All manufacturing companies know that energy costs have been rising relentlessly, and will continue to do so. The challenge is how to reduce the impact and keep costs under control. If your focus for reducing costs is being driven by your Lean Manufacturing program or just the need to survive in a competitive market place, reviewing your energy use has become an imperative. If you use process heating, then here are the undisputed facts:
- Electrical Energy is the most expensive and potentially ineffcient form of energy available today.
- In the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change publish average energy costs paid by industry. In the third quarter of 2011, electricity was 7.883p per kWh and gas was 2.642p per kWh.
Therefore, the number one focus has to be to identify any process that uses electricity, which could be run by gas. However, it does not end there; finding the most efficent gas consuming equipment is paramount. If your company is involved in powder coating for instance, consider the following:
- Convection ovens are only 5%–7% efficient. This means that only up to 7% of the heat created is used to heat the part.
- Gas Catalytic Infra Red heating:
- Is 80% efficient
- 1 minute in a Gas Catalytic Infrared oven = 3 minutes in a Convection oven
- In the UK, updating from old convection technology to Gas Catalytic Infrared, may qualify for an Interest Free Loan from the Carbon Trust.
- Running costs are up to 50% less. Most companies achieve savings of at least 30%.
- Requires up to 67% less floor space
- Gives greater process control
- Gives a better quality finish
- The savings generated are not fixed. As gas prices increase in the future, the savings generated also increase
- The move towards more energy efficient processes is inevitable
- The conventional wisdom concerning process heating is not relevant
- Replacing "like with like" convection ovens is a false economy and will cost more in the long run
- The future for the majority of process heating applications is Gas Catalytic Infra Red
- Take action now, before it's to late!