Field Study of Energy Savings in Manufacturing Facilities – Phase II: Total Assessment Audit and Demonstration

Grant # 93-01A-12
Principal Investigator: Dr. Howard Shapiro
Organization: Industrial Assessment Center, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University

Subgrantee Organizations and Other Participants: Iowa Manufacturing Technology Center, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, Metal Casting Center, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (Waste Management Assistance Division), Allen Engineering Services, Howard R. Green Company, Compressor Technology, Thomas Nash, William Mirick, Linn County REC, MidAmerican Energy Co., Interstate Power Co., IES Utilities, Graphic Arts Technology Center Student Support: Graduate students Reinaldo Arreaza, Evan Jacobson, Chang Ng, Eric Wick, Bill Leuenberger
Technical Area: Energy Efficiency

Background and Significance:
Iowa industries consume approximately 38% of the energy used in the state. While the industrial sector is the state’s largest energy consumer, it shows great promise for improving its efficiency.

The Total Assessment Audit (TAA) project was established to introduce and demonstrate the value associated with an audit methodology that holistically assesses a company’s facilities and manufacturing processes.

Project Objectives:
The TAA project will demonstrate the economic value of improving a factory’s energy efficiency through a focus on improved productivity and reduced waste or scrap in addition to traditional energy-efficiency practices.

By demonstrating the value of this approach, the TAA project will help to foster a demand for this type of service. Providing this service will become a new economic activity for consultants.

Work Plan:
Presentations will be made to groups of potential clients and service providers to raise awareness of the value of this methodology and to facilitate the transfer of this activity to the private sector.

To show the long term value of the TAA concept one additional long-term case study will be developed by gathering data at a plant where a Total Assessment Audit was done several years ago.

The current project is building on the successes of earlier TAA projects. Case studies on clients from five industries prevalent in Iowa are to be written. Once a client has agreed to devote time and resources to a Total Assessment Audit, the staff and students of the Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) work with the plant personnel to identify significant cost savings projects of interest to plant management. The IAC group prepares an “Action Plan Report” containing cost justifications for ideas in their area of expertise and an outline of the issues to e addressed by other technical assistance providers.

A group of other service providers is selected for their areas of expertise. A two-day site visit takes place. The group of experts have a chance to gather data and discuss a coordinated strategy for recommendations. The IAC group edits the recommendations into a coordinated plan which is then presented to the client’s upper management.

To document the benefits of these recommendations, the IAC group takes baseline and follow-up data on the implemented changes. A case study will then be written on the experience of each of the clients in the program.

Summary of Work to Date:
Assessments are under way at the five client companies, which include a foundry, a metal working factory, a plastic injection molding factory, a food processor, and a printer. Teams of experts have been assembled for each client, and significant progress has been made in developing far-ranging recommendations for improvement at each of the facilities. Four of the facilities are entering the implementation phase. Actions range from implementing basic energy efficiency and waste reduction measures to making major changes to paint lines, process cooling systems, mold clamping systems, production scheduling, and material flow in the plant. In every plant, significant productivity enhancements have been identified and are under consideration by management.

Crane Study: A follow-up study of the Crane Valve Company has been completed. This study documents continued progress over the last three years at the Crane factory in improving productivity. The original Carne Valve study, funded by the Iowa Energy Center, was the prototype for the TAA process. As a result of the original study, vast improvements were made to the factory that resulted in a significant financial turnaround. The recent follow-up indicates that the results have been long-lasting.

Work Yet to be Completed:
The ultimate goal of the TAA project is to develop a process that will impact Iowa manufacturing to become more productive and profitable, thereby significantly improving energy efficiency and reducing waste. A marketing effort has begun to develop awareness of the TAA process among the manufacturing community as well as the potential service providers. In addition, a training program will be initiated to help potential service providers learn about the TAA process and develop the necessary skills.

Work is continuing to develop an implementation plan for each of the five companies. Implementation of the TAA recommendations will be monitored at regular intervals to determine the actual impact on plant productivity. A final case study report will be prepared for each company that will review the process used and the results obtained.