The K-Way Factory, a proudly South African manufacturer, has installed a solar power plant in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint. In August, the system was installed and will help to save 136 tonnes of carbon emissions - equivalent to 35 tonnes of waste, the pollution of 23 cars over a one-year period, or the use of 285 barrels of oil annually. On the day following installation, 200 kilograms of carbon dioxide were saved, despite it being a cloudy winter’s day!
The 83kWp Solar PV system harnesses the sun’s energy to power the factory and produces 125,000 kilowatt hours per year to deliver financial savings whilst reducing the factory’s environmental impact.
Over 250 solar panels have been installed to convert light energy from the sun into direct current electricity. This is then converted into alternating current electricity by three inverters and fed into the factory. The inverters utilise the latest technology to maximise the energy harvested from the sun.
Currently, K-Way is embarking on a process to feed excess power to the City of Cape Town grid from the electricity generated on weekends.
In addition to diminishing their carbon footprint through the solar power plant, K-Way has fitted low-energy consumption lighting throughout the factory and have only purchased machinery following careful examination of their energy use. A borehole system has also been installed to feed the factory’s high-use ablution areas, which will save 1.5 million litres of municipal water per annum.
These initiatives complement K-Way’s lean manufacturing model, through which it continually strives to improve the organisation as a whole. For its efforts, the factory has recently won the LEAN Performance Improvement Award from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Cape Clothing and Textile Cluster.
K-Way Factory General Manager, Bobby Fairlamb, shares: “We are incredibly proud that here, at the tip of Africa, we have a world-class manufacturing unit equal to the best anywhere in the world. Waste elimination, continuous improvement and building a healthy culture amongst our people, coupled with continuous training and development at all levels and our customer focus, have been key to our success.”