Case Studies

Find out more about some of the assignments carried out WBS consultants below.

Case Study - Energy Savings at German manufacturing and logistics provider to the entertainment industry

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The Scenario

As part of an end-to-end supply chain optimisation programme, WBS were asked to also identify savings and efficiency gains in the organisation’s energy consumption The target was to reduce energy costs over a two year period by 20% - 30%. (24.2% achieved)

An intensive two-week energy review covered all aspects and areas within manufacturing and distribution.

Scope of the energy review:

  • Electricity and gas rates
  • Air handling units
  • Air compressors
  • Air leaks
  • Recirculation pumps
  • Inverters
  • Refrigeration
  • Boilers and heating
  • Electrical motors
  • Lighting
  • Lagging
  • Motors
  • CHP options

Water and effluent was out of scope for the initial review

Key Issues

Energy consumption and tariffs had not been a priority for a long time. Maintenance in the plant was concerned with fixing breakdowns rather than preventative maintenance leading to a high degree of energy wastage. Investment in new and more energy efficient equipment and machines was lacking.

Air leaks alone consumed 9% of the total electricity consumption. The cost of compressed air generation was > €310k per year and air leaks accounted for >35% of the compressed air consumption (more than 250 leaks identified)

Production machines in the factory ran 24hrs drawing electricity and with a utilisation of less than 30%, the waste went completely un-noticed. The estimated annual cost of not shutting off machines was estimated at €50k.

The Mechanism

The WBS energy specialist undertook a full-scale energy review in close co-operation with the client’s engineering employee responsible for energy. Training and knowledge transfer on tools and techniques was a natural part of the review. The WBS energy specialist also provided support in negotiations with CHP providers and made recommendations on supplier selection for compressors and other equipment.

Output of the review was a comprehensive report listing all the benefits identified and their estimated cost to implement. Photographic evidence of waste and energy performance calculations were included.


A list of recommended actions and necessary measuring tools was provided. The actions were prioritised as short, medium, long-term corrective actions and divided into gas and electricity savings respectively. Savings of just under €250k could be achieved within 3-4 months. The single biggest potential saving was CHP, which in itself would save approx. €630k per year with a further opportunity for a reduced electricity tariff, saving an additional €341k per year.

The recommendation to invest just under €1,000 in an air leak detector increased the estimated €50k saving to an accurately measured saving of €57k after three days of measuring the entire site.

Recommendations for gas savings:

  • Thermal losses from unlagged pipes and valves
  • Boiler operational efficiency
  • Heat recovery
  • Factory heating
Recommendations for electricity savings:
  • Compressed air leaks
  • Reduction of compressed air consumption
  • Compressor efficiency
  • Dryers, new compressors and heat recovery
  • Lighting
  • Inverters
  • Refrigeration
  • CHP

The client defined a number of energy saving projects and quickly started to realise the benefits from the list of immediate actions. A stalled lighting project was re-started and the full benefits achieved after negotiations with the supplier.

Further energy saving initiatives from the list have been incorporated in the overall strategy for the site.

To find out more about how our Supply Chain Specialist Consultants can help you and manufacturing and logistics, contact us today.

Categories: Case Studies