Clean Tech

Taking corporates towards sustainability, with Industry 4.0

V Rishi Kumar | Updated on September 11, 2019

Ingersoll Rand aims at 35 per cent reduction in GHG footprint of its operations by 2020   -  Getty Images

How Ingersoll Rand handholds companies through their energy efficiency journey

For corporates, energy efficiency and sustainability have become a major focus area, which they are increasingly outsourcing to experts.

Ingersoll Rand, a diversified multinational corporation incorporated in Ireland with Corporate centre in Davidson, North Carolina, US, offers a ‘solutions approach’ to companies to help alleviate their pain points.

Among its clients are a wide range of manufacturing companies, including those in sectors such as steel, cement, pharma and textiles.

With them it works on three key areas — their productivity by leveraging local manufacturing operations, their innovation through R&D centres and their growth through expanding footprints.

Helping to bring about these changes are new technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics and machine learning. Together these seem to be visibly transforming the market dynamics and presenting new opportunities to industry. In fact, the concept of Industry 4.0, which largely means digitalising production, and using the Internet of Things (IoT), will make the management of large factories that much easier through remote control methods. Ingersoll Rand has already piloted over 200 units to bring about these changes.

Long-term targets

Besides servicing its clients, the MNC is simultaneously inward looking in the realm of energy efficiency.

Amar Kaul, Chairman and Managing Director of Ingersoll Rand India Ltd, says, “Sustainability is at the very foundation of our business…In 2014, we established long-term sustainability targets to address one of the biggest issues of our environment and society, including the company’s operational footprint, which we achieved two years ahead of the deadline. “To take the sustainability goals further, we announced our 2030 sustainability commitments which are designed around supply chain and operations, products, systems and services as well as enhancing the quality of life of communities around us,” he adds.

Leveraging brands

The company operates through its brands Ingersoll Rand, Thermo King, Club Car and Trane, which work on several fronts, including enhancing the quality and comfort of air in homes, buildings, and transport, as well as protecting food and perishables. The brands help to increase productivity and efficiency of corporates in varied situations.

The company, which has nearly 100 years of presence in India through its 21 locations in the country, two manufacturing facilities (at Naroda, Gujarat and Sahibabad, UP), and two engineering and technology centres at Bengaluru and Chennai, keeps energy efficiency at the heart of its products. “We do not take up a product for development unless it is at least 15 per cent more efficient when compared to the existing product,” says Kaul, to explain the multiplier impact it has on a facility and the environment.

Citing the case of how transmission and distribution losses impact a power system, he says that an inefficient compressor could do the same to the productivity of a factory. Therefore, the aim is to ensure that an establishment functions optimally through a solutions approach.

Air pollution

Air pollution is impacting industries across the world and it is critical that they are helped to lower their emission levels and reduce their carbon footprint.

One major power consuming equipment in a plant is the one producing compressed air and this when discharged is saturated with moisture. The wet air, contaminated as it is, is harmful to downstream applications. It takes considerable amount of energy, in the form of electricity to produce clean, dry compressed air that is essential for many processes and applications in a unit. Therefore, a well-designed compressed air system that suits a specific requirement in a factory is vital. That’s where Ingersoll Rand comes in and makes a difference to companies, explains Kaul.

Take, for instance, pharma. Kaul points out that though it is a growing sector, it is also one of the most significant contributors to global warming.

A number of applications in pharma require compressed air and each application may require air of differing pressure and purity.

Offering a wide range of solutions, Ingersoll Rand works closely with the sector, contributing to its sustainable growth.

Climate commitments

The company’s own climate commitments include 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases (GHG) in the refrigerant footprint of its products by 2020 and 35 per cent reduction in GHG footprint of its operations by 2020.

It has deployed $500-million investment in product-related research and development to fund long-term GHG reduction. “As an expert product and service provider we seek to help companies achieve this while ensuring sustainability,” says Kaul.

Published on September 11, 2019

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