Improve Energy Efficiency In The Pharmaceutical Industry: Control Energy Costs In Four Easy Steps

- Nov 12, 2018-

In the face of severe competition and tremendous pressure to deliver products smoothly, pharmaceutical manufacturers need to be perfect in all aspects of the enterprise, including the energy system.


Why is energy efficiency so important?

Responding to rising energy costs is an urgent issue. At the same time, as energy is becoming more expensive, some countries are beginning to impose carbon and energy taxes, increasing the indirect costs associated with energy consumption. Like many other industries, the pharmaceutical industry is also facing increasing pressure from corporate society and environmental responsibility. Implementing an energy management plan is a strategic way to control costs, improve overall efficiency, and become a good global citizen.

Introducing the energy management life cycle

In the pharmaceutical industry, protecting critical environments and associated energy use is both a necessary investment to ensure product quality and compliance with laws and regulations, as well as high operating costs. A successful energy management plan consists of the following four life cycles:

1. The first step: auditing and measuring energy consumption – data collection is the first step in achieving a managed energy management model. Pharmaceutical plants should monitor energy costs and CO2 emissions associated with various utilities (gas, electricity, steam, hot water, and chilled water and compressed air). By measuring and auditing the relevant accurate data, it lays the foundation for effective planning.

2. Step 2: Solve the basic problem - the next step is to use the collected data to reduce energy waste. Many pharmaceutical companies often begin to reduce the loss of energy-consuming equipment by adopting technology-based energy efficiency measures. These include the use of energy-saving lamps, low-loss transformers and high-efficiency motors.

Energy management plans must also consider the activities and behaviors of people that affect energy consumption. Promoting energy-conscious projects, conducting incentive competitions, and providing formal training are all effective ways to engage and collaborate.

3. Step 3: Optimize through automation and management regulations - only technical measures can't achieve the best results. Just as a high-efficiency motor can't really achieve energy efficiency optimization without reasonable control. Automated control of speed can result in significant savings.

In the pharmaceutical industry, a suitable production environment has a crucial impact on the quality of the drug, so managed energy conservation is particularly challenging. However, with careful measurement and auditing, it is possible to safely and reliably eliminate energy waste without affecting product quality and not violating laws and regulations.

Sometimes, basic maintenance measures can also bring huge benefits. For example, during the patrol audit, an air handling unit heating valve was found to be always on, which would result in a waste of $10,000 per year, and the cost of replacing the heating valve would not exceed $1,500.

4. Step 4: Continuous improvement through monitoring and maintenance – While powerful automated controls can achieve energy savings of up to 30%, research shows that 8% of these energy savings are due to lack of proper monitoring and maintenance measures. Loss.

To ensure that the facility's energy system continues to be effective, management must conduct a robust plan to proactively monitor plant data, analyze and identify anomalies, and take appropriate action based on this information.


Whether it is to save costs or achieve environmental goals, pharmaceutical companies that strive to achieve superior energy efficiency will need to spend huge amounts of money, invest in more efficient chillers or boilers, thermal power plants or renewable energy generation technologies.

To ensure that these huge costs are based on optimized sustainable plant loads, strategies and measures must be taken to reduce energy demand. In this way, companies can avoid unnecessary costs and achieve the expected return on investment.

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