Basic checks and balances – Save Costs and Add Value

In our experience, problems arise in businesses and costs increase where basic checks and balances have been overlooked or not acted upon.

“If you don’t measure it you cannot manage it”

  • ECOS works with our clients to ensure that avoidable problems can be avoided.
  • The potential cost saving benefits to the client can often be substantial and sometimes the difference between viability and failure.
  • Sometimes it is very easy:
    • €50k/yr inventory saving based on a single observation relating to a waste stream. 
    • €100k Cap Ex Saving & €20k per annum Net Op Ex savings in relation to a water management plan.
    • €45k/year saving on inventory and waste disposal through review of canteen activity at Multi-National site.
    • Water Management Plan successfully mitigated against the risk of water borne contamination from an external source to the satisfaction fo the Health & Safety Authority, thus negating the significant cost implications which could have arisen from business interruption.

The principles of following summary pointers may be applied to many scenarios and have been demonstrated to save resources (products, processes & people) and generate additional value.

Mass Balance

  • It is good practice to carry out regular review of mass balances in order to track and reduce resource inputs.
  • Such exercises should be devised to suit the particular characteristics and requirements of a given operation.
    • Eg. Water, Treatment Processes, Heat, Raw Materials/Product/Raw Losses
  • Where materials (e.g. solvents, metals, specific toxic organic and inorganic substances) have the potential to adversely affect other processes or cause nuisance, they should also be tracked using mass balance techniques.

Product/Raw Materials Balance

  • Kg/tonnes of ingredients per kg/product produced can be used to identify resources losses
  • Mass balance calculations assist in determining the significance and value of losses
  • Informed decisions based on cost benefit analysis of the value of losses relative to the .cost of corrective actions can then be made to corrective actions

Water Balance

  • Minimisation of water use is desirable in any industrial facility to conserve water resources, for cost minimisation, for effective process operation and for wastewater volume reduction. A typical water balance for a production facility might be as follows.

(Water In) = (Water Out) + (Water Consumption) + (Water Losses)

  • In order to keep a record of the water balance, all inputs and outputs should be metered.
  • If the inputs and outputs do not correspond, there must be some unidentified water uses or losses (e.g. leaks).

Wastewater Balance

  • It is critical for the successful operation of a treatment plant to have accurate information concerning the volume being handled.
  • A simple water balance around the plant should be recorded daily.
  • A typical balance might be as follows.

(Influent) + (Water added) = (Effluent) + (Water in sludge)

Solids Balance

  • Many wastewater treatment plants utilise the activated sludge process.
  • To satisfactorily manage this process it is necessary to continually monitor suspended solids and/or volatile solids at different parts of the process (S.S., MLSS, MLSS, RAS, WAS).

For more information on how to optimise on site resources through mass balance review please contact us.

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