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Molex's strong commitment pays off
BEING strongly committed to promoting energy efficiency, Molex Singapore Pte Ltd is pleased to have bagged two awards at this year's Energy Efficiency National Partnership (EENP) Awards. The company feels truly honoured and proud to be recognised as a winner this year in two categories - Excellence in Energy Management and Best Practices (Honourable Mention).
Molex has been awarded for Excellence in Energy Management for putting in place a good energy management team which includes a cross-functional energy management team, a comprehensive energy management plan and good energy management practices. It also allocated the responsibility of managing energy consumption of each process to the process owners. The company achieved two years of good energy consumption and energy intensity improvement - a more than 10 per cent year-on-year improvement in both 2014 and 2015.
In the Best Practices category, Molex got Honourable Mention for its plating line blower project. The project involved using air blowers instead of a compressed air system for the plating line. This resulted in an annual savings of S$0.68 million.
"It is a great recognition of the tremendous efforts our energy team has put into energy efficiency improvement and a wonderful endorsement of the hard work our team have done here in Singapore over the last few years," says Sebastian Choo, senior manager, Manufacturing Services (SCEM) at Molex. He was a recipient of an award in the Outstanding Energy Manager of the Year category at the EENP Awards 2015. "I think these prestigious awards are a great boost to our Singapore team and our company as a whole and are a great encouragement for us to keep innovating and staying ahead of the curve in an ever-more competitive market space."
Molex, a leading supplier of connectors and interconnect components, brings together innovation and technology to deliver electronic solutions to customers worldwide. With a presence in more than 40 countries, it offers a full suite of solutions and services for many markets, including data communications, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, commercial vehicle and medical.
Its manufacturing plant at Jurong is a fully integrated facility with capabilities that include product design and development, automated assembly, high-precision tooling fabrication, a chemical laboratory, high-speed signal integrity laboratory and warehouse.
Molex's energy efficiency culture is integrated into its environmental health and safety (EH&S) excellence programme and managed through its Global Lean Six Sigma methodology. All energy improvement initiatives are identified, monitored, tracked (monthly) and shared globally using its PowerSteering software system. "By actively engaging the process owners and conducting an energy audit with the help of the National Environment Agency's Energy Efficiency Improvement Assistance Scheme (EASe), the team was able to identify and subsequently complete a total of 11 key energy efficiency improvement projects, yielding a total savings of 7.7 GWh/year energy savings, with ongoing annual savings of S$973,000," says Mr Choo.
Molex's key energy improvement projects that were successfully implemented since embarking on its energy efficiency journey in 2012 include:
- Chilled water system delivery efficiency improvement through elimination of unnecessary piping bends and valves.
- Optimising cooling tower operation with variable speed drives (VSDs) to eliminate fluctuating redundant capacity waste.
- Optimising plating scrubber exhaust by integrating scrubber exhaust with a VSD linking to production loads.
- Lighting improvement with energy efficient LED and Induction lights.
- Compressed air system optimisation with new VSD compressor.
- Compressed air leakage detection and prevention.
- Chilled water system improvement with a more efficient VSD chiller and water pumps optimisation.
- Reduction of compressed air consumption in the plating process by more than 50 per cent without increasing the chemical drag-out losses or affecting plated product quality.
- Reduction of compressed air consumption in stamping by replacing compressed air usage with vacuum pumps.
Mr Choo notes: "Since embarking on our energy efficiency journey, our successful implementation of the energy management system and aggressive energy improvement measures has helped us reduce our energy consumption by about half (-48 per cent) and improve energy intensity by 41 per cent.
He adds: "Our programme has led to a consistent track record in energy efficiency improvements (eg, more than 10 per cent year-on-year improvement on greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) over the last five years, resulting in achieving our corporate five-year GHGs reduction goal ahead of target). Molex Singapore will continue to strive to achieve a year-on-year improvement for 2016-2018."
Looking ahead, Mr Choo points out that one of the key challenges is building up of knowledge and capability and subsequently sustaining the efforts. For this, Molex is developing and building up its in-house capability in energy efficiency by training two certified Singapore Certified Energy Managers (SCEMs).
In addition, an energy team has been established which consists of individuals from various departments (eg, facilities, manufacturing processes, finance, Global Lean Six Sigma, EH&S, industrial engineering etc), led by a site energy leader (eg, a certified SCEM). Each team member is a subject matter expert and the company has tapped into their strengths to explore, initiate and implement various energy improvement initiatives. Site energy improvement initiatives, experiences and lessons learnt are shared throughout Molex entities as part of its knowledge capability building process.
As for plans for promoting energy efficiency going forward, Mr Choo reveals: "In line with our company Market-Based Management® (MBM) philosophy and our knowledge-guiding principles, we will continue to seek and use the best knowledge and proactively share our knowledge (through our monthly corporate energy management advisory team conferences and biennial Koch Industries Inc Energy Conference in the US) while embracing a challenge process.
"We will continue to drive and develop energy efficiency measures such as compressed air alternatives like blower and vacuum pump, and alternative clean energy sources that lead to profitable action across Molex entities to help the company remain competitive and socially responsible. This also supports our other guiding principles of value creation - conserving resources to create long-term value for customers, the company and society."