Nov 2019 – , Cases & examples
Industrial high-precision mechanical example
Catherine Cooremans, University of Lausanne
This is a case study applying the Multiple Benefits approach to an industrial company focused on high-precision mechanical work. The suggested project involved changing the milling washer water supply by switching from municipal cold water supplied at 20°C to domestic water at 55°C (heated by recovering waste heat from compressed air production). Supplying the milling washers with water at 55°C presents two major advantages: 1) thermal shocks due to cold water are eliminated, as well as the related risks of tank splitting, which has a disruptive effect on production; 2) the two storage tanks are no longer necessary, since water heating from 55 to 75°C only takes a short time. Therefore formic acid (a highly dangerous chemical used to clean the storage tanks) can be removed from the factory. Increased staff safety (lethal product no longer used), production reliability (reduced breakdowns) and higher productivity (reduced time dedicated to tank washing and replacement) are the major benefits of this energy-efficiency measure, identified by the energy-efficiency experts. In addition several costs are reduced: equipment cost (tanks, formic acid and protection equipment), maintenance cost (tank replacement after splitting), water and energy costs. Non energy benefits (NEBs) thus significantly improve the financial attractiveness of this investment.