Lean conservation: Energy consulting practice offers shop-floor techniques
Wasted energy often results from improper machine conditions, lack of standard work, excessive inventories, and unnecessary processing. TBM Consulting Group , a global business improvement leader for the manufacturing and service sectors, says its new Lean Energy Practice now assists companies worldwide in applying Lean principles to reduce energy consumption and waste.
“The manufacturing community urgently needs to exert control over rising energy costs,” says Anand Sharma, CEO, TBM Consulting Group. “To improve financial performance particularly during turbulent times, it’s crucial for manufacturers to conserve their energy resources.”
Through TBM’s Lean Energy Process, which enables companies to rapidly achieve energy productivity, key processes lead to conservation of resources such as water, gas, compressed air, oil, and electricity. They also help manufacturing clients worldwide achieve improvements surrounding energy costs. In fact, McCain Foods Limited, a global frozen foods company with $6 billion-plus in sales, reports an energy savings of $300,000 at a single facility.
In addition to tracking energy flow, the Lean Energy Practice offers maintenance and sustainability initiatives for long-term savings. Its Total Productive Maintenance Services, a critical adjunct to lean manufacturing, is focused on waste elimination, preventing deterioration and reducing equipment breakdowns—a proactive approach that prevents any kind of process interruption before maintenance is needed..
The practice monitors the flow of energy through a breakthrough process called an energy kaizen. By identifying and then eliminating waste, the kaizen creates immediate change. For example, a one-week energy kaizen event focused on a single source of energy can typically generate a cost reduction of 4 to 8 percent annually for a company, resulting in a savings of $200,000 to $500,000 or more a year.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), more than 40 percent of all U.S. energy is used by industry, including transport of manufactured goods. NAM also reports that U.S. manufacturers can save the equivalent of $10.4 billion energy consumption is reduced by just 10 percent.