What’s the actual industrial worth of smarter manufacturing?

Bill Blyth

In the factory floor, all of your components should work “smart” and not “hard”. It's about efficiency and efficiency is what keeps companies competitive.

From SMC Corporation Australia New Zealand Energy Conservation Group Manager Bill Blyth.

Do you know the good old saying “work smart, not hard”? Well, that's especially true now.

In addition, efficiency enables us to deliver more value and optimize every application down to the smallest detail. A large part of our job is figuring out how we can take compressed air and process technology to a more efficient level so that real benefits (and savings) can be realized.

Gone are the days of a "one-size-fits-all" solution; today it is a matter of jointly developing a solution and a tailor-made solution for every application. The journey can take anywhere from a month to years and you need a partner who is with you for the long term – every step of the way.

The proof lies in the "pudding"

In a recent industry success story, we partnered with Fletcher International Exports to help them achieve greater energy savings.

Fletcher is arguably one of Australia's biggest agribusiness success stories – a family business that processes around 90,000 sheep and lambs a week. 90% of their products are used for export purposes.

Saving energy is of course an important driver for a progressive company like Fletcher and therefore working intelligently, mindfully and ethically has top priority.

This level of collaboration requires an ongoing, long-term commitment to the process; it just doesn't happen overnight. Fletcher started his energy saving tour a few years ago and his team has been impressed with the results. As a result, they have set themselves even greater energy-saving goals in the long term.

A full audit of Fletcher's air systems provided further insight into areas for potential energy savings. Over time, these changes have been implemented and the results can boast:

  • Air compressors have dropped from 165 kW to 110 kW.
  • $ 65,000 savings on your energy bill per year.

The ultimate value, however, lies in the bottom line. It's really about working smarter to support the maintenance and operations teams. Fletcher International Exports is committed to creating and maintaining a cleaner, greener footprint both locally and globally. This makes it an ongoing project of continuous improvement.

The energy-saving components of SMCs are embedded in the site processes at all levels and are supported by a site maintenance team that is committed to maintaining efficiency. We have installed an air management system (AMS) throughout the site to ensure energy-efficient compressed air consumption as the system grows.

Our commitment to this project – and every energy saving project – in which we participate is long-term. Nothing worth achieving is easy, but the long-term benefit of such a project ensures that it is like achieving this highly competitive goal that keeps helping.

About SMC

Founded over 60 years ago, SMC operates in 83 countries and employs 19,000 people worldwide. It has an R&D engineering team of 1,450 people and a 8,200 sales team who are experts in their fields and who work closely with SMC's customers. In order to provide automation solutions for its diverse customer base, SMC offers more than 12,000 basic products with over 700,000 variants. SMC is the world's leading pneumatics supplier and has been voted one of the most innovative global companies by the leading business magazine Forbes for three years in a row and is listed in FORBES Global 2000 as one of the world's largest public companies.

More information is available at www.smcanz.com.

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