2011 Mid-Year Report: Question 5
Manufacturing leaders share their near- and long-term goals for energy management.
Question 5: Describe your organization’s energy policies. What are the near-term and long-term goals for energy management within your organization?
William Gaskin, PMA
Metalforming is inherently an energy-intense industry. The raw materials (steel, copper, aluminum) used in the metalforming industry are energy-intensive. The electric motors, hydraulic systems, air compressors, and heat treat equipment used in metalforming are all subject to increasing scrutiny by regulators and impacted by higher costs passed along by producers and utilities. Companies are upgrading equipment, taking advantage of tax incentives for increasing their energy efficiency in day-to-day operations and trying to determine the best strategies for assuring their long-term competitiveness despite higher energy costs.
Joe Martin, Martin Control Systems
We have installed time-controlled thermostats and reduced overhead lighting in lesser used parts of our facility. We are considering electric or hybrid vehicles but are waiting for the costs to come down.
Jason Speer, Quality Float Works
As a manufacturing company, Quality Float Works, Inc. uses a tremendous amount of oil and scrap metal in production and we’ve implemented ways to recycle these resources, preserve the environment, and encourage employee participation. We took steps many years ago to reduce our carbon footprint and implemented a series of green practices into our operations, including:
- Established a company-wide recycling program for materials, including encouraging employees to bring in their aluminum cans to secure a better scrap metal price with profits being returned to the employees.
- Upgraded office equipment and HVAC to be more energy-efficient, including timed thermostats.
- Older and less efficient equipment gets replaced with high-energy-efficient equipment.
- Employees are encouraged to bring in their automobile oil to be recycled safely through company vendors.
- The company only purchases compact fluorescent light bulbs.
From energy-efficient equipment to methods for recycling oil, Quality Float Works, Inc. has found ways to continue being good stewards of the environment through our manufacturing operations. Our long-term goal would be the installation of solar panels to create our own energy and possibly even sell it back to provider.
Dave Tilstone, NTMA
Our members are very cost conscious and therefore pay special attention to energy costs. The NTMA offers an Energy Buyers Program for Electricity and Natural Gas: This service negotiates competitive electric rates from suppliers and negotiates and secures lower natural gas rates for participants through our associate member, APPI. In addition, the NTMA also provides significant savings on lighting, HVAC, and other electrical components to allow our manufacturers to operate at the most energy-efficient rate possible.
Return to 2011 Mid-Year Report: Grading on the curve.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.