Automotive suppliers can still extract significant further energy efficiencies.
That is the view of the AIDC Eastern Cape which has been successful in reducing energy consumption at the plants of participants in its Cleaner Production Programme by over 10% on average.
While South Africa’s power supply has stabilised, (Eskom has ruled out load shedding for the remainder of the year) utilities remain the largest input cost for many manufacturers.
“While low hanging fruits may have been clipped we believe substantial further savings are available as companies analyse and more deeply assess the production system,” says AIDC EC Supplier Development Manager, Hoosain Mahomed.
“Replacing bulbs does not constitute an energy efficiency or cleaner production programme, but an in depth view of the manufacturing process, its machines and controllers, usually unearths substantial additional savings.”
Any reduction in energy bill is highly significant given the ratio of power costs as a percentage of the total manufacturing input.
Whether you pay R50 000 or R50m a year on power , investment into reducing that produces handsome returns, considering that these will hold for a lifetime of production, with the correct controls, Mahomed says.
The AIDC EC’s Cleaner Production Programme is successful partly as a result of the appointment of at least one engineer, assigned to work with employees on the shop floor at participating companies about three full days a week.
While cost savings are paramount the secondary objective would be to formalise the energy saving initiatives, projects or systems that the company has implemented, through the implementation of an Energy Management System (EnMS) [Internal standards] or ISO 50001 [External standards].
Lean Manufacturing (WCM) and TPM are additional skill sets offered by AIDC EC To support Supplier Competitiveness – 6 Sigma for those suppliers at the top of its manufacturing methodologies.
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