The last two years, living and working through a global pandemic have been an unprecedented challenge. In addition to this, and even more pressing in the current geopolitical climate, will be the consequences and negative impact that the actions of Russia in Ukraine will have on the economy and on manufacturers in Europe. Manufacturing still relies heavily on fossil fuels, and with the sanctions being placed on Russia, these fuels will either decrease in quantity or increase in price. This will inevitably impact the customers as well, creating a domino effect that is already spiraling.
Companies have to act now in order to ensure that these disruptions do not damage their businesses irreparably. Smart monitoring software and saving initiatives can deliver cost- and time effective solutions to these problems to make the machines companies are already using as efficient as possible. This is where the following three ideas come into play.
Cutting wasteful energy spend with smart meters & software: Factories have a ton of machines that continue to consume energy even when not in operation. The same as computers that are not turned off fully but remain on standby, except computers have smart power management functions built-in that most industrial equipment do not. Investing in a combination of smart power meters and monitoring software to reduce energy consumption and improve energy performance is the fastest way for manufacturers to make sure that they stay in business and to keep their products affordable for customers. Software, such as Facterra, allows companies not only to identify wasteful standby energy consumption but also generates alerts and schedules interventions when energy thresholds are breached.
Cutting down on heating: Another way to effectively reduce energy consumption is through limiting heating either through minimizing the time when the facility is heated or the ambient temperature to which the plant is heated. Small changes like heating to 20 °C instead of 22 °C, or shutting the heating off an hour before the plant closes for the day can have long-term benefits in terms of saving on energy costs. Together with this, turning off the lighting when facilities close is another easy measure.
Cutting down on cooling: In certain industries where the raw materials or finished products need to be stored at colder temperatures, as a safety measure, often the target ambient temperature of the HVAC cold storage is several degrees lower than it needs to be. In times of energy scarcity like these, this is yet another area where massive savings can be achieved without impacting the business outcomes.
These measures will bring energy usage down more immediately and keep utility bills at pre-inflation levels. Funding the switch to this smart software which integrates data from sensors and digital meters now can be economically, as well as sustainably, beneficial in the long run. While energy savings will be visible immediately, RoI on such investments can be expected in a matter of months and even sooner if energy prices continue to climb. Furthermore, a company who is willing to make the step towards greater sustainability in operations now will find that their customers and regulation are both very supportive of such actions. In some countries and regions, government subsidies are also available to co-fund such investments. For more information on this visit Facterra.
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