12 April, 2024

How manufacturers can achieve a low cost and low carbon future

02 July, 2020

By Graham Coats, sales director, CMC (pictured)

Ask a manufacturer for their thoughts on green business and they may tell you that it does not necessarily equate to good business. Probe deeper and they might tell you that you can have one or the other – sustainability or profitability – but not both.

Thankfully, this viewpoint is changing. First, there is the linear relationship between energy usage and cost; the more a manufacturer uses, the higher its energy bill. Secondly, new technology, primarily driven by cloud-based, IoT-led systems and that also includes control and monitoring products, offer manufacturers forensic levels of data about the performance of their compressed air assets.

Lastly, there is a wraparound framework in the form of ISO50001, a global standard for energy management systems that exists to help organisations continually reduce energy usage – and therefore cost and carbon emissions – through the provision of a structure that manufacturers can systematically follow and scale up and down accordingly.

How can those utilising compressed air effectively evaluate their assets’ performance as part of an ISO50001 energy management system and, in doing so, grow their bottom line in tandem with minimising negative environmental footprint? Here are six key areas to consider:

Be clear from the outset

What are the drivers behind achieving ISO5001? Is it part of a cost cutting exercise? Is it a way in which to bolster your CSR programme? Or are you looking to add value to your business? By identifying what you want from the outset, you and your team are more likely to stick to the plan as you move through the process.

 Meaningful data is everything

Data is the bedrock on which your ISO5001 goals should be built. This is of particular significance to me, given how my organisation has created Airmatics, a cloud-based air compressor monitoring, performance and control solution that provides real time data, analytics and insights and can manage an infinite number of locally interconnected fixed speed, variable speed or variable output air compressors. Of course, there are other solutions that allow manufacturers to get under the skin of their compressed air systems. The key thing is to use them, not only to help you on your journey towards becoming compliant – but also remaining compliant.

Consistency is key

Gaining accurate, meaningful and actionable data is one thing. Ensuring it remains so at every tier of an organisation is another, particularly for global organisations with multiple sites. Making sure that there is standardisation of data and that nothing can be left open to interpretation as it passes from team to team – or even country to country – is essential for working within an ISO50001 framework.

 Lead from the front

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