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Energy Management: An Essential Ingredient in the Manufacturing Recipe

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How Finding a Sweet Balance Will Help You Optimize Your Energy Consumption

Last week I had some friends over for a dinner party. As I was prepping and ticking items off my task list, I started thinking about the recipes I use, the energy used to produce them and how the best practices for making any dish can also be applied to manufacturing. A successful recipe can be put out in a multitude of ways, but as in manufacturing there will be one optimal way to produce something with the least waste, time and effort possible.

Energy Management Helps You Optimize Your Manufacturing Processes

Overuse of energy, like any input to a manufacturing process, results not only in higher costs for the business but is also a symptom that the entire process is out of balance. It’s much like the cereal:milk ratio at breakfast time – if you pour in too much milk, you end up having to add more cereal to correct the problem. Wasted energy in one part of a process can often lead to wasted energy or materials in another part of the process to correct the mistake. Production plans should always consider ways to optimize energy consumption and that’s where an Energy Management System comes in. It helps you leverage technology to manage your energy usage and costs without negatively affecting production. In fact, it can help you lean out your manufacturing process.

Energy Management Systems Put Technology to Work for You

Thinking of energy as a key input in your business that can and must be managed is something I discuss with my clients every day. But energy is complex, and just as you can’t bake a cake without a measuring cup, timer and temperature control, managing energy starts with effective measurement and data capture. And just as you need to adjust baking ingredients to environmental factors like altitude, humidity, and heat source, your energy management must take into account factors like weather and production variables. But those are no simple tasks. An effective Energy Management System will not only act as your measuring cup and temperature control, it will help you set baseline measurements and benchmarks, and remove the effects of weather and production variables to keep your energy usage in check and in line with your processes.

Our clients implement Energy Management Systems, like The Bruce Power Saver, to monitor the consumption drivers in their plants and also to help break down the drivers (whether number of plant workers, weight or cost of production, temperature, etc.) to an hourly level. By doing this they gain an understanding of consumption patterns, and more importantly, consumption drivers. They are also able to track exactly what parts of their plant are consuming precisely what amounts of kWh, by taking a multitude of sub metering points, pushing data to the cloud in real time and having 24/7 access to that data through a cloud based app. From there they can start to test and challenge their original assumptions about where all their kWhs are going.

We Can Help You Make Smarter Energy Decisions Every Time

By regularly analyzing your data, you can eliminate wasteful energy use, identify anomalies and develop a continuous plan for improvement. We can help you find that sweet balance that allows you to optimize energy consumption without affecting production outputs. Find out more about The Bruce Power Saver on our website.

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