensure that they are not working against each other. Also keep an eye on whether you’re losing a lot of heat in avoidable ways. Fix draughts, insulate outside walls, and install double glazing. Maintaining your heating systems is essential to saving energy. Regular servicing, and replacing old boilers with new, more efficient ones, can make heating your factory far more efficient.
One of the factory energy saving ideas that is often overlooked is saving water. There are a range of measures you can take to ensure that your factory is only using the amount of water it needs, and not unnecessarily pouring water (and money) down the drain. Installing a calibrated water control system, or even water flow reducing taps and showerheads, can be used for all kinds of applications, and can help you to stop paying for water you’re not using. If your factory does use a lot of water, consider reusing or reclaiming wastewater. Also make sure that all the water coming through your pipes is getting to its final destination by frequently checking for leaks.
A lot of energy can end up being wasted through machinery and equipment that is not working efficiently, or is not being used properly. To prevent this from happening, ensure that maintenance checks on all your machinery are carried out regularly, as well as making sure employees are well trained on how to use it. For example, check your compressed air system for wasteful leaks. It is not unusual to find up to a 50% leakage in compressed air equipment, and being aware of this and reacting to it quickly could make a big difference. Also check that machinery and equipment is not left running when it is not needed. Factories often run compressors all day, but it is usually only necessary to have them on occasionally, as and when compressed air is needed. Other machinery, such as conveyor systems, should also only be switched on when being used. You don’t have to always use external assessors. Get staff involved in carrying out frequent walk rounds to check that everything is working as it should be. To find out more about energy solutions for factories, get in touch with us today.