Thursday, August 2, 2018

Five steps to improving manufacturing efficiency


July 25, 2018

Many manufacturers still lack visibility of the energy performance of devices and equipment running in their plants.

If you want to make efficiency improvements and save costs but don't know where to start, a recent blog post from UK energy provider Centrica Business Solutions sets out five steps for manufacturers to follow:

Step 1: Get buy-in from the rest of the business

This is a critical first step and must involve everyone from the top executives to the shop technicians. Set out the problem and business need, supported by statistics and data, and involve the whole team in creating a resolution that improves processes and shows sustainable ROI.

Step 2: Set achievable goals

Employees will lose their motivation if you set a target that's impossible to reach.

To improve manufacturing operations and cut costs, companies must set realistic, measurable goals, Centrica Business Solutions says. These goals should be based on real data from systems and devices used within the manufacturing process.

Step 3: Monitor devices

Smart sensors on machinery and equipment can help manufacturers to monitor their operations and understand energy consumption at each stage of the manufacturing process.

With capabilities such as real-time notifications that alert users to a system fault or potential downtime, manufacturers can make informed decisions about management and consumption. Up-to-date information from smart monitoring also enables system-wide improvements to be made.

Step 4: Improve maintenance schedules

Aggregated energy data can be used to identify systemic issues relevant to energy-intensive production assets. Optimise maintenance schedules with heavy energy consumption to take advantage of lower energy costs during off-peak hours.

Manufacturers can also realise efficiency gains by transitioning from preventative maintenance of equipment to predictive maintenance. This saves costs as equipment is less likely to fail and any issues are identified ahead of time.

Step 5: Empower employees

Engage your employees in the effort to improve operational efficiency and reduce energy consumption by arming them with information about the negative impacts of poor energy efficiency, and the positive effects of their behaviour.

There are multiple ways to make your manufacturing operations more energy efficient, but this five-step plan will put you on a path to success!

To learn more about preparing industrial plants for energy management, click HERE

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