Following Tenneco’s successful ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems certification, five more Nelson Mandela Bay manufacturers are leading the way in energy reduction.
While Tenneco became the first company in the country to achieve the ISO standard, the Automotive Industry Development Centre, Eastern Cape (AIDC EC) says a further five suppliers are in an advanced state of readiness.
The urgency of automotive suppliers in the region to reduce energy consumption by implementing enhanced energy management systems at their plants, is precipitated by rising energy costs and strained supply.
AIDC Supplier Development & Supply Chain Manager, Lance Schultz said the importance of energy efficiency was highlighted by the fact that up to 85% of the total electricity costs of automotive component production companies is due to electricity usage during production.
This week, the AIDC EC facilitated site visits to the five companies in order to assess and refine their energy management systems.
The participating companies are Benteler Automotive, Veyance Technologies, Lumotech, Natstan and Schaeffler, all light automotive components manufacturers, working through the stages of achieving their energy efficiency ceiling, in order to significantly reduce their energy consumption and ultimately be as efficient as possible, Schultz said. “The direct benefit is not only cost optimisation but also to reduce industrial usage in the region. This is particularly important since the winter season is upon us and demand side from Eskom is constrained.”
Energy Management expert and ISO50001 technical auditor Moses Motaung from Madikela Engineering Solutions, who conducted the site analysis visits said, “The foundations are imperative to successfully implementing Energy Management Systems and these are often missed by the companies themselves. I am here as a fresh pair of eyes to ensure that the Energy Management Systems which are put in place are sustainable for each company.”
Motaung went on to say that changes towards energy efficiency are perceived as overwhelming and having an outside expert simplifies the process to something easily manageable.
“The site visits demonstrated that there is plenty of low hanging fruit in terms of energy efficiency, which will significantly aid in the reduction of energy consumption.”
“In order for production plants to remain viable energy consumption needs to be cut down to a minimum. In developing countries like South Africa, energy shortage will become more and more of an issue as the power grid does not meet the needs of the growing industry,” Motaung said
Schultz said the site analysis aimed to identify the significant energy users at the five plants and then to assess the possibility for energy systems optimization (ESO) opportunities. The analysis presented the companies with their updated energy profile, energy saving opportunities and their cost analysis for energy optimization.
“Energy Efficiency is fast becoming the most talked about aspect of any production line, with the Automotive Industry accounting for a large portion of the globe’s energy usage,” Schultz said.
AIDC EC Programme Project Manager Kushen Naidoo said the AIDC would place increasing emphasis on energy efficiency at manufacturers in order to improve competitiveness, nationally and internationally.
The AIDCEC together with the other national government agencies are planning to facilitate and host additional training sessions and assessments focusing on energy efficiency across the field, Naidoo said.
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