Save energy the smart way
Plastics processing is very energy-intensive, but there are ways to reduce a plant’s energy demand.
Working with energy expert Dr Robin Kent, we’ve developed these steps to help you comply with environmental legislation, as well as save money:
Step one: Understand your energy use
The key to understanding your plant’s energy consumption is in its Performance Characteristic Line (PCL). You can use this to predict energy usage and integrate that data into your accounting system.
Step two: Optimise your injection moulding machines
Today’s machines are much more energy efficient than they used to be, so it pays to invest in the latest technology. However, being efficient does not mean slowing down. A plant’s energy efficiency actually improves as production rates increase.
Step three: Choose your hydraulic oil carefully
Hydraulic performance should also be optimised. A simple switch to a high performance lubricant, such as Mobil DTE 10 Excel™, can help increase hydraulic pump efficiency by up to 6%*.
Step four: Don’t forget about peripherals…
Peripherals are often ignored, but can generate large energy savings. Barrel heating costs, for example, can be halved by simply fitting insulation1.
Step five: … or plant services!
Plant services are also critical. Improving pipework for compressed air can cut energy use significantly. Drying meanwhile should be limited to the materials that truly need it, and any motors that are not contributing to production turned off.
Step six: Manage your energy usage
Energy efficiency is not all about hardware, though. The way a plant is operated is key, too. Training and empowering staff to optimise machines and processes, for example, can lead to energy reductions, as can the optimisation of your buildings (lighting, insulation etc.).
For practical guidance on these steps contact our helpdesk.
1 According to Robin Kent, the technical author of the ‘Energy Saving Guide for Injection Moulding Companies’
* Energy efficiency relates solely to fluid performance when compared with conventional reference oils of the same viscosity grade in hydraulic applications. The technology used is able to achieve up to 6 per cent efficiency compared with the reference when tested in a hydraulic system under controlled conditions. Efficiency improvements vary based on operating conditions and application.