Food and Beverage Manufacturers Can Now Decipher the Energy Code
In the Food and Beverage industry, manufacturers are continually seeking ways to reduce costs and waste while adhering to the promise of delivering sustainably manufactured products to consumers. Energy efficiency, energy conservation and energy savings are nuances of this same focus; efficiency illustrates goals, conservation points to the efforts, and savings are the end results. We’ve seen how Henkel achieved substantial savings in energy consumption, waste reduction and improved OEE in one of my previous blog posts. Today, I’ll look into another customer success - Coca Cola Swaziland.
Improving energy efficiency - a shared ownership approach
Whether you love or hate a claim made by Peter Drucker, a widely popular business management thinker who said and I quote “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”, you have to agree that there are many advantages to tracking energy consumption on the shop floor by production operations. Visibility into specific energy consumption per production activity (eg. production quantity, product, production state, shift, crew or a combination) not only allows for targeted improvements, it also provides accountability to the line, shift and product level. Improving energy performance becomes a shared ownership versus the sole responsibility of a Facility Manager or Energy Manager.
Managing energy as a variable cost
Coca Cola Swaziland implemented its energy management project with the help of its selected system integrator and started capturing additional data from multiple sources, not just the total at the site. By having real-time information from various departments and areas, the study of cause-and-effect scenarios is now possible. The improved visibility into energy usage and cost per plant and area, and the implementation of smarter energy cost control protocols resulted in an overall reduction in energy consumption.
As with most manufacturing facilities, energy costs were well known at the entry meter to a site and was typically factored into the manufacturing cost of goods as a facility cost. Today, tracking energy consumption in context with production activities can accurately measure energy use specific to the production of a particular finished good. With energy use now visible at the production level, energy use per item used can be identified and standardised for a product, and treated as any other standard cost for a product. This can be thought of adding energy needs to the Bill of Materials for a product.
This visibility also drives a change in operational decisions. Coca Cola Swaziland now has the ability to control high-energy operations to take place during low-cost periods.
Energy wasn't so hard to decipher after all
Correlating energy data to operational data provides meaningful information and has several benefits. But the quantity of energy used is only one factor. Some other inputs to the energy code is power quality and the Power Factor of the equipment on site. For many years, the energy bill was akin to a secret code that was hard to decipher. It was difficult to verify the bill, especially to justify the power factor penalty when imposed. Understanding energy data in operational context can be translated into actionable information that can optimise energy use and cost.
Coca Cola Swaziland believes that energy can be seen as a lever for positive growth and change within the business, and not simply a cost. This paradigm shift may just be the beginning of more notable changes in manufacturing practices to come.
To learn more about how to uncover energy saving opportunities and reduce operational cost, join our webinar on 11/13 with Food Engineering.
Keith Chambers is responsible for strategic direction, commercialization and development for AVEVA's operations management portfolio globally. Keith has over 20 years’ experience in the automation, software and MES business with a focus on manufacturing operations software in the food and beverage, CPG and life sciences industries.