C&K Components, based in France’s Jura region, received AFAQ ISO 50001 certification mid-January for its factory in Dole in recognition of an energy management system that has saved the company considerable money.
How did you come up with the idea of rolling out an energy management system which, incidentally, conforms to the ISO 50001 standard?
We came across the idea nearly two years ago during a conference that AFNOR had organized in Besançon. There was a lot of talk about energy efficiency and energy savings certificates in the wake of the decision to make energy audits mandatory for large organizations (editor: the deadline at the time was 5 December 2015, but has since been extended to 30 June 2016). We were also worried about seeing a strong hike in the CSPE tax (contribution to public electricity services). All entities using electricity pay this fee to EDF to finance renewable energies, for example. Bearing in mind that the annual energy bill at our factory in Dole is close to €1 million and that electricity accounts for 90 % of that bill, the prospect of an increase in the fee came as a wake-up call. Energy is our third largest expense item after gold (for printed circuit boards) and payroll expenses.
How did you organize your human resources?
The employees attending the meetings notified me about the issue, and I took on the role of project leader with top management’s endorsement. Politically, it was an interesting topic in light of the COP21 forum, financially with respect to the price of energy, and intellectually since it is addressed using a continual improvement approach that I was already familiar with as a quality manager. Subsequently we created a team and defined indicators, but it was only later that we documented everything as part of a plan to obtain ISO 50001 certification. With one thing leading to another, our company and a dozen other organizations took part in the work groups organized by the Besançon Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the aim of improving our knowledge, visiting each other’s sites and sharing best practices.
What initiatives did you use in the factory to save energy?
We started by familiarizing all our teams with common sense gestures, such as turning lights off when leaving their workstation. Then we got stuck into reducing the electricity consumed by our air blowers, which are used to clean components by removing any impurities. We tweaked the settings on the blowers so that they switch off in less than six seconds when the machines forwarding the parts stop and also to blow more selectively, i.e. only on gold cells when working on gold cells or only on silver cells when working on silver cells. These new settings prevent us from having to use our four air compressors concurrently, since only two or three are needed. At the same time, we reduced our electricity consumption even further by insulating the sleeves and screws of the injection presses and replacing the ovens.
What results have you achieved in relation to your investments?
In less than two years, we have lowered energy use by 25 % compared to an initial objective of 5 % a year! We have cut our electricity use by 28 %, which is equivalent to approximately 500 households and a saving of 250 000 euros a year. We use gas to heat our offices, and we have lowered consumption by 21 % by regulating the heating system more accurately. We did not need to make any major investments, which was one of our initial prerequisites. In this respect, ISO 50001 is a standard that is full of common sense!
AFAQ ISO 50001
By choosing ISO 50001 certification (Energy management system), you assess your energy use, implement an energy metering plan, improve your practices and innovate in your investment choices to achieve your goals in terms of energy performance.
For more information Press release of C&K Components