Francois’ Three Top Tips for Saving Energy in a Factory Environment

When was the last time you checked the efficiency of your process equipment? We understand that it might be a little while ago now and at first, you might not think that it’s a big deal, however, it could be costing you in a multitude of ways.

If you have recently noticed that the goods you are producing are not totally up to scratch and maybe the height, moisture or colour of your product is not quite 100% or any of your key product KPI, you could have underlying problems with your equipment.

For example, there could be issues with your heat exchanger, that you are not aware of, and it may be causing unnecessary product and energy wastage. But it could be costing you financially. In many cases, these common problems go undetected until the damage has already been done and the mistake has already been paid for. But we have the answers to saving energy in a factory environment. It all starts with…

1. Monitoring Data

Most commonly, data in a factory-like setting largely goes unmonitored. But the first thing we do that forms the basis of everything we do is monitor data on energy usage, gas, electricity, steam and water in a factory and plant setting, as we know the importance of this stage.

We like to gather data, lots of data for you and then analyse it, to provide us with an accurate picture of how efficient your factory or plant is. From the data, we are able to identify where the ‘big wins’ relating to gas and energy are. We spend a lot of time with our clients analysing pure data on energy usage and we’ve been focused on this for a long time now. With this data, we use process integration / pinch analysis to establish the most optimum capital to running cost options to reduce your energy footprint.

Another aspect we monitor when it comes to reducing energy wastage is emissions. From monitoring things like CO2 and oxygen levels, it provides us with an accurate picture of how efficient a plant is running.

2. Maintenance and Planning

Prevention is always better than cure, right? That’s why it’s equally as important to maintain your processing equipment to ensure that it’s consistently performing at its best. Most factories will have some plans for maintenance in place, however, whether they go into detail with it, (like whether or not it is recurring on a monthly or weekly basis) is a different story.

To keep on top of maintenance and planning, we look at typical areas of factories that require the most maintenance, to have a direct impact on energy usage of the factory.

For example, when it comes to maintaining a burner, the air filter requires changing regularly. If it’s not changed frequently, it will have an impact on combustion, that will have a domino effect on the efficiency of the burner and your bottom line, running cost.

Also, if you have a heat exchanger, it needs to be cleaned thoroughly and regularly, inside and out. If you were to get fouling on a heat exchanger tube, it will have a dramatic impact on the process and energy usage of the factory. But we aim to help put people on the right path when it comes to maintenance, as we help factory users to adapt and improve their planning process to ensure these things get done properly.

3. Process Optimisation

This is all about finding the best way of utilising energy in your plant. We do this by analysing data and focusing on understanding the key variables that affect energy usage. By carrying out an in-depth design of experiment, we are able to plan a number experiments to look at the impact that these variables have. Following that, we will build a model of how we can make a plant more efficient and optimise it so it’s energy saving. We can also implement the model into control systems, too.

Luckily, we can take care of all of this for you. We have solved the most complex of problems when it comes to heat recovery. Rest assured, there is no problem too big or small.

How do we do it you may be thinking. We achieve this by working with a variety of proven technologies that can be embedded into a new process or by creating new systems.

To break it down in its simplest form, we will perform an audit and analysis of the problem you have to capture plant or process data either from existing infrastructure or by creating new ones. We will analyse the data and hone in on performance, efficiency and highlight areas for potential improvement.

Our main objective is to eliminate problems that impair production, optimise operation and minimise costs relating to energy and waste. We aim to provide you with platforms and tools to help you reach your company sustainability goals and minimise the impact on our environment.

So if you think your equipment and machinery is performing at suboptimal levels and you want to improve efficiency in your factory or plant, we’d love to hear from you and talk about how we can help.

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François Pierrel

Hi, my name is François and I am passionate about solving process engineering problems. Over the years, I have developed a number of process equipment and control systems which have had significant impact into reducing energy usage, waste and impact on the environment. My business ethos is to always get to the root cause of problems and data analysis and modelling is always at the fore front of any project we undertake.

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