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January is an ideal time to reflect on the progress and achievements of 2016 and to make plans for the months ahead. We welcome a fresh new start after a hard year on business, following the shock Brexit result and its effects on the British economy. We witnessed our Prime Minister David Cameron resign and saw Theresa May elected into power. May then went on to appoint an entirely new cabinet. All this upheaval affected the markets. The pound was negatively impacted and it will still take some time to recover to its pre-Brexit value. The on-going economic and political uncertainty will inevitably create a more risky competitive global environment for manufacturers to operate within. But as well as these apparent challenges, each year brings with it real opportunities to achieve new heights of operational improvement.
So starting the New Year with a New Year’s resolution couldn’t be a better idea. So what is a good way to improve your bottom line and increase profit? Saving energy is a relatively easy way to ensure money made stays in your pocket.
Energy prices change frequently reflecting expectations of supply meeting demand. Since March 2016 wholesale electricity prices have risen 35% and wholesale gas has risen 36% which is expected to add a 5% increase on energy prices for homes and businesses in 2017. But surprisingly despite an increase in energy costs, it is still possible to save money in business.
We’ve come up with some simple tips designed to help improve your manufacturing efficiency which can be acted upon immediately.
If your business is using compressed air, it is most probable that this makes up the largest portion of your energy consumption cost. With minor tweaks, reductions of up to 15% can be made. Here are our 5 tips to making sure your air compressor is working to its ultimate efficiency.
This is something that you should already be doing religiously regardless. Replacing filters and oil on your air compressors allows the air compressor to work as efficiently as possible. Changing the elements in in-line filters will reduce pressure drops. Keeping the dryer condenser coils clean allow the compressor to work efficiently. Keeping the coils on the compressor cool will stop the compressor overheating- again saving energy. Ensuring a proper preventative maintenance program is essential. Using a reputable compressor company to draw up an effective maintenance program is a wise idea, not only to save energy but also to help prevent break downs and lost production with machinery downtime.
If you think about an air conditioning system; when you have the air conditioning on you would not leave the window open. The same applies to your air compressor system. Having a leak in the system is the same principle as leaving the windows and doors open when the air conditioning is working. Hundreds of pounds of electricity are literally lost. Your compressor must work harder thus increasing maintenance and wear and tear on the compressor.
Lower the Pressure
Reducing the system pressure by 2 psi saves 1% on your energy bills. Any leaks in the system will leak less air at lower pressures. It is recommended to reduce system pressure to just above what you use. Having a good storage tank and an air system with a low-pressure drop means you are able to reduce the system pressure immediately. Not having adequate storage is foolish as it saves money in numerous ways.
The pressure drop is the difference in psi between the compressor air outlet to the point of use. This can be caused by having a pipe that is too small, or in-line filter elements not being changed or having too many twists and turns in the pipe. Keeping filters clean is an easy fix. The other changes need consideration by an expert as they can be quite costly and would need to ensure than the return on investment is high enough to justify the expense.
Reduce blow down
It is often seen that employees use the compressed air to clean by taking a hose and blowing the dust off the machinery. By using an open hose a considerable amount of money is lost each time. This is essentially just a leak thus reducing the pressure and size of the leak will save a lot of money. The way to do this is to invest a minimal amount in a regulator and a blow gun which will not cost more than a couple of hundred pounds but will save you hundreds of pounds in energy costs. Using the smallest possible vent blow with the minimum possible pressure required will still do the dusting down job and save hundreds at the same time.
How we can help?
Glaston Compressor Services Ltd is a leading UK supplier working across the UK designing, installing and maintaining air compressor systems. Glaston has secured their status as market leaders due to their team of highly qualified and experienced service engineers and excel in air compressor maintenance. Glaston specialises in providing energy saving solutions to their clients.
Glaston is an authorised distributor of the world-famous air compressor brand- HPC KAESER Compressors. KAESER compressors are recognised by their distinctive yellow boxed compressors and dominate the market due to their reliability and energy efficiency.
Glaston also offers additional compressed air services such as air compressor hire, compressed air dryers, compressed air treatment and compressed air filtration.
For more information on how your air compressor can save energy in your business contact Glaston, or visit www.glaston.com