Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Energy Industrial Engineering

Industrial Engineering - IIE Definition - Emphasis on Energy

"Industrial engineering is concerned with the design, improvement and installation of integrated systems of people, materials, information, equipment and energy. It draws upon specialized knowledge and skill in the mathematical, physical, and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems."

Energy was identified as an important resource to be specifically highlighted in the definition so that it gets adequate attention of industrial engineers. Despite the addition of the term to the definition, no focused efforts were done by IE profession and discipline to come out with any standard IE approach for increasing the energy efficiency. There is a lot of energy efficiency work being undertaken by specialists in this field but IE departments in companies have not reported their embracing this activity and providing the benefit to their organizations.

John Preston, ( Corporate Industrial Engineer, Dura Automotive Systems in Rochester Hills, Mich. and president of IIE’s Greater Detroit Chapter ) authored a paper on energy efficiency studies, "Energizing continuous improvement," and it was published in Industrial Engineer (IIE Magazine), July 2011.

The ideas presented in the paper could give a starting point for IEs to look at their work in the field of energy industrial engieering.

It is common for management to think that energy costs are fixed. Managers surmise that their operations will incur similar utility charges each month regardless of any actions taken to reduce expenses.

Energy cost analysis

 But energy bills are visible and clear. They are simple measures. They show how much energy the facility used, and when it was  incurred. They can be compared to other monthly figures such as total direct labor hours or sales. Facilities or units that do not manage their energy costs will have similar monthly utility usage over time, even with variation in monthly sales or labor hours. The facilities that lack correlation between these figures are more than likely those with the most opportunities to reduce utility and other major expenses. Hence, industrial engineers can locate units that offer scope for energy efficiency improvement.

This data is readily available. Accounting  departments typically store well-organized utility bills for four or five years. Accounting department also can assist by providing sales, labor hours or other figures to be used for comparison. It takes little time to create trend charts of these records.

Once the data is collected simple linear regression is to used in the analysis.  Most of the projects identified in operations that previously had no energy management program have payback periods of less than one year. In operations with significant opportunities, excellent projects exist that will have payback periods of less than a month. Most importantly, the resulting utility bills with decreased costs quickly demonstrate the benefit of these projects.

Getting started - More Concrete Steps

The first step is identifying the facility that has the most opportunity. Collect each facility’s utility bills for the last 12 months. Using simple linear regression, compare the monthly electricity bills to monthly sales or another common measure, such as labor hours. The facility with the lowest R² probably has the most opportunity to reduce energy costs. The closer R² is to one  (1 ), the more likely the plant’s monthly sales are related to electricity costs and can be predicted by the model. As R² gets closer to zero (say up to 0.5), it’s less likely that sales correlate to energy costs, meaning the model cannot predict future outcomes.

Next is conducting an analysis of the chosen site to determine if the targeted facility effectively manages its energy costs. Investigate if and how the facility tracks its energy costs and usage over time. Note who in the organization has the data and how it is used. Ask the maintenance or engineering manager if they know which equipment or building uses the most energy and when the energy is used. Ask them if projects have been completed or planned to be completed that reduce energy costs. If there is little evidence of measurement, analysis or improvement, it is likely that there are significant opportunities to reduce energy costs.

Energy Audit

The targeted facility needs to have an energy audit performed. The energy audit will show what is using the most energy and when it is used. The energy audit of the targeted facility needs to be performed by an individual or group who have experience in that facility’s industry. Industrial engineers can take the services of  certified energy managers who  will have the capabilities and equipment to perform the needed analysis. The audit needs to yield quantitative data that provide direction toward the most wasteful forms of energy use within the facility. The analysis will provide hard evidence and improvement ideas to eliminate the wastes.
Using the results of the energy audit and its recommendations, develop and implement a project that reduces energy waste without much investment. Popular quick payback projects include installing high-efficiency lighting, developing shutdown procedures and investing in auto-off controls. These kinds of projects carry little risk. They are inexpensive and significantly reduce electricity bills. After the project is completed, develop a presentation that documents the project’s success.

Shutdown procedures

A good initial project could focus on shutdown procedures. One factory that left on its equipment when production was not running developed basic shutdown procedures. These procedures included who was responsible for turning off equipment, how to turn off the equipment and what equipment was to be left on. The changes reduced the factory’s electricity bill by 12 percent, which saved the company approximately $60,000 per year.

Build and sustain the momentum from the success of your first project. The momentum can be used to  replicate the project at other facilities within the organization. If the first project was well-documented, it will not take significant effort to convince other facilities of the project’s worth.
Automatic Shutoff Controls

A good follow-up to shutdown procedures would be to analyze the efficacy of automatic shutoff controls. In one example, a large automotive factory left its stamping presses running continuously, even when production was not scheduled. The project led to the purchase of 86 programmable logic controllers, which were installed on the presses. These devices automatically shut down equipment after the machines have been idle for a period of time. The devices cost the company about $20,000, but they saved the business at least $260,000 per year in electricity. This project reduced the factory’s electrical usage by 5 percent.

Lighting Upgrade

A lighting upgrade is a more expensive project that also can yield positive results. One factory used inefficient metal halide high-intensity discharge (HID) fixtures and bulbs to light its floor space. The factory removed the HID fixtures and replaced them with high-efficiency T8 fluorescent lamps. The cost to purchase and install the new fixtures was about $55,000 after rebates. The project saved the company roughly $90,000 per year in electricity and bulbs.

Roadblocks to success

Energy cost reduction have not received high priority in many organizations. So Industrial engineers have to take some precautions in proposing projects.

Ensure the direction from the energy audit. The energy audit needs to provide clear direction. The audit has to document the source of and solutions to the facility’s energy waste. The audit needs to include interval trend data on the largest users of energy. Interval trend data will provide clear evidence of the energy use and waste. Without interval trend data, the results of the audit will not offer the quantitative proof necessary to request capital funding for improvements.
Ensure capable resources. In these situations, the opportunities to reduce costs need to be well-documented and escalated to decision makers so that for quick ROI projects, upper management sanctions seeking  resources external to the facility.
John Preston provided a beginner's guide for energy industrial engineering. Make a regression between utility bills and sales. Employ and conduct an energy audit. Take up some low cost projects like shutdown procedurs, automatic shutoff systems and lighting improvement. Then develop further expertise in energy efficiency improvement,

Related Blog Posts by Me in This Blog

Energy Efficiency Conference - ECEEE

Energy Efficiency and Productivity - International Events and Examples

Industrial Engineering in Electical Engineering

Cost Reduction Opportunities in Power Plants and Distribution Systems

Economic Analysis - Clean Energy Investment Proposals

Energy Productivity - Efficiency Improvement

Energy Industrial Engineering

National Energy Conservation Day

Check the links below. May be they point out to knol links!

Economic Analysis - Clean Energy Investment Proposals
Energy Efficiency Projects - Energy Service Companies (ESCO)
Energy Use Efficiency - IE for Energy Resource
Industrial Engineering For Efficient Energy Use

Related Web Pages

Industrial energy efficiency 1993 study
Science and Engineering Solutions for Energy Efficiency

Related blog posts by me

Energy Productivity - Efficiency Improvement

Energy Use Efficiency - IE for Energy Resource

Energy Efficiency - An International Movement - Are IEs Participating?


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