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Manufacturing

Building an awareness of your energy use could save your business money

Energy efficiency in manufacturing

In 2016, industry consumed around 17% of the UK’s total energy use. It emitted 82 million tonnes of carbon dioxide – and manufacturing was responsible for most of these. Data from smart meters can help manufacturing firms make eco-friendly choices. And the cost savings can be considerable. When they’re adopted by the sector as whole, the environmental benefits can be huge. Here are some suggestions to help you become more energy efficient.

Industrial buildings

  • Consider using radiant heaters – they heat specific workstations more efficiently than convective heaters
  • Automated ventilation systems save energy by shutting down when staff members aren’t working, or the related plant is off
  • Use a steam boiler? Try to check it weekly, and make sure it’s serviced annually – poorly maintained boilers use up to 10% more energy

Compressed Air

  • Turn compressors off when not in use – they use up to 40% of their full load when left on, but not running
  • Maintain your compressors and check for leaks frequently – leaks waste energy and money, and reduce your compressors’ performance and efficiency
  • Adjust your compressors to ensure they meet, but don’t exceed, the minimum pressure requirements of your air tools and equipment

Motors

  • Show your staff when to turn off a motor, pump or fan – and encourage them to do so
  • Simple maintenance checks of your motor systems such as lubrication, belt tensioning, alignment and cleaning can reduce your consumption by 7%
  • Installing variable speed drives on your fans or pumps can reduce running costs by up to 30%

Industrial process heating, drying and cooling

  • Reduce heat loss in industrial ovens – don’t leave the doors of batch ovens open longer than necessary, and fit air curtains to the tunnels of continuous ovens
  • Keep your dryers well maintained – check for leaks, damaged insulation, and clogged or ripped air filters
  • Carry out planned, preventative maintenance on your cooling system, focussing on pipework and controls, water treatment, pumps and cooling towers

Information sourced from the Carbon Trust – an independent body which helps organisations contribute to and benefit from a more sustainable future through carbon reduction, resource efficiency strategies and commercialising low carbon technologies.