An old engineering joke says that if it moves, but should not – use duct tape, if does not move, but should  – WD-40. Though every joke contains a joke, this formula can be applied to a walk through energy audit: engineering knowledge and common sense will go a long way in identifying low hanging fruits of energy management.

Here are some examples of questions a good maintenance engineer should ask while walking the production floor:

Right now, given the time, stage of production process, ambient temperature, season, etc,

Should this

  1. Light (fan, motor, freezer, heater, AC) be ON or OFF?
  2. Heater be even powered or connected to the heating line?
  3. Pipe be cold or warm? Dry or wet?
  4. Door (window) open, closed or locked?
  5. Vent open or closed? Louver open or closed? Can it be opened or closed at all?
  6. Air go in or out of this door?
  7. Fan be directed here or there?
  8. If pipe is dry but rusty, should water condensate on it from time to time?
  9. What makes this noise? Should this noise be as uneven as it is?

This is indeed not a complete list of questions, though I hope it gives an idea on how simple questions can help identify issues, reduce risks and cut costs.

If everything looks alright, a diligent maintenance manager may dig deeper to find out

  • what procedure or technology or which person ensures that this state is maintained?
  • how is this condition monitored?
  • if situation changes will manager knowing about it?

And my favourite, ultimate pair of questions:

If situation is not as it should be, what does it cost the company in energy, safety, quality, productivity, reliability?

How much will it cost to fix?