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Blu.e Wiki: energy best practices for industry

As they strive for improvement, industrial groups are stepping up their efforts to standardise, share and reuse their “best practices” across all of their facilities. While energy best practices certainly include things like optimising the settings of a shopfloor machine or turning off the light on leaving a room, the concept (whether in technology or operations) is still hazy. The following definitions will help shed some light on the matter.


1. Technology best practice

2. Operational best practice

3. Getting started



1. Technology best practice

A technology best practice is referred to as a Best Available Technique (BAT) in the EU’s Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). To prevent polluting emissions from industrial and agricultural facilities, the IED requires EU Member States to apply the Best Available Techniques. These are selected after a series of exchanges of information between Member States, industries, environmental non-governmental organisations and the European Commission. Their conclusions are set down in Best Available Technique REFerence Documents known as “BREFs”.


2. Operational best practice

An operational best practice may refer to a shopfloor rule that has yielded the best results in terms of energy performance. It is in the company’s best interest to identify what works best at factory level and replicate it at its other facilities. So how does the company go about this?

There are four ingredients in this recipe:

1. The industrial process: what setting, procedure or operating mode yields the best result in each production scenario?

2. The tools: what tools will help make the process more efficient? For example, do I need to automate the process or give the operator an aid?

3. Skills and human resources: what skills and how many people do I need to carry out my continuous improvement initiative? Do I need an Energy Manager or an automation expert? Does the person need to be bilingual? Is this a full-time position?

4. Resource organisation: what organisational arrangements need to be made at the various facilities? Should they be centralised or decentralised? What people and what roles?

These four ingredients provide the basis for describing the operational practice in such a way that it can be applied at other facilities. Once replicated across the organisation, it becomes a “best” practice.


3. Getting started on standardising and validating your best practices

The first step towards standardising, checking and validating your best practices is to create an operational database. Our free guide “Industry 4.0: how to optimise your energy consumption” will show you how to set it up.

Guide industry 4.0 - How to optimize energy consumption