We sat in on an Energy Forum during the May CastExpo’08 held in Atlanta, and a point made by one of the presenters struck a chord with us. Robert Eppich, Eppich Technologies, mentioned that in the last two Operational Cost Surveys conducted by the American Foundry Society, metalcasters reported an average of 2.4% operating profit in 2005 and 5.7% profit in 2007. Eppich averaged the two years for a 4% operating profit for the typical metalcaster. Based on this percentage, he said, it would take $1,000,000 of new sales to generate $40,000 of additional profit. As he put it, that is quite a struggle.
His point was that it is easier to save $40,000 a year in energy costs than to find $1,000,000 of new business.
If your company doesn’t have an energy conservation plan, it may be time to implement one. It’s better for your bottom line and will reduce your carbon footprint. Places to start are you melting operations, exhaust and ventilation systems and lighting. It may take some capital investment, but in a couple of years, the money you save could be the difference between staying in business and folding. The state and federal government offer incentives to businesses that make energy efficient investments. For starters, the U.S. Dept. of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy provides various options for tax breaks and incentives on its website.
Beyond capital investment, an energy conservation plan requires a new mindset. Take a walk through your shop floor and seek out the areas you can identify as inefficient uses of energy. Remember, those are profits being wasted.
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