A Kaizen Energy Treasure Hunt is a 2-4 day lean manufacturing improvement event where energy saving opportunities are found with the purpose of immediate action. The “treasure” for energy reduction includes review of lighting, compressed air, HVAC, and motor and machine use to identify inefficient energy use that can be eliminated to reduce energy costs for a company.
Loureiro’s Energy Division completed a Kaizen Energy Treasure Hunt at a 500,000 square foot facility in the upper Midwest. This facility was spending roughly $1.75 million on energy per year and wanted to know if they could decrease this.
Specific teams were formed prior to the event to find and implement action items for the following energy use areas:
- Lighting: evaluated light levels compared to standards, evaluated actual occupancy needs and data, and synergized these values with new fixtures and appropriate sensors.
- Compressed Air: utilized consumption history to prioritize opportunities, monitored compressor-run profiles, identified leaks, misuse and non-value uses of air (such as blowing air when no parts are present).
- HVAC: compiled data on all HVAC systems, compiled actual temperature logging data, evaluated existing control systems, and evaluated all make-up air and air exhausts systems and their operating hours.
Motors and Machines: performed a zone by zone assessment of machines and motors for conservation and efficiency opportunities.
By the end of the event, opportunities were identified equating to $418,000 per year in savings overall with a 0.70 year simple payback, including incentives from the utility. This represents a 25% electrical reduction and an 8% natural gas reduction.
- Lighting Findings: Opportunities included occupancy sensors, new fixtures where occupancy showed this made sense, behavioral energy changes through education and awareness, and application of recommended foot candle levels. Overall, Loureiro identified $71,400 per year in savings with a 2.0 year simple payback.
- Compressed Air Findings: Loureiro identified and eliminated multiple examples of compressed air non-value-add, identified/quantified air leaks, new compressor control system/strategy, and appropriate solenoid opportunities. Overall, the Kaizen Energy Treasure Hunt resulted in $143,800 per year in savings with a 0.74 year simple payback for compressed air energy use.
- HVAC Findings: The Hunt’s findings resulted in replacement of old controls and systems and better control of fan and motor operations. $179,000 per year in savings were identified with a 0.1 year simple payback.
Motors and Machines Findings: many motors were running without use, equipment was idling drawing low loads, exhaust fans running in cells that weren’t being used, pumps circulating fluid without VFDs, and V-belts being used where cog belts would be more efficient. Overall $23,000 per year in savings with a 1.11 year simple payback.