New opportunities for Kimberly-Clark with Demand Response
Kimberly-Clark, one of the world’s leading producers of personal care products, has managed to reduce energy consumption by 500kW at its Canadian plant in Huntsville, thanks to a Demand Response programme developed by EnerNOC
Published on 9 March 2018
The multinational Kimberly-Clark is present in 175 countries worldwide with the brands Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend; it is a market leader in more than 80 countries with its disposable facial tissues and tissue paper designed to feel as soft as fabric. At the company’s Canadian plant in Huntsville, Ontario, production continues 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to process and fold the fabric used to create the company’s distinctive products such as Kleenex Facial Tissue, Kleenex Pocket Pack and Scott 1000 Bath Tissue.
Kimberly-Clark reduces costs and improves performance
The Energy management System (EMS) solution by EnerNOC, an Enel Group company that is a leader in intelligent energy management, and the participation in the Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA) Demand Response 3 (DR3) programme have put the Kimberly-Clark factory on a path towards energy efficiency that perfectly encapsulates innovation, sustainability and profit. From the receipt of regular payments that can be reinvested in the plant’s infrastructure, to the organisation of workflow and maintenance activities, up to the intelligent participation in the Ontario power grid, Demand Response makes the Huntsville plant highly competitive.
In 2010 the Canadian factory embraced a challenge for energy efficiency, reducing of plant consumption with a tailor-made Energy Intelligence programme. EnerNOC evaluated how the plant could reduce its power from 7 MW to 5 MW. Following two successful experimental launches of the Demand Response process, the Huntsville factory found that 5 MW was actually an overly conservative estimate. In fact, all of the tissue machinery could be shut down for a four-hour period, resulting in a reduction of 5.3MW in the electricity taken from the grid. Furthermore, thanks to EnerNOC’s EMS solution, the factory was able to develop a production system that enabled the packaging operations to proceed without interruption, even when the tissue machinery is inactive.
The culture of flexibility with Demand Response Dispatch
The project did not only lead to savings in consumption, but also improvements in terms of ergonomics and organisation. The inactivity of the production process in Huntsville offers the perfect opportunity to carry out standard maintenance on the machinery. In fact, the production plant in Ontario takes full advantage of the four-hour intelligent break to monitor and maintain the tissue machine, the fulcrum of the entire production process. By carrying out this operation during the Demand Response Dispatch, Kimberly-Clark not only prolongs the life of its expensive equipment, but also saves on wages at the same time.
Taking advantage of downtime has really helped us organise maintenance procedures. We did this with an ‘empty wallet’ approach, without having to invest other resources to make these operations more efficient
When I look at the numbers it’s pretty simple: the payments we receive not only compensate for, but actually outweigh, our downtime costs
We are examining options for energy auditing to identify potential new improvements in energy efficiency
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