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Maintenance is Key to Lowering Energy Costs

As green thinking and sustainability come to the forefront of business practices, well-run maintenance department with a focus on energy efficiency are becoming increasingly important, according to web site Sustainable Plant.

Good maintenance practice is the best way to reduce energy, optimize production and minimize waste according to an article on the web site titled Manage Assets for Sustainability – and Profit.

Examples of best practice mentioned in the article include Mohawk Fine Papers in Cohoes, N.Y., – a keen proponent of energy efficiency measures since the 1990s.  After its energy costs rose 30 percent over the past five years, the premium writing paper manufacturer instituted a more regimented maintenance schedule for its machines, and measured performance using an enterprise asset management system designed by Infor.

As well as realizing expected reliability benefits from improved preventative measures, the company also drove down its energy use as the machines were running more efficiently. The company has reduced its energy use by 15 percent so far and expects a further 15-to-20 percent drop, the web site reports.

Similarly, the City of Des Moines, Iowa, expects to reduced its energy costs at its wastewater reclamation plant by $40,000 a year through the use of an advanced EAM, the article says.

A report released this month by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says that American industry could cut its cut energy consumption by the year 2050 by almost half largely by focusing on optimizing manufacturing systems.

However, such improvements are being “crowded out” by too much focus on what the ACEEE calls risky and expensive bids to develop new energy sources, the report says.

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