Source: CMTC Manufacturing Blog
Although manufacturing has long been considered an energy-intensive industry, this trend has begun to change. Between 2010-2014, U.S. manufacturing energy consumption is estimated to have increased by 4.7%, according to the Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS) released in October 2017.
However, manufacturing real gross output also increased by 9.6% during the same period of time, demonstrating that a shift toward less energy-intensive manufacturing may have contributed toward the decline in manufacturing energy consumption.
This is good news for small and medium-sized manufacturers that always are seeking ways to achieve cost-effective production to help their businesses grow. So how can these manufacturers continue to increase the gap between their gross output while attempting to increasingly rein back on their energy consumption? Here are four smart energy ideas California manufacturers can explore to save on energy:
Smart Manufacturing as a Tool for Efficient Energy Consumption
SMART manufacturing, which stands for Sense, Measure, Analyze, Report, and Train, is the future for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMM). The technology allows companies to use energy more efficiently and involves the use of real-time data, processes, machines, and technology for human decision-making to improve efficiency and productivity, prevent equipment failure, and optimize energy usage.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that this approach to manufacturing will generate $371 billion in net global value over the next four years by streamlining design and manufacturing processes and by managing supply chain risks.
By collecting and analyzing data across your organization, you may be able to gain a clearer appreciation of how processes and machines use energy. Sensors and other smart monitoring devices help identify potential machine malfunctions and, in extreme cases, can automatically shut down equipment to prevent further damage. Manufacturers also can rely on predictive analytics to lower repair costs and promote equipment longevity.
The human factor is an important component of manufacturing processes, hence people should be assigned to the most important tasks and leave the repetitive work to advanced robotics and artificial intelligence. Workers’ use of energy, however, need to be monitored and controlled to conserve energy and realize greater efficiency.