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Premier Helen Zille and Minister Alan Winde visited ACA Threads yesterday - 22 February

ACA Threads is a Cape Town-based sewing threads manufacturer that has implemented various energy saving measures to reduce its energy consumption. The site visit to ACA forms part of the Western Cape Government’s month-long Energy Efficiency Awareness campaign, which is driven through the Western Cape Government’s Energy Security Game Changer. 

The site visit started off with a presentation by ACA Threads Operations Manager Chris Handt, where Premier Zille and Minister Winde were shown the various energy efficiency interventions by ACA, as well as some of the other sustainability initiatives the company has put into action on its premises. 

The presentation showed that ACA's 131 kWp rooftop solar PV system, which was installed in 2015, is generating savings of R500 000 a year. Other energy efficiency interventions include: Installing electricity meters in each department, which allows for close monitoring of ACA’s energy consumption behaviour; Installing a new variable speed drive compressor; Installing LED lighting; and an extensive heat recovery project which helped the company reduce its energy usage.

Some of ACA's other sustainability initiatives include:

  • Waste: Since 2001, ACA has reduced its waste to landfill by 96%. The company has saved R735 000 in the past four years through its recycling efforts.
  • Water: ACA has reduced their water usage by 66% for each kilogram of thread dyed. In 2012, ACA used 160 litres/kg in the thread dying process. By managing its water use efficiently, the company now uses 48 litres/kg in the thread dying process. This translates to water savings of roughly 4.5 Mil Litres /Month.
  • Heavy Furnace Oil (HFO): ACA has also reduced the amount of HFO used for each kilogram of thread dyed, from 0.48 Litres/kg in 2012 to 0.28 Litres/kg in 2017. The company has achieved R300 000 in savings per year since 2012 as a result.
  • Electricity: The monthly electricity usage in 2013-2015, Pre PV Plant & Tariff change was 30000 KW = R170000 and now, Post PV plant & Tariff change, it is 100000 KW = R130000 per month 

After the presentation by Chris Handt, Premier Zille and Minister Winde proceeded to a site tour of ACA. Premier Zille said: “The Western Cape is home to a growing number of green manufacturers who are driving South Africa’s status as the fastest growing green economy hub in the world. Our goal is to create an enabling environment for businesses and residents to switch to solar, save on their electricity bill, and generate income by feeding power back into the grid. We’ve helped 15 municipalities to get Nersa-approved tariffs in place so people can be compensated for the power they generate. In this way we will enhance our energy security, and reduce the region’s reliance on the Eskom monopoly.”

Minister Winde said: “By operating responsibly, ACA have a people and green centred bottom-line. Sustainability is at the core of their business. It is this kind of leadership and vision that South Africa can be proud of. It is my hope that ACA serves as an example to other businesses.”

The month-long Energy Efficiency Awareness campaign focuses on raising awareness about the benefits of installing solar PV panels and efficient water heaters, as a cost saving measure, and in line with creating a greener world.  ACA Threads is just one of the many companies that is making a significant contribution towards energy security and growing the green economy in the province. This process is driven under the Western Cape Government’s 110% Green banner.

“We will continue to encourage businesses across the province to switch and save –  adopt energy efficient measures that contribute to a greener environment. In the process they will cut down on operating costs, enabling them to create new jobs,” said Premier Zille.

“ACA is a prime example of how energy and water savings supports business growth”.

Dutch University of Twente visits ACA – 25th January

ACA was approached by the university of Twente to host about 30 students.
Every year Twente sends their students to a foreign country for two weeks, where they do research about a certain study topic. This year the trip was to South Africa (Cape Town and Johannesburg) and the research topic was Continuous Improvement. Before the trip, students had lectures about continuous improvement. Worked out ideas in practice and followed by a yellow belt training course in Lean Manufacturing. During the trip, the students used their skills to gather information by means of interviewing ACA staff and employees and by observation. Back in the Netherlands, the students will conclude the research by writing a report on their findings. ACA and other companies that took part in the research project will receive a copy of this report for implementation and review. It was a pleasure hosting the students and we are looking forward to the various recommendations and observations. Here are some of the comments from the students: "The visit to ACA was great! Unbelievable how many people joined us and how well prepared they all were. They were even wearing the same shirts with their name on it, so we knew who to address and how to call him/her." "The Lunch was definitely the best we had compared to all the other companies we visited." "We learned a lot from our visit to ACA. It was great to have a two-day visit. The first day was nice, because we got answers to our questions and we learned about ACA's vision towards continuous improvement, but the second day was even better. Te second day we could work in groups on our own smaller project and this was a lot of fun. It is cool to look at a business process this way and discovering all sorts of improvement opportunities." We at ACA, wish the students all the best for their future studies and careers.

It was a pleasure hosting the students and we are looking forward to the various recommendations and observations.

Here are some of the comments from the students:

"The visit to ACA was great! Unbelievable how many people joined us and how well prepared they all were. They were even wearing the same shirts with their name on it, so we knew who to address and how to call him/her."

"The Lunch was definitely the best we had compared to all the other companies we visited."

"We learned a lot from our visit to ACA. It was great to have a two-day visit. The first day was nice, because we got answers to our questions and we learned about ACA's vision towards continuous improvement, but the second day was even better. The second day we could work in groups on our own smaller project and this was a lot of fun. It is cool to look at a business process this way and discovering all sorts of improvement opportunities."

We at ACA, wish the students all the best for their future studies and careers.