What steps can you take when the energy you need to power production is costing you more than your operations can swallow?
Industry groups have welcomed the recently announced government support package designed to help businesses through the energy crisis, but they have also warned that further support may be needed after the winter.
Operations with nonstop production have been impacted especially hard, such that in August this year the call went out again that some fuel-intensive firms may have to stop producing.
The six months of support outlined in the package will quite literally buy high-energy businesses some time to improve their energy efficiency and reinforce their operations.
While there’s no one solution to the situation in which we have all found ourselves, each of the following steps can provide vital support, taking the edge off your next bill shock and in some cases bringing your operations back into the realms of profitability.
To find out more about reducing energy costs and running a greener, more sustainable operation, download our free guide to improving energy efficiency today.
Over the course of the pandemic, we launched three solutions to help manufacturers minimise disruption and future-proof energy costs. Since then, the viability of those solutions has only grown with each successive energy price hike.
What are they and how could they help you to limit what you’re paying now?
Energy-saving system — automate the shutdown and restart of all your vacuum furnaces, removing your reliance on manual processes and safely reducing your energy costs. If available, the system can also switch the quench/purge gas from argon to less-expensive nitrogen in response to the loaded program cycle, further reducing costs.
RoMan transformers — smaller and lighter than traditional transformers, these can be installed much closer to the heat source. The close coupling boosts your equipment’s energy-saving properties by helping to reduce electrical losses in the power delivery system.
Management and control systems (for autoclaves and furnaces) — unlock energy savings from each upgraded machine by tracking their availability and productivity in real time, at scale, from an easily accessible dashboard.
And most recently, we’ve renewed our focus on refurbished units to help our customers in need of equipment expand or maintain their operations as cost-effectively as possible.
4. Professionally refurbished equipment is just as reliable as equipment bought new. It offers many other benefits, which you can read about here, and it often comes warranty protected. (Ours does.) Don’t believe the many myths and misconceptions surrounding used processing equipment — buying refurbished could help you to save big on your budget.
You might also be interested in:
- 3 Technology Solutions to Rising Energy Costs Across Your Manufacturing Operations
- How to Reduce Your Vacuum Furnace’s Energy Consumption in Just 3 Days
- 3 Ways to Reduce Heat Treatment Costs
Energy wastage is often a symptom of general efficiencies across your operations.
As well as costing you in other ways, machines that aren’t operating to their optimum standards could well be using up more energy than they should.
Regular servicing is key to keeping all your equipment running as intended. As a service-first company, we’ve always championed the importance of routine maintenance, delivered by an engineer from a company you can trust. Don’t start skipping or extending routine maintenance to save the pennies — you will only have to pay out in above-and-beyond energy wastage or the repairs that will inevitably be required when your machines break.
5. Multi-year ServiceCare — we offer multi-year service contracts to help you forecast your maintenance costs and make budgeting as simple as possible.
6. Fixed-cost servicing — it’s not just easier to plan ahead with VFE; our fixed-cost service plans mean you can lock in the best rates now, keeping your costs stable.
7. Refurbishment services — as well as a focus on refurbished units, we’ve helped several of our customers save by refurbishing old or tired machines. This ranges from a simple upgrade to make a vacuum furnace or autoclave more energy-efficient to a complete overhaul that transforms the effectiveness and performance of your equipment. Both cost considerably less than investing in brand new machines.
“We can transform an old, unreliable autoclave into an efficient, modern system featuring the latest technology — and at a fraction of the cost of a new machine.” Autoclave Oven Refurbishments and Upgrades, VFE
Committed to helping you keep your operations running
Against the current economic backdrop, you may be feeling powerless. We hope some of the options explored in this article help you to soften your costs before they skyrocket further.
If you’d like to talk to us about anything we’ve shared here, we’re never more than a call away. Chat to us about your specific situation and we may be able to advise you on the best course of action for your circumstances to keep the lights on and your operations running.