Oringone. Environmentally-sustainable O-rings manufactured with reduced energy consumption

17 March 2023

Reducing energy impact is an approach that Oringone has resolutely embraced, convinced that it is possible to combine the optimisation of manufacturing processes with a focus on the environment and sustainability. Various actions have been undertaken by the organisation: the adoption of the ISO 50001 energy management system, technological improvements, and the introduction of the position of energy manager, a profile that is still relatively rare in Italian companies. This is therefore a feather in Oringone’s cap.

Energy manager, what are the functions of this position, and why is it such an important role?

According to the latest data from Federazione italiana per l’uso razionale dell’energia (FIRE, Italian Federation for the Rational Use of Energy), there are about 1,700 energy managers appointed by parties in Italy for which this position is mandatory (organisations with annual consumption of more than 10,000 TOE (tonnes of oil equivalent, a unit of measurement that identifies the quantity of energy produced by the combustion of a tonne of crude oil). In addition, there are another 750 of such managers voluntarily appointed by companies for which this position is not obligatory, such as Oringone. These companies have recognised the importance of paying greater attention to the energy impact of their business operations, making a choice of excellence in the area of business ethics.

The energy manager’s task is to identify actions, operations and processes that can promote a better use of energy. Their duties also include compiling energy statements, preparing the legally-required energy data, and drafting energy plans with precise objectives for savings. In addition, it is also essential to monitor the situation of energy usage in the company.

Better energy performance, for greater savings and reduced environmental impact

Having an energy manager in our company is fundamental,” explains Leonardo Manoiero, head of Oringone’s Quality, Environmental, Energy & Safety department. “This position is responsible for arranging operations aimed at improving energy performance, which translates into savings in terms of resources and lower environmental impact”.

At Oringone, the energy manager implements various types of operations, organised on three levels: procedural, behavioural and machinery. On a procedural level, there are a number of actions that can reduce the energy impact, even using simple expedients, one of which is “managing the post-curing phase in such a way as to exploit the full potential of the kilns without wasting energy,” Manoiero points out. “Cycles can last as long as 12 hours, and so reducing the number of cycles significantly decreases waste”.

Even on the behavioural level, good practices change everything, and in this sense Oringone has decided to invest in training. “We have arranged courses, organised sessions to provide information, and we have installed signs with reminders of virtuous energy-saving actions”. Lastly, the energy manager assesses the machinery’s energy impact. “He is the person who checks the machinery department by department, verifies the ventilation and heating system, and monitors the processes that utilise the most energy, identifying the most effective methods to minimise their impact on the company’s energy requirements”.

Energy saving and sustainability fuelled by technology

Furthermore, Oringone has decided to obtain another certification, regarding the ISO 50001 energy management system: a complex group of strategies, standards and processes required in a company to improve its energy performance, with a particular focus on energy saving and efficiency. The company has adopted this standard, thus accepting the commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated by the o-ring production process, contributing to attaining the objectives determined by the Kyoto protocol.

Moving in the same direction, Oringone has made investments into technology, whose results are consistently aimed at alleviating energy absorption. “We have installed a programmable system that controls the activation and deactivation of machinery and lighting systems”. In the case of machines where this was not possible, Oringone invested even further by replacing them with newer, more energy-efficient solutions.

Moreover, Oringone has also adopted the latest generation of condensing boilers combined with solar panels and an E-power device, an innovative piece of equipment from Energia Europa that can regulate the electrical energy used, generating a further and highly significant reduction in CO2 emissions. “Suffice it to say that in one year, thanks to this technology, we avoid releasing 58,504.10 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere,” says the head of Oringone’s Quality, Environmental, Energy & Safety department. “Considering that a tree absorbs 22 kg of CO2 per year, using E-Power has amortised emissions to the same degree that as many as 2,659.28 trees could do”.

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