Project Description

Natural Gas Use Analysis Identified Faulty Settings and Energy Waste

GreenQ Partners analyzed natural gas consumption at Weston Bakery Sudbury to find the reason for what seemed like a gradual consumption increase.

To identify the cause of the issue we have linked

  • Natural gas consumption at oven level at uneven billing intervals
  • Production level reported over 28-day periods and
  • Daily weather data from NASA

Findings and value recovery opportunities

Analysis identified a maintenance procedure flaw that caused a deviation in the technological process and a waste of fuel.

Weston-foods logo 500by324

  • Deficiency in maintenance procedure caused deviation from technological process, creating risks of sub-par quality, product loss and brand value damage. Also increased annual consumption by about 5%. Near-zero cost to fix.
  • Change in operation procedure. Expected annual savings – 4% of natural gas per season.
  • Pre-heating of combustion air offers a 60,000-150,000 m³ saving opportunity. Requires capital investment.

Other benefits

  • Separated and quantified production and non-production natural gas consumption, which became a valuable tool for costing, budgeting, and operation management
  • Quantified seasonal loss of oven efficiency
  • Forecast cash reserve requirements for bill payment with 95% confidence

Analysis confirmed achieved savings of 90,000 m³ of gas resulting from previously implemented measures.

Energy Manager, a prominent Canadian energy management magazine, published an article about our work: Opportunities for saving ‘dough’ uncovered at commercial bakery.

Based on our recommendations, the plant manager in cooperation with the corporate energy engineer took corrective action that brought oven performance up to spec. Product waste was prevented, and risk of damage to brand value was eliminated.

Post project considerations are summarized in the blog post.