Go on an energy saving journey

Green manufacturing means cost savings. Don’t believe us? The reality is that air compressors can drain a company’s bottom line.

Statistics show that relooking and refining your compressed air strategy saves up to 80%; and while there is still some resistance in making the move, SMC’s Energy Saving Customer Journey can easily facilitate this worthy process.

The Energy Saving Customer Journey from SMC delivers benefits while educating customers on the correct use of compressed air for their pneumatic automation processes.

Bill Blyth, a key accounts manager for SMC Corporation ANZ, said that while these types of savings are not at the top of every companies’ priority lists, their interest is piqued when realising the potential savings. “Just like in any journey, the question is where do you want to go and what do we need to achieve?”

Blyth explains that the journey usually starts with a discussion around current compressed air use and the company’s requirements. “Compressors are expensive to operate, and this is where the educational journey begins.”

Usually, a compressed air operator will regulate the pressure commensurate with the amount of force that is needed (or the amount of speed needed to perform the particular process). In a lot of cases, factories have a standardised pressure. “The problem is that some of these processes require different levels of pressure depending on the function being carried out.”

Reducing your carbon footprint
As responsible corporate citizens, a reduced carbon footprint is welcomed. “In addition to cost savings, customers need to look at the bigger environmental picture. How can we operate in this country and not care for the environment?”

SMC’s mandate is to design products that use less air, are compact and lightweight and still pack a mean punch when it comes to output. “Customers should choose these smart products to assist them in saving… all the way down the production line,” said Blyth.

“It is about looking at the process and the products used and understanding their limitations. Then it we adjust the pressure of the air being used to experience significant costs savings.”

According to Blyth, some customers don’t have the most basic of air monitoring equipment – a flow meter. “Flow meters are used to measure the amount of air used. If you don’t know how much you are using, how will you know when you are saving? You won’t drive a car without a fuel gauge so why would you operate machinery without a flow meter?”

The eight-step Energy Saving Journey process
SMC has developed an eight-step process that assists customers in identifying the processes and products required to ensure a more energy efficient and less air exhausting production plant.

“People start to listen because we start to consider their electricity bills,” said Blyth. “And I think when some of these bills are $200,000-$300,000 a month in compressor energy, and you can save someone 20 or 30 percent, or even 10-15 percent, it is a pretty significant contribution.”

To conclude, Blyth urges customers to look at this as a short-term investment and a long-term gain. “The initial cost of energy saving components is less of an issue when customers start weighing up the real savings that they can achieve. By managing and monitoring energy usage on a machine, the customer will realise real dollar savings.”