In an effort to cut carbon emissions and reduce its environmental impact, the K-Way has installed a solar power plant at its plant in Ottery, Cape Town. The system was installed in August and will save 136 tonnes of carbon emissions, the equivalent of 35 tonnes of waste, pollution of 23 cars over a one-year period or the use of 285 barrels of oil per year.
According to K-Way, the day after the installation, 200 kilograms of carbon dioxide were saved, despite a cloudy winter day. The 83 kWp solar photovoltaic system harnesses the sun’s energy to power the plant and produces 125,000 kilowatt hours per year to achieve financial savings while reducing the plant’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 by three inverters and injected into the plant. Inverters use the latest technology to maximize the energy recovered from the sun. Currently, K-Way is embarking on a process of supplying excess electricity to the Cape Town grid from electricity generated on weekends.
In addition to reducing its carbon footprint through the solar power plant, K-Way installed low-energy lighting throughout the plant and only purchased machines after careful consideration of their energy consumption. . A drilling system has also been installed to supply the plant’s busy ablution areas, which will save 1.5 million liters of municipal water per year.
These initiatives complement the company’s lean manufacturing model, through which it continually strives to improve the organization as a whole. For its efforts, the factory 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 said: “We are incredibly proud that here at the forefront of Africa we have a world-class manufacturing unit equal to the best in the world. The elimination of waste, continuous improvement and the creation of a healthy culture among our employees, coupled with continuous training and development at all levels and our customer orientation, have been key to our success.