The UK’s manufacturing sector represents one of the largest non-domestic energy consumers. Of course, energy is one of the main driving factors in this industry, powering everything from heavy machinery and specialist storage facilities to lighting and heating in each warehouse and factory. In fact, according to government figures, the UK’s manufacturing sector used an immense 10,493 kilotonnes of oil equivalent energy during 2018.
Maintaining a high level of efficiency within a manufacturing environment is crucial, given that it can help cut costs, improve total output, and minimise environmental impact. The benefits delivered from energy efficient solutions can then lead to additional benefits down the line, from increased sales and quality to improved company image and customer satisfaction.
As manufacturing companies increasingly look for more ways to reduce their energy waste, they look to facility management firms to assist them in improving the energy efficiency of their building infrastructures.
In this article, we’ll look at measures your manufacturing business can take to become more energy efficient, and how facilities management can assist with this.
The Benefits of Energy Management in Manufacturing
1. Cost Reduction
One of the key benefits for implementing energy management measures is a reduction in operational costs such as heating, cooling, lighting and water services. At MSL, we can provide an ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) service, and carry out an audit of the energy used by your manufacturing buildings, in order to identify cost-effective saving measures.
2. Lower Carbon Footprint
Having measures in place to control the amount of greenhouse gases generated by your company’s manufacturing actions, can help lessen your environmental impact.
3. Enhanced Wellbeing and Productivity
Another major aspect of facilities management is the ability to control aspects of a building’s energy performance, such as HVAC systems and lighting. Opting for regular maintenance with a facilities management company like MSL enables firms to create a comfortable working environment for employees. As more and more people become environmentally conscious, improving a building’s energy management is a more modern method to improving employee satisfaction.
4. Improved Brand Image
Introducing energy efficient solutions in a manufacturing business can help to improve brand image to potential investors and other key stakeholders. Companies around the globe are highlighting what they’re doing to make their practices more environmentally friendly. Introducing more energy efficient processes could be a good place to start.
4 Energy Saving Tips for Manufacturing Businesses
1. Invest in Planned Maintenance
The aim of planned maintenance is to increase energy efficiency through regular maintenance of equipment and assets. With some machinery running 24 hours a day, introducing preventive maintenance solutions in key production points enables monitoring of an equipment’s use as well as its condition.
A leaking roof can damage insulation, therefore leading to energy inefficiency. Faulty ventilation systems can not only result in an unpleasant environment for staff but significant amounts of energy waste too. By predicting when potential failures will occur, maintenance can be scheduled preemptively, so repairs take place only when necessary and downtime is minimised. At MSL, our proactive approach to maintenance means happier and therefore more productive staff, a more profitable operation all around, as well as optimised energy efficiency across building fabric and overheads.
2. Use of CMMS
A Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is used to help asset-intensive businesses, plan, track, analyse and enhance their maintenance process. A CMMS can be used to track equipment maintenance that arises as a result of planned, reactive and compliance maintenance.
The ability to reduce maintenance costs and prolong the useful life of production-critical assets is essential for various organisations and industries, but in particular the manufacturing industry. Managing an entire plant or leading a production line can be overwhelming, but having a CMMS in place can help streamline large manufacturing operations and make them more energy efficient.
Here at MSL, we use a CMMS called inSYNC® integrated FM system. Both us and our customers can use this portal to track maintenance activities and keep a record of all works performed. According to a study conducted by Oneserve in partnership with British manufacturers, faulty machinery led to 3% of all working days being lost in manufacturing – this equates to 49 hours of work and £31,000 per company. Therefore, a solution like inSYNC®, where maintenance is streamlined, will mean manufacturing businesses’ assets and facilities will be more well-maintained, optimised to perform better, and last longer. And well-maintained assets and facilities means less energy and utilities used – electricity, natural gas, water and so on.
3. Heating and Ventilation
Typical manufacturing and warehousing premises are big open spaces. They have high ceilings, delivery doors that are often left open, and lots of ventilation. All of these can easily lead to heat loss and wasted energy. According to the Carbon Trust, 11% of all energy consumed by manufacturing is used for space heating, rising to 45% in some subsectors.
Whilst business heating and ventilation may seem like fixed costs, the Carbon Trust states that many companies in the manufacturing sector could save 20% on their heating bills by implementing energy efficient solutions. In particular, manufacturing businesses could implement planned maintenance solutions for conduct routine checks, to see if systems need replacing completely or simply need maintaining for maximum energy efficiency.
It’s also important for manufacturing companies to keep on top of laws such as the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. Under regulation 6, employers must ‘ensure that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air.’ Compliance maintenance services, like the one we offer at MSL, can be utilised to help manufacturing businesses avoid compliance-related penalties by monitoring the performance of mechanical equipment like HVAC systems.
4. Pay Attention to the Building Fabric
Over time industrial buildings inevitably deteriorate, as little attention is paid to walls, doors, windows and roofs until it’s too late. Most manufacturing firms will wait until a leak, hole or other major problem arises before fixing it. Reactive maintenance can be paramount in quickly responding to these types of issues should they come about unexpectedly. However, planned maintenance services can improve energy efficiency from the get-go by identifying and repairing these problems before they arise. Our predictive maintenance solutions can keep the infrastructure of your building in good shape with routine checks for issues that could cause businesses to turn the heating up and waste unnecessary energy.
One way manufacturing businesses can properly plan for such eventualities is by retrofitting older, existing buildings. This could include the replacement of doors and windows, installing better insulation or replacing HVAC systems. Facilities management companies like MSL can use planned maintenance to identify retrofit opportunities through onsite audits, the use of compliance maintenance to coordinate with equipment standards and specifications, and use reactive maintenance to manage and maintain the solution. By improving building performance, manufacturing companies can lower their heating and cooling needs, waste less energy and be more efficient at the same time.
Companies are under intense pressure to cut costs across manufacturing, warehousing and logistics. Energy efficiency is one of the simplest ways to achieve such savings. By implementing energy efficient solutions through facilities management, manufacturing firms can better maintain their mechanical equipment and minimise energy waste.
Facilities management companies can aid energy efficiency in the manufacturing sector by implementing planned, compliance and reactive maintenance measures. In particular, planned maintenance is paramount in properly predicting and preparing for machine faults through routine checks to minimise downtime and save energy.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how our services can help your manufacturing business become more energy efficient, get in touch with us on 0333 1234 450.