The Energy Waste Sensei — Manufacturers’ Top 3 Areas to Look for Energy Saving Opportunities

Previously from the Energy Waste Sensei: We introduced the idea of looking beyond hardware for solutions to your energy consumption challenges. Now let’s explore operations in a new light: Here are Sensei Bruce’s top 3 places to look to identify energy waste!

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Reducing Operations Costs, Especially from Energy

In operations, there are three major cost pieces to manage, which are labour (contributing 10-15% of costs on average), raw materials (making up 40-50%), and energy (another 40-50%). So, on a side note: Would it make sense to lay off employees when they contribute only a fraction to the cost of operations? I digress…. However, it is a topic we will discuss in the future as it ties into the 8th waste in Lean Manufacturing – the knowledge your operation has from its people if it doesn’t go utilized to its full potential!

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Now here’s what really makes sense: Removing real waste from your operation, both from a material sourcing and consumption perspective, and from an energy consumption perspective. Regarding the energy perspective, you’re talking to the expert on that one!

Breaking Down Manufacturing Data for Meaningful Energy Insights

How can we reduce our energy cost? Well, if you recall from my previous post, we always start by understanding our energy profile first through data stratification. I will help you with this today.

Operations energy allocation can be found under these three top categories for equipment effectiveness, which show you the best places to look for unnecessary energy use:

  1. Availability of equipment,
  2. Performance of equipment, and
  3. Quality of its output.

Within each of these categories, there are two sub-categories of areas to look for energy that’s going to waste, which are, respectively:

  • Stops, both planned and unplanned,
  • Small stops and slow cycles, as well as
  • Production rejects and start-up rejects.

Here is a matrix to better visualize.

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Each one of these energy waste opportunities can derive a long list of energy process improvements that can significantly improve your consumption of energy through reduction efforts and peak management strategies.


For an Ninja_Happy800 in-depth collaborative session on how to bring this concept to fruition, contact me, your Energy Waste Sensei!

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