ISO 50001 Helps Canadian IBM Plant Saves $502,000 Per Year

August 27, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

IBM energy manageIBM’s only manufacturing plant in Canada – the Bromont plant – is ISO 50001 certified and, in 2013, saved $502,000 in energy savings from 36 projects.

In August 2012, the Bromont team volunteered to be a pilot IBM plant to achieve ISO 50001 certification.

To attain the energy management certification, IBM Bromont developed performance indicators linked to energy efficiency for production and maintenance processes.

The program implementation several components, including

  • Establishing objectives
  • Training employees
  • Identifying opportunities
  • Implementing specific projects
  • Monitoring these projects
  • Communicating project results

Prior to its ISO 50001 goal, IBM Bromont was already focused on energy savings. Between 2008 and 2013, the plant established an energy management system and launched 181 projects related to energy efficiency. These projects included recommissioning building systems, automating boiler controls, installing variable frequency drives on pumps and fans, and replacing some compressed air systems with a central vacuum system. Projects typically have had a payback period of less than two years.

In 2013, the $502,000 in energy savings came from 36 projects. About 27 percent of the savings were generated on the manufacturing side through tool modification. For example, by changing equipment in the chip-encapsulating process, the plant was able to replace four tools with one and deliver energy savings.

The other 73 percent of savings were generated by upgrading the facilities. HVAC and exhaust reduction projects were the main focus in 2013. Installing variable frequency drives was one project highlight.

Equipment throughout the plant is now monitored using dashboards that show real-time energy use, according to a case study about the project. 

With the support of Natural Resources Canada, IBM Bromont was certified for conformance with CAN/CSA ISO 50001 in 2013. Natural Resource’s Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation provided plant staff with various energy conservation tools and services that assisted with energy management development and certification.

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