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Tips to saving energy and money

Graphics | September 1, 2008 | By:

With the summer’s spike in oil prices, strategies to conserve energy are more important than ever. Members of our technical advisory committee share their strategies.

Energy survey

With the help of a local university, Herculite conducted a complete energy survey of its facilities, which led to the following energy-saving changes.

  • Implemented a company wide upgrade to the most energy efficient lighting system available.
  • Improved the insulation in areas of the facility that exhibited elevated energy loss.
  • Installed a highly efficient heating unit in our manufacturing area.
  • Invested in a Web-based conference call/online meeting site that has reduced discretionary travel between our offices nationwide.

Each of these changes has paid dividends, and we continue to seek ways to improve our energy efficiency.

John Evans, vice president of sales, Herculite Products Inc.

Savings in IT

Fabric Images in Elgin, Ill., looked at its IT department to trim power usage and anticipate significant annual savings.

Power consumption of the server farm was cut down drastically by going virtual, which means that you replace physical servers with virtual servers by using the full capacity of the hardware in the servers. We replaced a total of nine servers and moved them into a combination of two servers. Those servers are no longer using power, and they utilize the capabilities of the new ones instead. Total savings on the server end alone was calculated to be about $2,750 per year.

The desktop systems are also using less power, and changes in lighting have also helped us to reduce our power usage.

Pat Hayes, founder of Fabric Images, Elgin, Ill.

Common sense list

Here’s a “common sense list” that can translate into meaningful savings.

  • Use equipment only when needed.
  • Try to get material shipments consolidated on a single shipment; order more at a time to reduce shipping expenses or utilize the same truck for multiple vendors.
  • Focus on processes to gain efficiencies so there is less waste of material.
  • For fabric, do a higher level of pre-inspection to use only the best material.
  • Find a source to take waste and scrap that can be reused or repurposed and possibly offset energy costs.

Tony Schmitt, product development director, Optima Graphics

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