Integrating Lean Manufacturing Techniques and Energy Saving Practices Boost Productivity and Cuts Costs

By Dr. Henry Quesada and Dr. Brian Bond

This article was published in the November 2012 issue of Pallet Enterprise.

Cutting energy costs remains a way that many wood products firms can trim operating expenses while continuing to develop new business prospects and serve existing customers. This article reviews the most commonly implemented energy recommendations for both the U.S. manufacturing sector and the wooden pallet sector. This comparison will then help in determining how lean principles can be implemented into your energy management practices and will provide a self-assessment to guide your energy audit process.

Although the majority of wood products manufacturing businesses continue to use multiple sources of energy such as wood waste, natural gas, coal, diesel, and waste oil; electricity represents the highest energy cost (62.5%). There are many resources available to the industry to assist in identifying energy saving opportunities. One of the most helpful energy saving resources is the database of energy recommendations created by the Industrial Assessment Centers at the Department of Energy (DOE), which are research centers tasked with spreading ideas relating to industrial energy conservation.

The full article can be downloaded by following this link.