Having an efficient ceramic kiln can make all the difference to your manufacturing capacity. The biggest ongoing resource expenditure in the ceramics industry is energy for use on heat (up to 30% of total costs in some plants). Kilns, furnaces, dryers and ovens eat through a large amount of fuel and energy on each production run. The sad thing is that as equipment progresses through its life-cycle it becomes less and less energy efficient. More of the precious energy is dissipated as waste heat rather than contributing to the firing process.
The Impact Of High Energy Bills On ROI
In an industry facing rising energy costs, fuel bills are direct overheads that negatively affect the profitability of your operation. Higher unit costs mean a slimmer profit margin and reduced ROI. A vicious circle means there is less capital available to plough back into the business in the form of new equipment and technologies. What is the solution?
It is easy for us to suggest that you invest in new, heat efficient kilns for your business. Modern furnace designs are less energy hungry and conserve more heat than their older counterparts, so that they ultimately cost less to run and contribute more to the business. Not every business is in the position to immediately invest in new plant. However, certain heat recovery/recirculation steps can be put in place at minimal cost that will help you reuse energy and cut your manufacturing costs.
How To Boost Heat Efficiency
The first step to reduce your heat wastage is to take an audit of all your kilns and furnaces to find out which plant items are using the most electricity or gas, compared to their output. This will give you a map of which machines are the least heat efficient in your plant. This audit can be linked directly to target energy savings and a cost analysis can be carried out to see which heat saving measures are feasible.
Optimising Your Kilns
Taking steps to reuse waste heat will help your facility save energy, increase manufacturing efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint. However, you should also attempt to optimise your kilns themselves to minimise energy wastage. Older kilns can be retrofitted with regenerative burners that maximise the recirculation of heat within the kiln itself. A programme of planned preventative maintenance can also help reduce heat loss in older equipment and help your plant perform efficiently throughout its full life-cycle.
The Industrial Kiln And Furnace Buyers Guide
More information about heat efficient furnace design and maintenance is included in our Industrial Kiln and Furnace Buyers Guide, which you can download for free by clicking here. For more information about our support, maintenance and refurbishment services, please give us a call today on 01782 824 453.