Internal Context

Figure 2.15 highlights the main internal aspects of industrial operations within a given external environment. It highlights people, whose skills and competencies are critical to the performance of any business function, as discussed earlier. From the energy performance point of view, any company can be seen as having two distinctive parts:

• Production as energy demand side that sets requirements for energy quantity, quality and variations over time, i.e. it determines the energy demand profile;

• Utilities as energy supply side that must deliver energy efficiently and when required by production.

The supply and demand sides are linked by a distribution network, with imposed metering, control and monitoring systems. The main internal factors that influence performance may be grouped as follows:

^ Production-utility coordination;

^ Production planning practices;

^ Maintenance practices;

^ Extensions of buildings or addition of equipment;

^ Changes of product mix;

^ Changes of input materials specifications;

The coordination of production and energy or utility departments in most factories presents a major challenge for cross-functional cooperation and communication. Most companies are production focused and, as such, they consider energy and environmental performance as marginal issues in relation to

Figure 2.15 External and Internal Aspects of Industrial Operations

production output and quality considerations. But experience tells us that there are important reasons for them not to be separated operationally as they usually are, organizationally, just the opposite:

Utility and production departments should coordinate their operations closely in order to achieve the lowest cost for energy and for environmental compliance!

Why? When energy performance in production is not closely controlled, actual consumption and capacity demand tend to be higher than necessary, sometimes much higher. One reason for that is the fact that energy is often seen in production departments as a peripheral necessity. Consequently, production departments' focus is on product quality and quantity, while process energy performance does not feature high on the agenda. Even more, disregarding energy and environmental performance allows for a more convenient means of production management. Since we are all human, we like convenience. But convenience always comes at a cost!

For instance, our tuna-canning factory (Fig. 2.3) had a boiler house with five boilers in operation, while only two would have been enough for average steam consumption. The analysis revealed that sterilizing retorts were operated in a way that resulted in high steam demand for a very short period, a few times a day. This resulted in excessive investment (too many boilers), inefficient operation (mostly on partial load) and excessive fuel use and emissions to the air. With more careful production planning, peak demand was reduced, resulting in only two boilers being sufficient for supplying all the necessary steam while the factory was operating at full load.

Maintenance practices may have a similar impact on energy and environmental performance inasmuch as inappropriate maintenance results in higher energy costs and higher rates of environmental pollution. Further, adding new machines, replacing old ones with more efficient ones, or adding more workshops or buildings all have a similar one-off step-up or-down impact on energy consumption. If any of these happen, the base line consumption data and corresponding performance targets will need to be adjusted correspondingly. If there are changes in product mix or type of input materials used, it will also impact upon energy consumption. Such changes must be observed and recorded properly in order to account for deviation in energy demand.

The one-off factors would be noticed and their impact corrected easily by adjusting the base line consumption. But it is important to realize that it is always people who operate machines and implement planning and maintenance procedures and their attitude, behavior, awareness and skills have a critical impact on energy and environmental performance.

EEMS must take into account these main categories of internal factors, including human factors, which influence energy and environmental performance:

> production planning and orders ""v

> operational routines and procedures


> maintenance practices


> equipment status and building area

> product mix and type of input materials used ^


There will be a number of individual internal and external factors from these broadly outlined categories that will cause variations in energy use, sometimes on a daily basis. They should be identified and listed for every functional area in a company.



Figure 2.16 Symbolic Cause-Effect Relationship of Influencing Factors and Performance Variations


Figure 2.16 Symbolic Cause-Effect Relationship of Influencing Factors and Performance Variations

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