Save the en­vi­ron­ment, save money

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - ENERGY EFFICIENCY -

As the global cli­mate con­tin­ues to change in alarm­ing ways and as en­ergy prices and con­sump­tion are once again on the rise, sav­ing en­ergy has never been more crit­i­cal for in­dus­try and for the planet, but can we af­ford the in­vest­ments re­quired?

In 2015, the UN launched 17 Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals. These goals are re­ferred to as the Global Goals for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment and as Agenda 2030. It is ex­pected that these goals will drive leg­is­la­tion, poli­cies, in­vest­ments and ac­tiv­i­ties on na­tional, re­gional and in­dus­trial lev­els.

En­ergy con­sump­tion cost is of­ten more than 10 per­cent of the com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing profit. At the same time, thou­sands of tons of CO2 are emit­ted dur­ing the gen­er­a­tion of the en­ergy used. Few top­ics are as im­por­tant for a com­pany’s bot­tom line, and for the world around us, as sus­tain­able man­u­fac­tur­ing where en­ergy sav­ing is an im­por­tant part.

The most ef­fec­tive way to re­duce en­ergy cost and emis­sions is to be­come more sus­tain­able by elim­i­nat­ing en­ergy waste and de­ploy more en­ergy ef­fi­cient so­lu­tions in our fac­to­ries, trans­ports, ware­houses and of­fices in the ar­eas of:


Misalign­ment not only re­duces the life of the bear­ings and cou­plings, but it also con­sumes power. It is com­mon to see misalign­ment re­sult­ing in up to 10 per­cent of losses. While the per­cent­age of sav­ings may not seem very sig­nif­i­cant, a plant that re­duces en­ergy con­sump­tion by four per­cent on an en­ergy bill of $50,000 per month would save $24,000 in just the first year. This cer­tainly jus­ti­fies both the pur­chase of a con­ven­tional align­ment tool and a higher- end laser shaft align­ment sys­tem.

Leak­ing pneu­matic fit­tings is an­other ex­am­ple of wasted power. We know that it costs a lot of money, but how of­ten do we in­vest in a sim­ple leak de­tec­tor and au­dit fit­tings? Mak­ing sure the fit­tings are tight will save en­ergy and money. In­creas­ingly dual sys­tems are in­stalled, one for lower air pres­sure re­quire­ments, which de­mands much less en­ergy, and an­other one when air pres­sure needs to be boosted.


Most com­pa­nies to­day have their CRM sys­tems in place. This makes plan­ning of shuts eas­ier and com­po­nents re­quired can be or­dered ahead of time. When a sup­plier re­ceives or­ders ahead of time, ship­ments can of­ten be bet­ter planned with more prod­ucts and less un­used space in con­tain­ers and more ef­fi­cient ship­ping. In­stead of overnight flight dis­tri­bu­tion de­liv­ered in sin­gle pack­age. Weekly con­soles or even sea-freight can be used. Not only will the cost be lower, but the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact will dra­mat­i­cally de­crease. One ex­am­ple is the trans­porta­tion emis­sion from SKF’s op­er­a­tions – just over one per­cent of prod­ucts was shipped by air in 2017, but this ac­counted for 30 per­cent of trans­port emis­sions.


Re­plac­ing an open spher­i­cal roller bear­ing with a sealed ver­sion on av­er­age can ex­tend the ser­vice life by up to four times that of an open bear­ing in a contaminated en­vi­ron­ment. Man­u­fac­tur­ing a bear­ing takes about 100 unique pro­cesses – from raw ma­te­rial ex­trac­tion through re­fine­ments and assem­bly. Ev­ery process will re­quire en­ergy caus­ing emis­sions and waste. The en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits are sig­nif­i­cant con­sid­er­ing the to­tal im­pact of man­u­fac­tur­ing and trans­porta­tion, as well as com­pounds and chem­i­cals used in the var­i­ous pro­cesses.

Hy­brid bear­ings is an­other ex­am­ple of sus­tain­able choices. The stiff ce­ramic balls re­duce the fric­tion in the bear­ing. Op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­ture is re­duced, and less lu­bri­ca­tion is re­quired-im­prov­ing the ser­vice-life of the bear­ings which is of­ten dou­bled or even tripled.

In con­clu­sion to ful­fill the agenda 2030 we need to change our way of think­ing and act­ing. The ques­tion now be­comes; “Who can­not af­ford to in­vest in sus­tain­able so­lu­tions and think­ing?”


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