The concrete element manufacturer Parma is strengthening its energy management expertise with the Energy Manager service provided by Enegia. The goal is to use appropriate monitoring to make energy and water consumption more efficient at all Parma manufacturing plants.
“We wish to reduce our energy consumption by about ten per cent in the course of a few years,” summarises Jouni Erkkilä, Quality and Environmental Coordinator at Parma.
He also points out that there is not enough time and other resources for in-depth consideration and planning of energy matters. Parma does not have a centralised maintenance organisation.
“We hope that Enegia will help facilitate energy matters for us in our daily tasks and not only make energy consumption more efficient, but also develop our operations so that they will comply with the regulations of the Act on Energy Efficiency.”
Manufacturing plants and offices take different paths
Parma had gained previous experience and evidence of Enegia’s services from the EnerKey service that it had introduced to monitor consumption. The Act on Energy Efficiency inspired Parma to certify an energy management system in accordance with the ISO 50001 standard and to think over the development obligations and documentation that the standard requires.
The EnerKey service extended to the Energy Manager solution, as Parma needed support in identifying energy savings both at the manufacturing plants and offices, and the best fit solutions to achieve this efficiency.
“We thought it was necessary to clarify our energy management processes. Individuals at different locations no longer need to enter random data in an Excel file,” Erkkilä makes it simple.
Erkkilä says that the Parma manufacturing facilities are not identical with each other. This means that comparing savings goals is challenging. This is where the Energy Manager service comes in.
He provides an example of challenges in energy management in the manufacturing facilities. The capacity of the space can vary significantly depending on the items produced. The production of cavity slabs, for example, generates a lot of heat.
“The temperature of a cavity slab bed rises to 40–50°C. These are big surfaces, so they work as powerful radiators.”
The service includes all manufacturing plants, but there are pilot sites that will have more intense, detailed monitoring. According to Erkkilä, these are the Kangasala manufacturing plant and office, and the HQ in Nummela, with which there is a goal of distinguishing it from the manufacturing plants and applying more efficient cost control.
“The goal is to gain detailed information on how much energy we use for heating, lighting and other purposes at each site – manufacturing plants and other facilities – and how much of the total energy consumption is accounted for by offices. In the future, the energy consumption data of production facilities will be separated from the administrative facilities, which differs from previous practice.”
Wise use in the focus
The Energy Manager service includes the heating of production facilities and optimisation of exhaust air needs. Manufacturing plant automation has been increased at some sites, but according to Elli Ikonen, Team Manager from Enegia, installing new building services engineering at all sites is not the best cure or a prerequisite for saving energy. Likewise, the data attained from the systems, if left unanalysed, is not helpful to the customer.
“A small manufacturing plant hardly ever needs a comprehensive automation system. The most important thing is using energy wisely,” says Ikonen, who started as the Parma services Energy Manager and has in-depth knowledge of Parma’s energy management processes.
She says that the service has taken off smoothly. Remote management has been introduced at all possible facilities. Enegia experts have visited all Parma’s facilities and reviewed the situation and the basic matters related to energy efficiency.
“We do the planning together with the customer. In addition to the appointed Energy Manager, the customer will benefit from Enegia’s energy management expertise to a wide extent,” Ikonen points out.
As an Energy Manager Ikonen, who holds a Master of Science in Technology, considers Parma to be an interesting, aptly challenging site, as it produces tangible products and its facilities come in many types.
Parma is the biggest manufacturer of concrete elements in Finland and the market leader, with facilities in 11 locations. The company is the professional constructors’ partner and the reliable concrete provider for builders of one-family houses. It offers life-cycle profitable, cost-effective and tangible products and overall solutions.
Parma’s turnover in 2015 was €122.4 million, with a staff of 600.
Parma is a part of the international Consolis Group, the leading concrete technology solution provider in Europe