Volume 11, Issue 7 - September 2010

From The Publisher

A Surefire Way to Save

Want to save a cool $40,000 (at least)? That’s the title of our feature article on page 26 in which DWM/Shelter talks to companies that have done just this by making energy-efficient improvements in their manufacturing facilities. Is there a cost involved in saving this money? Yes, but the four companies we profiled all said they would realize a full return on their investments in just one year. For some, the costs weren’t as high—just the expense of new energy-efficient plant lighting. In many cases the companies received grants to make many of these improvements.

Our goal was to profile what some companies are doing so others can gain ideas and perhaps implement some of these plans into their own plants, with an eye toward helping companies save money. I’m excited to give readers a concrete look at how to do just that through specific examples.

Writing these stories reminded me of a seminar held during DWM magazine’s Fenestration Day, held earlier this year in Schaumburg, Ill. (By the way, you can mark your calendars now for Fenestration Day 2011 in Indianapolis on April 7. See page 58 for details.) The seminar, “Specific Steps Toward being Green,” was one of the most popular sessions. Panelists Eric Gerstenbacher and Ken Keil from Northeast Building Products gave numerous examples of the changes made in their plants and how much money each of these upgrades saved the company.

Hopefully, the information contained within these pages is just as helpful in helping your company travel the path toward energy-efficient plant improvements.

Also, while interviewing Thermal Industries, a division of Atrium, I asked if the company shares some of the things they have implemented with other Atrium companies, as the organization is divided into several companies and several regions. I learned that they do, in fact share information among all the companies. The Dallas-based company actually held a recent meeting during which Thermal Industries had the opportunity to share their recent investments with others.

“We’ve had requests for how to set up the analysis, etc.,” says Todd Rascoe, vice president of operations.

Even if you don’t work for a large company, even smaller regional manufacturers can look to what their suppliers are doing for guidance. So whether you make mouldings, windows or components, there may be something you can do in your respective facilities.

For example, Rascoe offered his counterparts key advice such as the importance of working with local or regional electrical firms.

“One thing that was key for us was partnering with the utility provider,” he says. “Manufacturers should certainly reach out to their utility companies. It’s not always easy to work with a bureaucracy but it’s certainly worthwhile.”

Like anything, nothing comes easy, but with a little effort, your company can save money for later or to make future investments now. Please e-mail me at ttaffera@glass.com to let me know what you’ve done at your plant or if our article helped spark some ideas.


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