Reducing Electrical Consumption in the Forest Products Industry Using Lean Thinking

Scott William Lyon, Henry Jose Quesada-Pineda, Shawn David Crawford

Abstract


The forest products industry has an opportunity to reduce energy costs using energy management practices, thereby boosting its global competitiveness. Increasing manufacturing costs have contributed significantly to the decline of the forest products manufacturing industries in the U.S.; these increasing costs limit manufacturers’ abilities to compete with their global competitors. U.S. companies are continually improving their products, processes, finances, and business practices to better compete with global marketplaces; however, they may not be seizing all of the opportunities available through more efficient energy consumption practices. By eliminating non-valued added activities, lean thinking is an example of one tool that may improve performance and reduce costs. A case study was conducted at a cabinet manufacturer in Virginia to examine the impact of lean thinking on the consumption of electricity in the manufacturing process. An energy management system was used to provide rapid feedback on electrical energy consumption for production operations. Significant changes were observed after implementing energy reduction practices identified by lean thinking tools.

Keywords


Lean manufacturing; Energy reduction; Forest products; Cost Savings

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126