Our journey to a sustainable tomorrow: Hydroline’s roadmap for an energy efficient smart factory

In 2023 we embarked on a transformative journey when we initiated a multi-year project with the goal of completely reforming our Vuorela factory’s energy consumption. At the heart of this ambitious initiative is our commitment to significantly enhance energy efficiency across our entire facility, both in our office and production. Our objective is clear: to reduce our energy consumption by at least 20% from our 2022 usage, covering electricity and heating within our Vuorela factory. In addition to improving our CO2 footprint, the decrease in our energy consumption will lower our overall costs as well.

A pivotal component of this effort is the implementation of an advanced energy management system: a decentralized solution that is poised to efficiently handle both our property and production energy requirements. The strategic roadmap that guides us to succeed spans the years 2023, 2024, and 2025, with focused investments planned for our production facilities and property infrastructure. 

🔍 The in-depth analysis of current energy solutions 

In the first phase of our multi-year-long journey, we executed a careful reporting of our current energy usage, along with how and where the energy exactly comes from. This included the reporting of the formation of our energy costs and current contract structures, the amounts and distribution of the energy is used in facilities, along with a careful mapping and documentation of the manufacturing machinery that is used in our production. Simply put, we gathered all possible information about the energy consumption of our Vuorela unit and where does all the energy we use comes from. As a part of the first phase, we also familiarized ourselves comprehensively with all the available renewable energy solutions to determine our investment options on how we could best improve our unit conditions and energy efficiency, like our heating, air conditioning, ventilation, cooling and our use of electricity. One of the focal points of our roadmap is also developing occupational and electricity safety. This is partially even assigned with legislation, that in the future companies need to focus more carefully on these aspects of their operations.  

Based on all of this, we draw an investment roadmap for the years 2023–2025, that will guide us on our journey towards a sustainable energy-intelligent production facility. Want to know how? Keep on reading then! 

🧠 Towards energy efficiency with smart solutions 

We have gradually been increasing the automation level of our Vuorela factory throughout the past several years, and these steps have all been a part of our big willingness to eventually build a system that enables us to fully control all energy operations in our facilities.  

In this roadmap, one of the first investments has been the renovation of our factory property automation and to centralize all the property automation functions in one system (Honeywell Centraline). Furthermore, we have started to replace our manually operated equipment, e.g. ventilation machines, with automated ones. Finally, this phase of the roadmap included piloting and integration of a smart lighting system into the building automation. These investments, together with the initial in-depth analysis of our current energy solutions have built the foundation for the next steps in the roadmap. 

💡 Smart lighting 

The second big investment in our roadmap is the complete renovation and change of the lighting in our production facilities and outdoor areas to LED lighting. Currently, the factory relies on outdated lighting systems, which do not work seamlessly with an automated system, unlike LEDs do. 

Compared to the “traditional lighting” solutions, LED lights are highly energy-efficient converting a significant portion of energy into light. Moreover, the change from outdated lights to LEDs brings many other significant improvements to our facility and our overall sustainability goals. Let’s dig a bit deeper into some: 

  • Ability to adjust lighting improves e.g. occupational safety, since the ability to adjust lighting provides flexibility and customization, contributing to improved safety by optimizing visibility, reducing visual discomfort, and addressing the specific needs of diverse work environments. This adaptability ensures that lighting conditions support rather than hinder occupational safety initiatives. 
  • Smart lighting based on DALI technology allows dimming and control according to movement enables lighting as needed. This is another way of improving the efficient use of energy throughout our complete facility. Lighting adjustment in general is a big part of the flexibility of energy use and the maintenance of the energy system in the entire area of the facility, both indoors and outdoors. 
  • In general, LEDs are more environmentally friendly. They do not contain hazardous materials like mercury, which is present in some traditional lighting sources. Additionally, LED manufacturing processes often have a smaller carbon footprint. 
  • Compared to traditional options, LEDs also have an extended lifespan. LED bulbs can last tens of thousands of hours, which reduces the frequency of replacements, and this longevity results in lower maintenance costs. 
  • Durability of LED lights is also significant in factory conditions. Like in the majority of factories, in our production facilities too, vibration does occur on some level in certain areas. Since they are resistant to vibration and impact, LED lights ensure that the lights remain functional and reliable even in high-vibration environments.  

As we integrate LED lighting into our property maintenance automation system, we anticipate a remarkable reduction in lighting electricity consumption by approximately 60%. This translates to a substantial decrease in our overall energy consumption of 428,000 kWh, leading to a significant reduction in emissions by 32,000 kg per year. This does not only align with our energy efficiency goals but also underscores our commitment to environmentally conscious practices, making our Vuorela factory a beacon of sustainable manufacturing. 

In our commitment to optimizing energy usage, we are not only focusing on machinery and automation but also modernizing our lighting systems. The transition to LED lighting not only enhances energy efficiency but also introduces a myriad of benefits such as increased safety, reduced environmental impact, extended lifespan, and enhanced durability in factory conditions. Integrating LED lighting into our overall sustainability strategy showcases our dedication to creating a greener, more efficient manufacturing environment. 

🌿 Embark on the journey with us, as the future unfolds! 

This first blog in our series, “Hydroline’s roadmap for an energy-efficient smart factory,” has gone through some of the transformative steps we are taking to revolutionize our Vuorela factory. From meticulous energy usage analysis to strategic investments in property automation and smart lighting, we’ve set the stage for a sustainable and energy-intelligent production facility. But this is just the beginning. 

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