Over the past 12 months BBE have undertook a project to reduce the companies energy bills. With the cost of manufacturing and labour increasing we had had to take action in order to offset these rises. Our primary focus has been on Power press power usage, lighting and heat insulation as we found these areas are where our biggest spend lies.
Power Press Usage:
As a metal presswork company, a large proportion of the energy we use comes from the presses themselves. We looked into a number of energy saving devices that focus on replacing the Star-Delta start systems with a more microprocessor controlled unit. After doing a number of tests and studies we determined there would be a notable saving in electricity buy utilising these systems so based on an acceptable payback time we had them installed on our most often used machines. We have started to see savings already.
Next on the list will be our lighting. We currently have a mixture of high energy consumption Sodium lamps and various types of fluorescents that have been in place for many years. Looking at the data we have noticed that the lights take roughly one quarter of our total electricity usage currently so this is something we are looking to improve on. We have the option of going with either T5 high bay lamps or LED technology to replace the existing units and we are in discussions now as to which way to go with this. We are confident that there will be significant savings in this area plus a huge improvement on the lighting intensity also.
Also we are looking to use motion sensor lights and dimmable lights in some of the areas of the factory also to save energy.
The roller shutter doors on many factories are the biggest heat sink a building will have other than the roof. Our doors have until now only been single skin steel with very little in the way of rubber seals to prevent draughts so much so that in winter the temperature drop is very noticeable once you approach the doors. One product on the market now is an insulated steel door panel that offers considerable heat insulation characteristics over the standard item. We have scheduled 2 new roller shutter doors to be installed next month. We anticipate over winter to save a good proportion on our gas bills. We will also install a new swing arm curtain system too that can be opened in summer and then closed in winter.
We hope to continue our investment in energy efficiency and lean manufacturing techniques to ensure our place in the market over the coming years. Watch this space for updates on the doors and lighting!