Energy efficiency in manufacturing

2013.11.12

According to statistics by e2 Singapore, 40 percent of energy consumption is used by the industrial sector. With the rising cost of energy, coupled with the common wastage of energy in the manufacturing sector, the need for energy efficiency is important – not just to lower costs practically, but also to become more environmentally sustainable. But who cares about environment when making a profit is much more valuable? When corporate leaders begin seeing the effects of climate change and the consequences it brings, will they finally begin taking part in preventing the downward spiral towards environmental destruction? Probably only when it is too late.

What we can see now are just talks, and not actions. Organizations fighting to make our planet greener still fail in their long-lasting battles with manufacturing corporations. They keep attracting attention to the issues by organizing conferences devoted to energy efficiency issues.

The SMC Annual Conference 2013, held at SIMTech on the 7th of November, gathered consultants and corporate leaders from energy efficient firms involved in the manufacturing industry. They spoke about issues ranging from strategizing the best way to reduce energy costs, to the need for energy audits, to environmentally friendly technologies.

SMC Annual Conference 2013: SIMTech Senior Manager Lee Hock Wee presenting on manufacturing hot spots

SMC Annual Conference 2013: SIMTech Senior Manager Lee Hock Wee presenting on manufacturing hot spots

Energy efficiency was also touted as a clean “alternative fuel,” or rather the “fifth fuel” by SIMTech Senior Manager Mr. Lee Hock Wee during his presentation on manufacturing hot spots. One need is to identify the most energy intensive activities during the production process so they can target them and reduce energy, he said.

Very often, manufacturing processes and the procurement and operations of equipment are designed without consideration for energy consumption, said CEO and Founder of Green Koncepts Mr. Kenneth Lee. Green Koncepts is a pioneer in Cloud Energy Management, using intelligent sensors and smart meters, wired and wireless communications, Cloud and Big Data Analytics to help manufacturers gain real time energy intelligence to optimize energy usage and reduce costs at the same time.

His presentation touched on how Green Koncepts thus helps manufacturers to visualize and understand how, where, when and why energy is used in a manufacturing plant and what can be done to reduce the energy consumption at various points.

Presentations by representatives from Ricoh, Precicon D&C and Schneider Electric highlighted new energy efficient technologies in printing, the importance of improving motor efficiency in manufacturing and how energy performance in industry buildings can be optimized, respectively.

Of course, SIMTech also introduced its new Energy Efficiency Program for the manufacturing industry to encourage companies to participate in various modules on energy monitoring, management and processing.

2013-11-12 - SMC Conference - 1

SMC Annual Conference 2013: LED lighting by Digital Lumens

Outside the conference area, companies set up booths to introduce new technologies and products that promote energy savings. For instance, Digital Lumens displayed its energy efficient LED lighting that uses daylight harvesting sensors to provide light only when sensors are activated. It also assesses available ambient light and adjusts the light intensity accordingly.

Another company, eSight, introduced its web-enabled energy management suite to allow users to monitor and analyzetheir energy use.

As SIMTech scientist Dr. Ian Chan rightly pointed out: “There’s no data on how production is using energy, but we need to know this in order to reduce energy. It is everyone’s responsibility to find and pinpoint the largest energy thief before we can work out how to reduce energy.”

He stressed the need to use an Energy Monitoring and Analysis System (EMAS) to keep track of energy usage.

“You have to choose to do it, to measure energy consumption in the first place, before you can strategize how and where you can reduce energy wastage,” he added.

Let us hope that similar conferences will make progress and energy efficiency technologies will become highly valuable in our modern world of money and consumption.

 

Report prepared by Candice

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