Shock absorber manufacturer Tenneco Ride Performance aims to be the first automotive component supplier in South Africa to be awarded ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management System certification, when it is audited for compliance with the standard in November, says Automotive Industry Development Centre Eastern Cape (AIDC EC) project manager Kushen Naidoo.
Tenneco Ride Perfor-mance factory is based in the auto- motive hub of Nelson Mandela Bay, in the Eastern Cape.
“AIDC EC is assisting the company to acquire the ISO 50001:2011 certification and to ensure that it maintains its level of global competitiveness through the development of world-class energy management systems (EnMSes),” Naidoo explains.
Further, he states that ISO 50001:2011 is significant as companies that attain it will have committed to practising high levels of energy efficiency, thus, increasing companies’ profits while reducing their levels of carbon dioxide emissions.
He explains that the AIDC EC is an implementing arm of State-owned development financier the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), which aims to ensure that the South African government’s economic and industrial growth plans, with particular emphasis on the automotive sector, are realised.
As part of the new EnMS at Tenneco Ride Performance, the AIDC EC has assisted the company in saving R1.2-million a year and reduced its energy consumption by 1.6-million kilowatt hours.
“Additional savings have been identified and measures for achieving these savings should be implemented in the course of 2013/14,” notes AIDC EC supplier and supply chain development manager Lance Schultz.
Tenneco Ride Performance joined the AIDC’s Cleaner Production Programme, offered by the AIDC EC, in 2011, with the aim of reducing its energy bill by 10%. The company and the AIDC signed a second contract in 2012 to implement larger energy efficient projects, which were identified in 2011.
Schultz says energy audits were conducted to determine problem areas and identify possible projects to improve the energy efficiency of the plant.
“The audit results were used to drive energy projects and target easily solved energy efficiency challenges first. These solutions included the redesign of a stress-relief oven; the removal of unnecessary lights; the installation of translucent roof sheets to allow natural light to illuminate warehouse areas; the installation of heat pumps, solar geysers and motion sensors in office areas to switch off lights and air conditioners when they are not needed; and the employment of a compressed-air leak programme to track, monitor and repair leaks,” he explains.
Further, Schultz notes that Tenneco Ride Performance and the AIDC EC plan to continue their partnership for a third year with a major focus on ISO 50001:2011 certification as well as the expansion of existing energy-saving initiatives.
adds that this year the company will focus on the improvement of factory processes, with the assistance of automation solutions, by implementing the AIDC’s Mechatronics System Design Programme.
“With the ever-increasing power prices there is no other option but to start implementing energy efficient systems. AIDC EC is proud of progress made using EnMS innovation as part of the Cleaner Production Programme, whose results are demonstrative of what many individual organisations can do to reduce costs and relieve pressure on the national grid,” Schultz concludes.
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