There is an unseen, energy-consuming monster in your facility. You deal with it everywhere you go, and it is constantly working against you. It was studied by Aristotle and da Vinci and can eat away at some of the earth’s strongest materials.
Have you guessed it yet?
The pesky but unavoidable culprit is friction. A study published in the September 2017 issue of the journal Friction titled “Influence of tribology on global energy consumption, costs and emissions” concluded that 20% of the world’s total energy consumption is used to overcome friction. Within the industrial sector specifically, that figure was also 20%. An additional 3% of total energy consumption is used to remanufacture worn parts and spare equipment.
Fortunately, technology and products have advanced to significantly improve upon this expensive problem. By taking advantage of new materials and industrial lubricants, energy losses due to friction and wear within the manufacturing industry could be reduced by around 10% in eight years, and 25% in fifteen years.
If all industries were to take advantage of these advancements on a global scale, these advancements could amount to savings of 1.4% of the GDP annually!
So what can you do on a local scale to save energy and in effect, money? A comprehensive audit of the components and lubricants being put to use in your facility is a good place to start. It is also beneficial to take a look at your maintenance schedule and the replacement parts you’re using. Is there is a more efficient bearing you should be using? Is your maintenance technician servicing your machinery with the proper lubrication?
Finding and eliminating or reducing sources of friction is a valuable investment as you can save significant energy, reducing costs and boosting your bottom line.