The industrial sector accounts for about 34% of total U.S. energy consumption. This energy is consumed as electricity, which is purchased or self-generated, and as fossil fuels (e.g., natural gas, propane, fuel oils and coal). Understanding these energy sources and their associated uses, equipment, efficiencies, costs, availabilities and waste streams is critical to developing a sustainable energy-efficiency program.
Every manufacturing (or heat treat) plant has raw materials that come into the receiving dock and finished products that are sent out from the shipping dock. Between the receiving and shipping docks, transformation occurs. Transformation adds value to the materials in a step-by-step process, and energy is required. Evaluating the process transformation steps and energy inputs provides clues about where to look for energy savings.