One of the key challenges facing the Plastics industry among others is reducing and managing energy costs with the Plastics industry usage now estimated at 4% of global power usage and with electricity costs continuing to rise, this problem will only get more challenging.
The vital questions before you can start to reduce energy costs is the need to understand where, when, why and how much energy you are using. This information provides the benchmarks and signposts for improvement. The main electrical energy users are motors and drives, heaters, cooling systems and lighting systems. A simple site energy distribution map will show where energy is being used. The chart below shows an aggregated view of a Plastics Company’s typical energy usage.
Approximately two-thirds of the energy costs in plastics processing are the result of electric motor usage.
Yet motors are often overlooked when considering energy usage. The motors in the main processing equipment such as compounders, granulators, moulders and extruders are obvious, but the majority of motors are ‘hidden’ in other equipment such as compressors, pumps and fans. When the energy cost of running a motor for 1000 hours can exceed the purchase cost and when the ‘whole life’ costs are often over 100 times the purchase cost then failing to take action with all the motors in a factory is expensive.
Facts About Plastic Usage
Over the lifetime of the average car, plastic parts save 650 gallons of gas as a result of their lighter weight.
The energy saved by recycling a one-gallon plastic milk jug will keep a 100-watt bulb burning for 11 hours.
By using plastics in their packaging, product manufacturers save enough energy every year to power a city of 1 million homes for 3½ years.
During their life cycle, plastic bags require about one-third less energy to make than paper bags.
The Plastics Industry represents possibly the largest market opportunity for Integra based solutions with many key processes using single speed motor applications
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