During the first installment of our three-part steam blog series, we discussed the inefficiencies and waste that are prevalent in industrial steam systems and went on to explain how efficiency and profits can increase as a function of targeting life cycle cost reduction.
In addition to targeting life cycle cost reductions, companies can also run equipment on demand to reduce unnecessary fuel use and improve steam system performance. Running equipment on demand means that manufacturers will only consume energy when it is needed rather than keeping the switch set in the “on” position whether or not a task is being performed. By turning steam systems off when they are not in use, systems will last longer and endure less stress due to normal functions. This ideal case, results in a decrease in wear-and-tear on systems will greatly reduce the amount of energy loss associated with leaks and other damage.
In most cases, however, turning off an entire system is easier said than done due to the time involved with putting the system back on-line. In these cases, it is imperative for plant operators to ensure that the steam system supply is matched to the system demand. Many systems operate at higher pressures and temperatures than are actually required by today’s process, incurring higher costs than necessary. By consistently tuning the system to ensure that it meets current requirements, steam supply will match but not exceed demand, lowering overall costs and increasing overall efficiency.
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