Warren Buffet once said,
“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” The
current high level of business curtailments and closures, along with record
layoffs, tends to confirm that many companies have been operating very
Efficiency can be improved by making a few fundamental changes in
the way a kiln is operated with reduced output. At a time when plants are
struggling to achieve breakeven with low revenue, this technique can help brick
manufacturers reduce fuel consumption.
Energy can be recovered from kiln exhaust gases in many ways, including the generation of hot water, the use of hot air for direct or indirect cooling, hot oil exchange, and combustion air heating for the burners on the kiln.
When I worked in manufacturing as an employee, I
looked forward to my annual salary increase to help cover inflation, and maybe
provide a little more breathing room between my expenses and income. What do
you look forward to today? There doesn't seem to be much cause for optimism for
manufacturing engineers and technical people.
If you have a kiln, it is wise to take several safety
steps. Sound like too much trouble?
Can't afford the downtime? Then you could have a surprise coming from your
kiln, and it will mark the worst day of your career.
Everyone is looking for a silver bullet-that miracle weight loss pill, cold prevention remedy, or special golf swing training aid that makes you drive like Tiger. Most of the time, though, the silver bullet just ends up in your foot instead of helping you achieve your hopes and dreams. Then again, sometimes the silver bullet does exist, and companies occasionally write to me with their versions of what it might be. Two of the most interesting bear further examination.
I have talked about energy conservation in this column many times over the past several years. For those of you who are tired of my litany of energy tips, directions and summaries, you will be pleased to know that this installment is not about my work in that area. Instead, it is a report about the success of a hard-working manager in a plant I visited early this year.