Eck Industries Sheds Fresh Light

William Eck began his business in 1948 in a 650m2 garage building. The aluminium foundry prospered, and now has an 18,500m2 factory in Manitowoc, Wisconsin employing 250 people casting a variety of casings. Like high-tech industries around the globe it needs effective illumination. After it measured its carbon footprint, it realised it needed energy efficient lighting too.

When Eck Industries began its review it had around 360 high-pressure sodium lights throughout the plant. Their operating cost was substantial. After taking independent advice from an independent agency they realised they needed to replace these with more energy-efficient fluorescent lights that consume half as much energy.

The feasibility team conducted performance tests to determine the optimum solution. After selecting enclosed, gasketed and waterproof T8 fluorescents (available in G13 bipin, single pin and recessed double contacts) they collaborated with the supplier to calculate the best combination of 4 and 6 bulb fixtures.

The fittings they chose cost $60,000 plus $10,000 installation. However a $33,000 energy rebate wrote down 47% of this immediately. They achieved further energy savings by attaching motion sensors to lights over low-traffic walkways.

The retrofit was a huge success, with an 8 month payback via a direct operating saving of $55,000 a year. Over and above enhanced illumination Eck Industries slashed 674,000 kilowatt hours off its annual lighting bill. During the 20 year design life, this equates to a total 13.5 million kilowatt hours. Other quantifiable benefits include 443 tons less carbon, 2 tons less sulphur dioxide, and 1 ton less nitrogen oxide per year.

Many companies face similar opportunities but fail to capitalise on them for a number of reasons. These may include not being aware of what is available, lacking technical insight, being short of working capital and simply being too busy to focus on them.

Eck Industries got several things right. Firstly, they consulted an independent specialist; secondly they trusted their supplier to provide honest advice, and thirdly they accepted that any significant saving is worth chasing down. Other spin-offs were safer, more attractive working conditions and an opportunity to take their foot off the carbon pedal. This is an excellent example of what is possible when you try.

If you have measured your illumination cost and are concerned about it (but are unsure what the metric means within the bigger picture) then Ecovaro offers online reports comparing it with your industry average, and highlights the cost-benefits of alternative lighting. 

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User-Friendly RASCI Accountability Matrices

Right now, you’re probably thinking that’s a statement of opposites. Something dreamed up by a consultant to impress, or just to fill a blog page. But wait. What if I taught you to create order in procedural chaos in five minutes flat? ?Would you be interested then?

The first step is to create a story line ?

Let’s imagine five friends decide to row a boat across a river to an island. Mary is in charge and responsible for steering in the right direction. John on the other hand is going to do the rowing, while Sue who once watched a rowing competition will be on hand to give advice. James will sit up front so he can tell Mary when they have arrived. Finally Kevin is going to have a snooze but wants James to wake him up just before they reach the island.

That’s kind of hard to follow, isn’t it ?

Let’s see if we can make some sense of it with a basic RASCI diagram ?

Responsibility Matrix: Rowing to the Island
ActivityResponsibleAccountableSupportiveConsultedInformed
PersonJohnMarySueJamesKevin
RoleOarsmanCaptainConsultantNavigatorSleeper

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Now let’s add a simple timeline ?

Responsibility Matrix: Rowing to the Island
?SueJohnMaryJamesKevin
Gives Direction??A??
Rows the Boat?R???
Provides AdviceS????
Announces Arrival??AC?
Surfaces From Sleep???CI
Ties Boat to Tree??A??

?

Things are more complicated in reality ?

Quite correct. Although if I had jumped in at the detail end I might have lost you. Here?s a more serious example.

rasci

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There?s absolutely no necessity for you so examine the diagram in any detail, other to note the method is even more valuable in large, corporate environments. This one is actually a RACI diagram because there are no supportive roles (which is the way the system was originally configured).

Other varieties you may come across include PACSI (perform, accountable, control, suggest, inform), and RACI-VS that adds verifier and signatory to the original mix. There are several more you can look at Wikipedia if you like.

Authentication and Access Control

Threats to your data can come from external or internal sources.

  1. There are individuals who don’t have the authorisation but are driven by malicious intentions to gain access to certain information. This may refer to individuals who already belong to your organisation (but don’t have the necessary access rights) as well as those who don’t.
  2. There are individuals who have both the authorisation and, unfortunately, the malicious intentions over certain information.
  3. Finally, there are individuals who have the authorisation, no malicious intentions, but have accidentally exposed the information in question to those without the proper authority.

While curbing threats 2 and 3 would require other methods, threat #1 can be countered if the right authentication and access control systems are in place.

Here’s what we can do for you:

  • Work with your key personnel to determine who gets access to what.
  • Help you decide whether a single factor or a two-factor authentication (2FA) is appropriate for your organisation and recommend which factors are most suitable. Login methods may include but are not limited to the following:
    • biometric devices
    • Kerberos tickets
    • mobile phones
    • passwords
    • PKI certificates
    • proximity cards
    • smart cards
    • tokens
  • Install the necessary infrastructure needed for the factors chosen. For instance, if you opt to use biometrics, then biometric scanners will be installed. We’ll make sure that the authentication terminals are situated in places where achieving optimal traffic and work flow has been taken into consideration.

Other defences we’re capable of putting up include:

Network Security

The easiest way for an external threat to get to your private data is through your network. The easiest way to eliminate that threat? Get your data out of the network. Of course, we know you wouldn’t want to do that. We also know that while you may want to sniff every packet for anything suspicious, you wouldn’t want your network to crawl either.

That’s why we’re offering to put up the most efficient checkpoints on every route that leads into and out of your system.

So what can you expect from our brand of network security?

  • Review of your policies and processes for weaknesses – If we see a loophole, we’ll recommend modifications wherever necessary.
  • Protection for your applications and infrastructure – Since we’re familiar with both software and hardware-based protection systems, we can recommend which type is best suited for your setup.
  • Automated identification of business and mission critical applications – They’ll be given priority in your network to ensure bandwidth allocation is optimised.
  • Automated network audits and vulnerability management – Tired of getting prompted by pesky vulnerability notices and don’t know what to do with them? Well, that’s why we’re here.
  • Customisable security reports that contain only relevant and accurate data.

We can also help you with the following:

Ready to work with Denizon?