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Leading the way in energy management
ERIC Leung, corporate facilities director at ASM Technology Singapore, who has been named as an Outstanding Energy Manager of the Year at this year's Energy Efficiency National Partnership (EENP) Awards, has been working for the company for more than 20 years taking care of nine operational plants in Asia - in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
This award recognises outstanding energy managers who have demonstrated leadership in driving energy efficiency improvements across their organisations, and who have played an instrumental role in promoting energy efficiency initiatives within those organisations.
Through his dedication and efforts, Mr Leung helped his company achieve a total of 23.1 per cent energy reduction from 2012 to 2015. Besides working hand-in-hand with the facility managers at each of ASM Technology's factory sites in energy saving and plant facilities management, he also interacts with architects and M&E consultants for new factory construction. He has driven many innovative ideas in energy efficiency projects and the teams have demonstrated strong commitment.
In recognising Mr Leung, the awards committee noted that he is experienced and has a good understanding of energy efficiency concepts. He has a broad work scope with an overall overview of the facilities both in Singapore and overseas plants.
Mr Leung demonstrated leadership that influenced his colleagues, other departments within the company and sites in other countries. He has a holistic way of leading energy management by looking not only at energy efficiency from the factories side but also at potential improvements from the process side.
As a Singapore Certified Energy Manager (SCEM), with an MSc in Facilities and Environment Management and having more than 25 years of experience in the industry, Mr Leung has the capability to lead energy efficiency initiatives in his company. He works closely with the facility manager in each of the plants to identify energy efficiency goals and objectives for every plant.
Mr Leung has set a high target of achieving 30 per cent energy reduction from 2012 to 2017. For this, he and his team started with the fundamentals - including setting up a systematic preventive maintenance for chiller plants and compressed air systems; working with the production teams to lower the supply of compressed air pressure while ensuring that it is still sufficient for production usage; switching off redundant machines; identifying and repairing compressed pipe and air guns leakages; switching off lights and air-conditioning when not in use, especially during the weekends; and setting room temperature at 24 degrees C to 26 degrees C.
"Energy efficiency improvement is known as the fourth energy source. There is a huge stock of existing buildings and industry plants in the market that needs energy efficiency improvement badly. Hence improving end-use energy efficiency is one of the most relevant measures to reduce the energy related emissions of CO2 and as a fast and cost-effective way to improve security of energy supply. Reducing energy use also makes perfect business sense as it saves money, enhances corporate reputation and help mitigate global climate change," says Mr Leung.
The key benefits of energy efficiency, according to him, include the following: energy cost saving; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; helping to mitigate global climate change; improving air quality and the living environment; improving the company's image, being environmental friendly, and promoting corporate social responsibility; improving the company's competitive advantage; and promoting teamwork to fight against global warming to save the world.
"Promoting energy efficiency has to be top down. It will be very helpful with a small note or memo from top management to all staff reminding them of the importance of energy saving and being more efficient and wise in using the energy source," points out Mr Leung. "Facility management team is the key driving party to organise an energy efficiency campaign. It can work with the HR team, the production team for energy efficiency training, energy saving posters display at public areas, video show at the lift waiting lobby and canteen to bring up the awareness. We also encourage bright ideas from all levels of workers for building facilities, work places, production processes and equipment."
For the success of energy efficiency, people are important as they must have good capacity in solving problems. They will also play a key role going forward due to the fresh challenge of new energy efficiency legislation requiring improvement in the factory.
"We will be sending qualified engineers to attend SCEM training. Meanwhile, we also have in-house training and regular monthly energy efficiency meetings at all the plants. We share with each other the energy projects and methodologies used and data measurement. We also discuss with each other the technologies and methods used. We learn energy efficiency by case study from individual plants. Each plant has to make a presentation and share the findings. The cohesive force among the various plants is good. We set our target with a proper set-up of lead measurements criteria, lag measurements and scoreboard to reflect the progress of the target goal. We adopt the PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) methodology for continuous improvement of energy efficiency," notes Mr Leung.
He is very happy to be one of the winners at this year's EENP Awards. "It proves that we have done good work with all our colleagues in various projects. It is not in vain. I have shared the joy with all the plant teams in the energy meetings that the award is not only for me but for our work being recognised by the National Environment Agency. We have to continue to drive energy efficiency and cut down carbon emission to mitigate the global warming effect to save the world for our next generation," Mr Leung adds.
ASM Technology Singapore is a high technology company with a focus on enabling technology and manufacturing electronic equipment and materials. ASM has its own branded equipment. It has a strong R&D team in China, Hong Kong and Singapore.