5 Ways To Cut Your Energy Bills With Pneumatic Systems
Being energy efficient in industrial applications is more than just a desirable side effect in today’s manufacturing environments. Electric motors are a big energy drain and increasing their efficiency by 25% can cut the global energy demand by 10% . Often, in the quest for efficiency, hydraulics and other options are picked over pneumatics, but with the right efforts, pneumatics can bring you efficiency and significant costs savings.
Below are five ways to cut your energy bills using pneumatic systems.
But first, set your baselines.
Any project involving increasing efficiency will need you know where things stand right now. Once you know how much energy you’re consuming and where you think your issues are, you’ll find it easy to measure your effectiveness.
1. Check Your Design
Several things can be done to improve the efficiency of current machines. But the design of the entire facility is vital, and each new machine added should ideally be the most efficient you can afford. Changes like replacing every double acting cylinder with a single one can rack up significant efficiency benefits over the years. Use automation and regulation where possible and review your design to upgrade at regular intervals.
2. Check Your Pressure
Pneumatic systems waste a lot of energy when too much pressure is applied for a task that doesn’t require it. A problem easily fixed by using the right control devices that can measure the amount of pressure being applied and regulate it to the appropriate amount. Besides saving energy, the right pressure also governs the speed of pistons, which translates to faster, quieter, and longer-lasting equipment.
3. Check For Leaks
Reducing leaks increases efficiency – a relatively intuitive fact. What does that mean for pneumatic systems? Leaks are typically caused by poor design and the wear and tear of seals. The choice of material in the seals also impacts leaks (metal is usually more inefficient). Adding leak detection devices can help reduce the consumption of compressed air and lower costs. Further, a leak-free set up prevents the loss of pressure resulting from leaks.
4. Manage Your Air
Putting in place a program that manages your air is another route to efficiency. Many applications need a vacuum, a process that can waste air. Again, there are regulatory pieces of equipment that exist to control this. Circuits can turn the air pressure on and off as the vacuum is achieved. Further, the quality of air is important as well. Air is easily polluted by contaminants like chemicals. Frequent testing and filtration can help protect you.
5. Commit To The Cause
The cause of energy efficiency is not an easy one. It takes commitment at the highest levels. Management involvement to stress the importance of the efforts can serve as great motivation. A dedicated team, ideally cross-functional, accountable for the outcomes will further be able to put the mandate in motion for the entire company to commit to.
At a manufacturing facility level, small efficiency improvements can translate to huge savings in a relatively short time. A positive all round. Pneumatics, despite the fact that it’s not the first choice in several cases, when used properly, can significantly contribute to your bottom line. Consider the benefits before you dismiss it! Good luck.