Using an energy audit to reveal significant cost savings. A study by Sun Chemical

05/08/2009

Using an energy audit to reveal significant cost savings. A study by Sun Chemical

Summary

Carbon management and energy efficiency are becoming an increasingly key element in the management of financial, environmental and corporate responsibility programmes for the graphic arts industry. Sun Chemical's consulting division help companies develop an energy efficiency strategy which includes carbon management.

Background

The combination of worldwide increases in energy demand, dwindling fossil fuels and ever-increasing legislation aimed at curbing rising greenhouse gas emissions has led to an increase in the cost of energy for businesses. These rising costs have a direct impact on an organisation's bottom line and put an enormous squeeze on profit margins. Typical energy savings that result from an energy audit range from 10-20% of energy cost and carbon emissions on one site. An energy audit addresses and analyses all utilities to determine areas of potential savings.

The Case Study

Sun Chemical undertook a complete energy audit at the site of a leading UK printed packaging manufacturer of board and paper. The audit was initiated in order to review the packaging manufacturer's current energy efficiency and provide potential solutions for improvement if applicable. An energy audit was conducted at one of the company's facilities where three product lines are produced using raw materials in processes such as printing, cutting, gluing, packaging and dispatch. The site employs approximately 140 people and has yearly costs of approx. £500,000 for energy and water. The company's estimated carbon emissions were also calculated as 2,715t CO2 per year. The company's energy pre-audit consumption was calculated and broken down as follows:
  • Lighting - 7%
  • Compressed Air - 5%
  • Ventilation Plant - 14%
  • Printing Machines - 23%
  • Humidification - 5%
  • Production Area Heating - 13%
  • Office Space Heating and Hot Water - 7%
  • Other Production Equipment - 23%
  • Miscellaneous - 3%
Technical opportunities were surveyed in the following areas:
  • Process plant and equipment
  • Boiler plant and controls
  • Steam distribution/condensate return
  • Ventilation of space heating and hot water systems
  • Compressed air
  • Vacuum
  • Lighting
  • Building fabric.

Upon completion of a complete site audit which included a review of purchased energy and carbon emissions as well as a review of energy management practices, Sun Chemical's consulting division was able to propose various actions that could lead to the reduction of energy management practices.

Results

The following customer benefits would result from the packaging manufacturer's implementation of Sun Chemical's energy saving initiatives:

  • Savings 13% in energy costs (£65,000/year)
  • Reduction of 13% of carbon emissions
  • Capital cost requirement £70,000
  • Simple payback on investment of 1.1 years (13 months)

Company Information

Sun Chemical, a member of the DIC group, is the world's largest producer of printing inks and pigments and a leading provider of materials to packaging, publication, coatings, plastics, cosmetics, and other industrial markets. Sun Chemical has established consulting services to assist printers to be more successful in their markets. Our consultants can assist printers to move toward operational excellence through support in maximising asset utilisation and efficiency, reorganisation processes, new working practices and system enhancements.