The industrial sector consumes approximately one-third of the energy used in the United States, but much of that energy – about half – is lost or wasted due to inefficient systems and end use. To promote energy efficiency and management in industry, the Energy Systems Laboratory at Texas A&M University and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources host the annual Industrial Energy Technology Conference (IETC). The IETC brings together plant managers, utility representatives, industry suppliers, industrial program managers and other industrial professionals to foster discussion, share new developments and work on solutions.
This year’s conference is being held in New Orleans in June. The three-day event begins with an energy manager workshop and then breaks into various technical sessions, covering topics such as tools for energy conservation, combined heat and power, and steam plants and equipment. Advanced Energy’s Matt Davey, motors and drives consultant, and Mike Stowe, senior energy engineer, are attending the conference, and Mike will be speaking during a session about energy impact analysis. His talk, “Lean Manufacturing Principles and Their Impact on Process Energy Efficiency,” will discuss how identifying, measuring and eliminating waste can improve energy efficiency in industrial processes.
Lean manufacturing focuses on trimming the fat (i.e., waste) of a process or action so that only the necessary value-adding components remain. Although a number of wastes exist in any production procedure (e.g., materials waiting to be processed, overproducing of items), there are ways to combat them, including creating a culture of continual improvement and setting up systems and alerts to identify issues.
Regarding energy efficiency specifically, lean manufacturing helps to reduce or eliminate the non-productive energy of a process, or the energy that is consumed but does not result in added value. For example, a spindle servo motor turning a grinding wheel during the weekend with no part flow or part surface engagement would be considered non-productive energy consumption. Minimizing this form of energy can lower the energy intensity of a process, which is the amount of energy needed to create a product, because less energy is being be wasted.
Investing in lean manufacturing may sound like a big investment, but most aspects are inexpensive and offer quick paybacks. Mike’s presentation will focus on the benefits of lean manufacturing for a plant’s process energy efficiency and bottom line. Attendees will learn about important lean principles, how they can be implemented and what energy and non-energy outcomes can be realized.
If you are planning to attend the IETC, be sure to look for Matt and Mike and say hello!
Mike Stowe, PE, CEM, PEM, CP EnMS-Industrial, SEP PV-Industrial, SEP Trainer – email@example.com – 919-857-9043
Matt Davey – firstname.lastname@example.org – 919-857-9035