MRO Magazine

Happy Earth Day! Tips to go green for industry

Atlanta, GA - Do you want to reduce the energy costs at your plant? There's no better time to start than today, Ear...

Atlanta, GA — Do you want to reduce the energy costs at your plant? There’s no better time to start than today, Earth Day, April 22, 2009.


For suggestions, we turn to advice from Dennis Sadlowski, president and CEO of Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., the U.S. industrial arm of German engineering giant, Siemens AG. He recommends the following five easy tips for factory and manufacturing facility owners and operators to reduce their carbon footprint and start reaping the savings:



1. Do your homework. First and foremost, you will not know how much you can save, until you know where the money is being spent. An energy audit will help you better understand your energy usage and determine where your facility can go green and save money. Specialists can come to your facility to identify key energy saving areas for your current and future needs.


2. Rethink your lighting. By simply replacing your lighting with energy-efficient products and controls, you can reduce energy consumption up to 50%, as well as eliminate the risk of mercury contaminants in a very short period of time. There are a variety of lighting solutions and programs that lower utility bills and reduce air pollution, as well as lighting controls that help reduce your energy consumption with smart schedules and automated control.


3. Evaluate your motors and drives. Electric motors are responsible for almost 70% of all energy consumed in industrial applications. This 70% holds a considerable saving potential that is just waiting to be realized. So why not start now by replace existing motors with energy-efficient motors? Or save even more by adding variable frequency drive (VFD) systems to the motors? In some cases, drives can contribute a 30% energy savings with a seven-month return on investment (ROI).


4. Control heating and cooling costs. As much as 30% of the energy used in your facility comes from heating and cooling costs. Making smart decisions about your facility’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a significant impact on your utility bills. Simply adding drive and control systems can reduce costs by as much as 25%.


5. Monitor the situation. By knowing and understanding their plants’ electrical footprint and monitoring energy use, companies can track their progress toward efficiency goals, as well as establish benchmarks for achievement. With an energy monitoring system, you can keep track of energy usage across multiple locations from one central source to ensure maximum efficiency and control costs.