Schneider Electric reaps huge savings by monitoring energy use

Looking for a fast and easy way of dropping $580,000 in annual operating costs? Take a look at the lighting in all of your facilities. Schneider Electric, the well-known supplier of electrical distribution and automation and control solutions, replaced roughly 7,000 lighting fixtures in 21 U.S.-based facilities and instantly found itself spending $580,000 less a year on electricity bills.

03/01/2008


Looking for a fast and easy way of dropping $580,000 in annual operating costs? Take a look at the lighting in all of your facilities.

Schneider Electric , the well-known supplier of electrical distribution and automation and control solutions, replaced roughly 7,000 lighting fixtures in 21 U.S.-based facilities and instantly found itself spending $580,000 less a year on electricity bills. It also picked up $196,000 in federal tax benefits. And that was just the beginning.

In total, Schneider Electric has saved $3,739,921 over the past three years by taking a proactive approach to managing energy consumption.

“We are a major proponent of the idea that energy is a manageable investment,” says Cassandra Quaintance, CEM, energy market segment for Schneider Electric.

The CEM after Quaintance's name stands for certified energy manager, and she has put that expertise to use in a program called Schneider Electric Energy Actions, which seeks to validate the effectiveness of many of Schneider's own products.

Case in point: Those 7,000 new lighting fixtures were supplied by Juno Lighting Group , a Schneider Electric company.

“The new [lighting] devices emit a higher quality of light,” Quaintance says. “That means you can install fewer of them. They also create a brighter environment that can lead to things like lower reject rates for products.”

Schneider replicated that success in other areas to amass the $3.7 million in savings over three years. Quaintance attributes that to the company's methodical approach.

To start, Schneider designated its energy consumption figures from 2004 as the baseline for measuring usage reduction and cost savings. It then set a goal of reducing consumption by 10 percent per production site employee by the end of 2008—a metric that already has been exceeded.

Schneider then used a formal methodology for initiating energy-saving projects. “It started with looking at things like insulation, power quality, and power reliability,” Quaintance says. “Those are small things that sometimes have an instant return-on-investment.”

The second step was establishing ways of measuring energy consumption by facility, and each process within a facility. “We did that by installing PowerLogic meters—another one of our products—in all of our facilities,” Quaintance says.

The third step was automating processes, including installation of zone-based lighting controls and occupancy sensors—all of which came from Schneider business units.

Finally, Schneider called on an in-house consulting group called Total Energy Control. “This group looks at things like natural gas contracts to determine whether you can get a better price. They also do energy audits and suggest projects for reducing consumption,” explains Quaintance.

Having achieved its initial energy consumption goals, Schneider has embarked on what Quaintance says should be an essential element of any energy management program: the “monitor and improve” stage. This is important to keep cutting consumption—and saving money—as business processes change over time.

Schneider is managing this phase by installing another of its own products: the ION EEM (Enterprise Energy Management) system.

“This system monitors all utilities,” Quaintance says. “And because we are installing it at all 21 facilities, we can benchmark and compare performance, and easily measure and verify our savings. We don't have to gather utility data from all facilities. Anyone with access to the system—including the CEO—can log into this energy dashboard and see how we are performing at each facility.”





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
Safety standards and electrical test instruments; Product of the Year winners; Easy and safe electrical design
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Diagnostic functions for system safety; Specifying industrial enclosures; Effective decision support for a crisis
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me