For manufacturers, the necessity to cut costs and increase profits has facilitated the shift of energy management from a tactical issue to a strategic one. This means escalating the need to improve operations, streamline production, and optimize energy to a business critical issue.

The question then becomes how to stop out of control maintenance costs, system failures and energy waste. The answer? Plan and implement each change in energy management and operational efficiency. 

These are steps that can get you there.

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Step 1: Gain Organization-Wide Buy-In

Show everyone, from the c-suite to the shop floor, the impacts of energy waste and the business case for energy efficiency measures. By involving them early in the process, you gain their buy-in. Manufacturing energy costs could be cut by 20% through energy efficiency measures.1

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Step 2: Define Your Energy and Operational Goals

To get where you're going, you need to know where you are. Use an energy management system to gain the real-time visibility and insights necessary to report on, benchmark and compare device-level performance to set your organizational goals.

Companies with automated data collection at the production asset level enjoy a 10 percent reduction of median energy intensity versus a five percent for those without.2

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Step 3: Implement Device-Level Energy Monitoring

Monitoring energy consumption on a device level can be one of the smartest choices made by today's industrial manufacturers. It provides granular visibility necessary to cut costs and improve operational efficiencies.

Almost every factory loses at least 5 percent of its productive capacity from downtime, and many lose up to 20 percent. Downtime consultants estimate 80 percent of industrial facilities are unable to estimate their downtime accurately.3

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Step 4: Make Improvements

Finally, it's time to make improvements. Armed with real-time, actionable data and supported by an organizational culture of optimization, efficiency measures, retrofits and other enhancements you choose to meet the goals you identified.

Energy efficiency has saved large manufacturers in the United States an estimated $2.4 billion in energy costs over the past five years, and could generate over $11 billion in annual energy savings by 2020.4

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Step 5: Empower Employees

In industrial manufacturing scenarios, in order to cut energy costs and improve operations, we need the commitment, motivation, support and participation from our employees. No matter how much we automate our processes and our systems, there is still a behavioral aspect to be addressed and optimized.

Over the past 30 years, energy intensity has been cut in half to 4.32 thousand Btu. Half of the reduction can be attributed to energy efficiency improvements.5


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1. Source: The Carbon trust.
2. Source: LNS Research
3. https://www.isa.org/standards-and-publications/isa-publications/intech-magazine/2006/January/channel-chat-when-true-cost-of-downtime-is-unknown-bad-decisions-ensue/
4. http://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/sites/default/les/attachments/2015%20Better%20Plants%20Progress%20Update.pdf
5. Source: National Association of Manufacturers' "Eciency and Innovation in US Manufacturing Energy Use"

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