How You Can Improve Your Operating Efficiency
Improving your operating efficiency should always be a top priority if you want to produce effective results. Read further to gain some insightful tips.
Do you have a company and you’re looking to amass profits while managing it in an environmentally friendly manner?
It’s entirely possible! It begins with knowing how to improve your operational efficiency to obtain two-fold benefits and even more.
The first is the prospect of lowering operating cost. The other centers on protecting the environment and conserving the use of natural resources. The best part is, you do not have to spend more on renovations in order to reap these benefits.
All that is required, is to identify simple opportunities in the main compressor (reciprocating or rotary screw compressor) in your facility to make quick, high impact changes to it. This upgrade could potentially cut down expenses on running the unit.
So, what does it entail?
Compressors and Their Impact on Their Operating Costs
Compressors may rely on air for their operation, but running them is neither free nor does it come cheap.
Do you see where we’re going with this?
There is a true cost attached to running compressors in your facility, which you must understand. The goal is to help you know the best steps to take to lower operating costs and protect the environment.
But first, you need to examine the compressor that powers a majority of the equipment in your facility, and from there, you’ll discover opportunities that can bring about cost savings.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
1. Determine Compressor’s Real Horsepower
Compressors consume energy during their operation, which translates into more expenses to cover utility bills. What’s more, the amount of energy consumed depends on the amount of work the compressor performs.
The latter is referred to as its horsepower. Knowing the real horsepower of a compressor enables you to estimate how much energy the equipment requires and the power cost associated with it.
But here’s the catch. Some manufacturers rate their compressors using both horsepower and air capacity (cfm or l/min).
Accordingly, the best way to determine the real cost of operating a compressor is to check the horsepower rating of the equipment based on its model. This can be made possible by checking the nameplate for details like operating amperes, nominal efficiency, power factor, voltage, and the service factor of the motor.
Why is the latter essential?
It’s possible for two compressors rated at 5 horsepower to have different operating costs since their service factor might be different. Therefore, assumptions should not be made that your unit will be as energy-efficient as another because they have the same horsepower.
How to Find the Real Horsepower:
Assume you have these values to work with after inspecting your compressor’s nameplate:
- Rated Horsepower – 5
- Volts – 250
- Amperes – 13.8
- NEMA Efficiency – 85.5
- Service Factor – 1.15
Power (watts) = Volts x Amps can be used to determine the power consumed by the unit.
Therefore, Power = 250 x 13.8 = 3450 watts.
To get the real horsepower, find the Power x Service Factor = 3450 x 1.15 = 3,967.5 watts.
This value needs to be converted to kilowatt-hours (kWh) by dividing by 1,000 since power is paid in kWh. The result can then be multiplied by how long the compressor (24 hours/week) will run and the price per kWh paid for the energy consumed.
2. Determine Maintenance Investment
Compressors like other mechanical equipment need to be maintained regularly to prolong their life span. However, it may be quite tempting to stash some cash and buy a low-quality compressor since the upfront cost is attractive.
Frequent repairs and maintenance just to keep the unit up and running, which could add up more than the initial investment. Much more, it may be impossible to rebuild the unit, and the cost of maintenance may be equivalent to buying a new low-quality unit every year.
The reason can be tied to the fact that a less expensive compressor, which may use the same technology as a more expensive one, may not feature the same quality parts.
It may have lower quality motor, valves, oil, etc. in a bid to beat down the price. This can be at the expense of the compressor’s smooth performance and durability.
It’s important to select a reliable compressor from onset since it can save you money over the lifetime of the equipment.
But that’s not all!
Take the extra step to ask the distributor or dealer an estimate for the maintenance costs and getting spare parts for a year.
Other information you should hold of essence include:
- Standard warranty period
- The time frame for maintenance
- Extended warranty availability
- The authorized service center locations
- Recommended rebuild/overhaul interval
- The requirements need to keep the warranty valid
- Special handling or disposal requirements for waste filters and oil
The ability to effectively manage maintenance requirements will also help to reduce filters and fluid waste. This will help to preserve the environment.
3. Determine Hidden Costs
Machines lose their quality over time due to corrosion or surpassing their stipulated lifespan. Once a machine is tired, it may result in more energy being consumed.
Admittedly, over the lifetime of the unit, new pieces of equipment are added, as well as more piping.
However, certain upgrades to the system can restore its energy-efficient performance.
To make these upgrades achievable, you need to settle on a company that can carry out a system audit to determine the parts that would offer the most energy-saving benefits from their upgrade.
Areas of consideration during the audit include compressor and its duty cycle, compressed air treatment devices, amongst others.
Now that you know how to improve your operating efficiency, you stand a higher chance of spending less while reaping more profits. It starts with identifying the real horsepower of your compressor, its maintenance requirements, and the hidden costs.
At the end of the day, you can reduce the amount of energy that is consumed on a daily basis. This results in huge cost savings in the long run.
And remember, it is important to select a reliable compressor from onset to reduce how many times it’ll have to be fixed due to frequent breakdowns.
The type of oil and filters used are also essential to ensure a suitable manner is adopted to dispose of them without affecting the environment.
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