Don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today
The best business advice is often the same as the lessons taught by grade school teachers. It pays to plan ahead, and, quite literally, when it comes to installing industrial equipment. All too often, companies will seek out energy efficient options too late in the design process and will be stuck with systems of inferior quality, efficiency, and long-term value. On the other hand, companies that set out with a focus on energy efficiency from the very early stages of project development are rewarded with systems that will better serve their needs and may result in thousands of dollars (or more) in energy efficiency incentives and utility bill savings.
Waiting too long can dial up the pressure
Compressed air systems are one example of equipment that is especially prone to hasty and ill-advised equipment installations or replacements, often with major consequences to power consumption. Although air compressors are a necessity for many industrial processes, they are a nightmare in terms of energy efficiency, which means there’s a drastic difference in energy consumption between a quick-fix and a comprehensive design strategy.
There are many pitfalls that may cause a compressed air system to waste energy, but customers typically find themselves in one of two scenarios. First, they will opt to replace a failed compressor, or add capacity, with an identical model to what they are currently using. The line of thought that “what works now will work again”, will likely leave them with a functioning system, but not one that functions efficiently. The other category of customers will strive to implement an energy efficient system, but won’t quite reach their goals because of lack of expertise in efficiently assimilating the new piece of equipment into the existing system. Contractors and vendors will install energy efficient equipment, but they may not consider the efficiency of the system as a whole.
Compressed air is just one example where up-front consideration can lead to impressive energy savings. There are a multitude of industrial opportunities for energy efficiency when making upgrades or changes, or even for a brand new installation. When the decision to act is constrained by tight timeframes, efficiency becomes an afterthought and even those customers who choose to install energy efficient equipment will likely not see the results they desire.
Getting a facility in fighting shape
Pieces of industrial equipment function together like organs in the body. Before surgery, it is crucially important to consider the effect of the body as a whole. The example of compressed air systems would be akin to something like the heart. So, before springing for the compressor off the shelf, have a comprehensive analysis of the facility as a whole to turn it into a marathon runner. Just make sure to leave enough time to do so!