Finding ways to make your business more efficient

The overriding theme at this year’s Industrial Showcase-Cape is that of increasing efficiencies to improve an organisation’s bottom line, and every business can benefit from that says organiser Johnny Malherbe.

‘Whether it’s reducing utilities consumption or improvements in operational methods every business needs to examine the way it works in the face of skyrocketing electricity and water costs, and global competition,’ adds Malherbe.

With annual rate increases far outstripping inflation electricity consumption in the industrial space is still very much in focus for most manufacturers. And with electrical motors consuming typically about 69% of the total, anything that can be done to reduce this statistic must be good for the bottom line.

Keith Gross of Ana-Digi systems maintains that if you’re not using a variable speed drive to match an electric motor’s output to the power required for the task at hand, you’re wasting electricity and money, especially with fans and pumps.  ‘Running a motor at full speed while throttling the input or output is like driving a car with one foot on the accelerator and one on the brake – a portion of the motor’s output immediately goes to waste.’

Compressed air systems are found in almost every manufacturing environment and can make up 20% of total electricity consumption. They should be a prime target for energy efficiency measures. Most buyers only focus on the upfront purchase/rental cost of the compressor when, in fact, this only represents a fraction of the operating and maintenance over time. Selecting equipment with proven operational efficiencies, performing an air-leak survey and internal controllers to link equipment can achieve rapid paybacks.

On the broader management front the emergence of lean management is starting to make a real impact on how organisations improve every facet of their business. Lean management is an approach to running an organisation that supports the concept of continuous improvement, a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality.

‘We’re focussing on bringing together the very best exhibitors and Speaker Series topics for this year’s Showcase,’ says Malherbe. ‘If you have a product or service with this theme and want to be part of the event, please give us a call.’