Energy efficiency in MSME ceramics industry

Energy efficiency in MSME ceramics industry

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Today, the units in Morbi have shifted to natural gas because it is energy efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly. And most importantly, use of gasification plants, which burn coal to generate producer gas, has been banned by the Gujarat High Court last year

With increased competition and the ongoing oversupply condition, adopting innovative practices which can manage the bottom line are a necessity for enhanced competitiveness and profitability. Energy efficiency enhancement is a powerful bottom line management intervention for the MSME sector, as it reduces energy consumption while maintaining current levels of productivity and quality – in other words, producing the same goods or services while using less energy.

Electricity and heat are two forms of energy used in ceramic units. Electrical energy is used to drive motors and other electrical equipment. Thermal energy is used in the kiln and spray dryers. Natural gas or producer gases are also used to fire ceramic products. Apart from these two fuels, diesel is burnt in diesel generators (DGsets).

Today, the units in Morbi have shifted to natural gas because it is energy efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly. And most importantly, use of gasification plants, which burn coal to generate producer gas, has been banned by the Gujarat High Court last year.

Energy consumption in different processes in ceramic manufacturing
S.No.ProcessPercentage of total energy consumption
1Raw materia preparation6
2Spray Drier7
3Press Machine5
4Glazing Machine4
5Kiln60
6Utilities12
7Others6

It is clear from the above table that Kiln is the major energy consumer in the manufacturing of ceramics.

Specific energy consumption in ceramic production
CountryElectric specific Energy consumption (kWh/tonneThermal specific energy consumption (MKcal/Tonne)
India2101.34
China2591.05
Italy1391.16

It is clear from the above table that the specific energy consumed in the manufacture of ceramic products in India is higher as compared to the world’s best figures. This indicates the potential for improvement in energy efficiency.

Significant energy savings are realizable in the ceramic sector by adopting Best Operating Practices and implementing simple housekeeping measures. Various energy intensive sections and processes in any typical ceramic unit, which require focused attention for regular upkeep and maintenance for efficient operation are Machine tools, Metal casting/reheating, Electroplating and plant utilities.

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