Lean Energy(TM) Audits and Process Design
Energy which does not add value to the product or building environment is waste.
Lean EnergyTM is our process of identifying which energy does not add value to your product or building environment. The Lean EnergyTM methodology adopts well-known Lean Manufacturing terminology and concepts, and applies it to energy using systems. Our Lean EnergyTM services can range from training, to design seminars, to Lean EnergyTM audits of your manufacturing processes.
The Lean EnergyTM methodology works well for industrial processes. This is because when viewed as a system, the efficiency of industrial processes is often only several percent, and maybe even less than one percent. To illustrate the usefulness of evaluating industrial energy efficiency through the Lean EnergyTM consider the following example of a steam system heating a parts-washer. Typically, an energy engineer may evaluate the efficiency of the combustion process, and use a "check list" approach to identifying energy savings opportunities. With Lean EnergyTM, we systematically identify and quantify all the energy pathways and where energy ends up as waste. Here, we see that for this steam system at most only 7% of energy is used to wash parts, meaning the overall system is only 7% efficient. Each area of energy waste is a prime candidate for an energy savings technology, and the waste is quantified, so that the maximum potential savings are already bracketed. For this system, as a result of using the Lean EnergyTM approach, it was obvious that instead of optimizing each component of the steam system and parts washer, that instead the entire steam system should be decommissioned, and the parts-washer instead heated by a localized source.
Clearly, the best time to integrate Lean EnergyTM concepts is in the process design stage. Thus, whether in design or a retrofit, Lean EnergyTM can help industry continually improve its energy efficiency.