When thinking about energy output in a manufacturing plant, it’s natural to go to the lights and the HVAC. This makes sense since these are typically the top energy expenditures, but it’s a plant’s machines that devour more energy than all other utilities combined. That’s right, machines consume about 60% of total energy costs. How do we know this? Well, government agencies and other entities provide plenty of studies and statistics for us to read over, but why not see the energy output for yourself?
Thermography is more than fancy spy gear for secret agents to expose hidden enemies—it has a wide range of commercial and industrial applications for those of us in the real world as well. For manufacturers, thermal imaging allows you to visually track the amount and consistency of heat emitted by your equipment. With a thermal camera, you can compare the output of the different heat sources (even those not-so-easy-to-access heat sources) in your facility from a comfortable distance. This way you can find defects in shafts and pipes and locate deteriorating components before they fail.
Equipped with a thermal picture (a thermogram, in case you want to sound technical), you can easily spot the energy hogs highlighted in yellow, orange, and red—so you know exactly what areas to target as you take steps to reduce your energy costs.
Immediately you’ll see your machines light up hot—as they should, that’s how they work. But most likely they don’t need to be operating that hot or emitting as much heat as they do.
The good news? Machines represent your greatest opportunity to conserve energy. Instead of idling, consider powering down equipment during non-peak hours, make sure motors are working as efficiently as possible, and insulate, insulate, insulate. The ROI is remarkable—insulation saves an average of $164 per machine per month. See what thermal imaging reveals so you can start saving.