We all want the same. As a factory, production company or industrial manufacturer, we are looking for ways to make our production processes more sustainable. Electrification offers several advantages, as it finds the balance between environmental and financial KPIs. However, we noticed, that electrification strategies tend to underestimate the environmental impact of switching from air to electric pumps. Replacing one of your air pumps with Graco’s QUANTM, cuts your CO2 emissions with 93(!)%.
SUSTAINABILITY: Our investors are putting it on our agendas, our customers are becoming increasingly aware of its importance, and of course, we ourselves are placing more emphasis on this subject.
More than ever, we are aware of the impact our manufacturing processes have on our planet.
Manufacturing processes: the facts
- Industry produces about a billion metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
- Manufacturing processes consume roughly 1/3 of the world’s energy.
- Pumps account for 25% of all electricity consumed by electric motors.
- In pumping-intensive industries, that number even accumulates up to 50%.
Companies’ top sustainability motivators have changed. Fifty per cent of production companies want to become more durable, to align with their company’s mission.
Our governments provide two extra triggers. On the one hand, they are stepping up the pressure with tougher legislation. On the other hand, they provide us with the necessary financial incentives to achieve this green shift.
Let’s have a look at some of the goals that the European Green Deal puts forward. This set of policy initiatives by the European Commission aim to make the European Union climate neutral by 2050. What does that mean for the short term?
The European Green Deal in a nutshell: goals for 2030
- Cut at least 55% greenhouse emissions.
- Aim for at least a 40% share of renewable energy.
- Improve at least 32.5% in energy efficiency.
For the Green Deal to succeed, the European Union will deploy more than €1 trillion in public and private investments.
This combination of legal triggers and financial incentives is exemplary for the perpetual balancing act companies face. You can’t make your processes more sustainable without making investments.
For those investments, companies are challenged to find a balance. A balance between:
- Corporate social responsibility
- Corporate profitability
- Investor appeasement
- Regulatory compliance
Having an electrification strategy ticks all four of the above boxes. And is thus the way forward for production companies as it bridges the gap between environmental and financial drivers.
Electrification makes it possible to reconcile sustainability with profitability.
An electrification strategy typically consists of two steps:
- Cut back on energy consumption: the greenest energy is the energy we don’t use.
- Cover the remaining demand with electricity: electricity is greener than fossil fuels. Electricity can be generated by solar panels, wind mills and hydro turbines. It’s a form of energy that emits fewer greenhouse gases or pollutants than its fossil counterparts.
Let’s examine how switching from air to electric pumps can help you to take these hurdles.
Step 1 – Cut back on your energy consumption
How? Three tips to guide the way.
1. Talk to your energy provider
Your energy bill is more than just a number below the line.
- Dig into your energy use over time.
- Cross-reference energy use with the age of your equipment.
- Compare your annual energy use to your region and industry.
You can’t cut back on energy if you don’t have a clear view on your biggest consumers.
2. Find out what incentives you qualify for
In most countries, there are incentive programs to offset the cost of integrating sustainability initiatives into manufacturing facilities and processes. Use these rebates, tax credits and direct incentives to your advantage.
3. Determine how much compressed air is costing you
Here the pumps used in production processes come in. To be more precise: the energy consuming air driven pumps and the often overlooked energy consuming air compressor.
Numerous companies have brought their electrification strategy into practice with our support. This experience gave us the opportunity to measure the impact of electrifying pump installations in different industries and companies of different sizes.
These cases showed that getting the compressed air to the pumps came with a major loss. On average, 42%(!) of the compressed air was lost due to airline leaks.
An unexpected conclusion was that companies are underestimating just how much compressed air is costing them.
This means that specifically for the companies we worked with, the financial and environmental impact of switching from air to electrical pumps becomes even more significant.
Step 2 –Cover the remaining demand with electricity
Replacing your air driven pumps with electric driven pump allows you to get rid of your energy consuming air compressor and also provides you with the opportunity to hit a double, as electric pumps are far more energy efficient than their air driven counterparts.
Graco’s QUANTM pump minimises energy consumption by cutting energy usage and costs by up to 80%. Making the second challenge – covering the remaining demand with electricity – far more realistic. The electricity you generate yourself now has to cover a smaller demand.
And every KWh saved, means less CO2.
Let’s do the math for our electric driven 2” QUANTM versus an 2” air-operated double-diaphragm (AODD).
The production of 1 kWh generates about 0,65 kg CO2. The exact amount differs, depending on how the electricity is produced.
A 2” QUANTM pump, pumping 330 lpm (87 gpm), needs 1,6 kWh.
If it runs for 880 hours a year, that adds up to 1.408 kWh in total.
1.408 kWh x 0,65 kg / CO2
= 0,915 ton CO2 a year
In order for a 2” AODD to produce this flow and pressure, it consumes 2,1 m3 of air.
A 26 kw compressor needs to produce 2 m3 of air a minute. 880 hours operating time adds up to 13.200 kWh in total
13.200 x 0,65 kg / CO2
= 15 ton CO2 a year
That’s low hanging fruit, right there.
Go electric, reduce your emissions
Are you looking for ways to cut back on your energy consumption? Your air powered pumps are a great starting point.
Because they’re so central to your manufacturing operations, pump systems are some of the lowest-hanging fruit for improving sustainability and efficiency in your factory.
Our QUANTM is plug-and-play into any 110V-240V. The pump is compatible with your existing fluid transfer infrastructure and there is no need for additional wirings and connections.
So replacing AODD pumps with QUANTM ones is a fairly light lift in terms of equipment cost and the steps required to make them part of your manufacturing operations.
Find out how QUANTM reduces the footprint of your industrial processes. And build a strong business case by calculating the ROI – making sure you are also hitting those financial KPI’s.
For more information, click here.