Packaging lines and energy efficiency
How much of the electrical energy you pay for each month is actually used to power your cartoners, palletizers, case packers and other industrial and packaging lines? Did you know it could be less than half, with the majority of energy leaking through air compressors, outdated equipment, and other energy hogs?
It sounds a bit discouraging, but it is true: Our country wastes more energy than any other, including China. The United States had an energy efficiency of just 42 percent in 2013, which means that 58 percent of all the energy we produce is essentially wasted.
Here, at Tishma Technologies, we are devoted to efficiency, but we are also aware that a good packaging line is just a first step towards increasing efficiency through power savings.
In order to make your manufacturing facility and packaging line less expensive to run and more energy efficient, we have prepared six ways to reduce industrial energy costs on your production floor.
- Develop an Energy Management Team
Most energy and cost-saving initiatives fail because it’s not clear whose responsibility it is to manage power saving activities. What you need to do is to develop a power management team by including a representative from each department. Choose those who already have an incentive to keep expenses low, or introduce a bonus that can be given to the team that saves the largest amount of energy. They can work together to monitor energy usage in the facility and find ways to reduce waste.
- Strategically Schedule Packaging and Manufacturing Machinery Use
Which packaging machinery requires the most energy to run? Once you discover which one it is, schedule operation of this machine outside of peak hours. Peak hours may constitute up to 30 percent of a manufacturing facilities monthly utility bill.
- Schedule Shut-Downs and Start-Ups
You can lower industrial energy cost by scheduling shutdowns where all machinery is powered off for a length of time (during the weekend or off-shift periods). Before scheduling these shutdowns, you’ll need an insight into peak operational hours in order to decide what is the best time for the shutdown. Production floors should also stagger manufacturing and packaging equipment start-up because powering up all machinery at once can create a large spike in your facilities energy demand.
- Optimize Air Compressors
Industrial air compressors are responsible for huge amounts of energy consumption and waste. Whether it’s the matter of poor design or improper maintenance, air compressors account for up to $3.2 billion in wasted energy per year. Just one leak can cost your business $500 annually, or even more. If you have multiple leaks, your air compressors are practically sucking money right out of your operations budget.
- Optimize your HVAC System
HVAC systems are used for maintaining air quality and comfort on a production floor. They also consume nearly 52 percent of the total energy used in a building. There are several ways to make your HVAC system more efficient. You can try by installing a programmable thermostat (which can reduce consumption by as much as 15 percent). You can also invest in a demand-controlled ventilation (DCV) system, which regulates outdoor air intake based on a facility’s concentration of carbon dioxide due to the number of staff inside. Sometimes, the simple repair and insulation of the ducting is enough to reduce HVAC energy consumption by 30-percent.
Energy efficient lighting is also a way to lower energy bills. Consider the location, conditions, and lighting quality you need when installing or replacing commercial lights. Do your research and choose appropriate energy-efficient controls, lamp technology, and other components for a high-performance lighting system.
By increasing energy efficiency you are saving money and taking care of the environment. As you can see, good management and the right equipment are crucial for cutting down energy costs. If you think your outdated packaging equipment consumes way too much power, consider investing in a new one. Start here, by checking out Tishma Technologies’ cartoners, case packers, tray packers, and palletizers.