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Sustainability Victoria Case Study

20 . 08 . 2018

Sustainability Victoria recently completed a Case Study on Planex's commitment to environmental processes. Read the full case study below or visit Sustainability Victoria to find out more about the grant program.

Planex is an Australian, family-owned furniture designer and manufacturer that caters to commercial, educational, sports, hospitality and residential markets. Planex provides specialised locker solutions for contemporary interiors that are designed and made in Melbourne. With an energy-intensive production-line including robots, welding equipment and powder-coating, Planex uses more than 500,000kWh of electricity and nearly 10,000GJ of natural gas per annum.

Planex has a strong commitment to sustainable use of resources. Having already taken significant steps to improve efficiency and eliminate waste, modelling a “just-in-time” inventory management system, extensive automation, and LED lighting throughout the production areas, a 100kW roof-mounted solar PV array also supplies a large portion of the site’s electricity.

Project
Planex is a participant in Sustainability Victoria’s Boosting Business Productivity (BBP) program and has accessed grants for the following projects: Awarded a Gas Efficiency Grant of $35,360. The grant contributes to capital upgrades to the power-coating line, including the installation of air curtains and heat recovery. Awarded an Energy Assessment Grant of $12,400. The grant contributes to the cost of a detailed energy assessment to identify potential energy efficiency improvements, review pricing tariffs, and reviewing renewable energy options.

Objectives
Planex have established themselves as leaders in sustainable manufacturing, with ISO certification in quality and environmental management systems. With a strong appetite to stay at the cutting edge, materials efficiency and energy productivity are central to Planex’s operational philosophy.

'We feel our role as a designer/manufacturer is similar to a physician; our goals are to do no harm. No harm to our co-workers, no harm to our clients, and no harm to the environment. These goals are closely intertwined and form the cornerstone of our company’s beliefs.'

Jean-Pierre Jardel, CEO Planex

As suppliers of a high-end Australian designed and manufactured product, Planex have been keenly aware that the wise use of resources – like energy and raw materials – is key to keeping costs as low as possible to stay competitive in the domestic market.

Outcomes
Planex’s energy assessment identified 12 different actions; ranging from changing operational tactics (such as production-line speed) to upgrading the plant’s compressed air system. The energy assessment also reviewed the benefit of augmenting the renewable generation on-site. In total, the identified opportunities present more than $30,000 per annum in potential gas savings and 500tCO2-e/y in greenhouse gas emissions.

Sustainability Victoria’s grants could support Planex’s installation of upgrades to their powder-coating line. Productivity gains of 32 per cent are achievable by installing air curtains and heat recovery on their dry-off and curing ovens. As well as reducing overall gas requirements, these upgrades also allow Planex to improve the quality and consistency of their finished product.

The implementation of these upgrades demonstrates Planex’s ongoing commitment to efficiency and waste minimisation, saving money and the environment.

Read more about the case study here: http://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Case-studies/Manufacturing/Planex