Two manufacturers working with the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program at Penn State University have received certification from the US Department of Energy for significantly reducing their energy use.
Mack Trucks’ Macungie Cab and Vehicle Assembly plant, and General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems’ Scranton operations are two of only 14 manufacturers in the United States to receive Superior Energy Performance certification. SEP certification includes certification to ISO 50001, the energy efficiency standard created by the International Organization for Standardization, additional requirements set by the American National Standards Institution and demonstration of verified energy savings.
To become SEP certified, companies must improve energy performance by 5 percent over a three-year period or 15 percent over a 10-year period. A recent DOE study showed that facilities with annual energy costs of more than $1.5 million would recoup their investment in less than two years, while facilities with energy costs greater than $3 million would recoup their costs in one year or less.
Mack Trucks achieved SEP Platinum certification, the highest available certification, with energy reductions of 41.94 percent at the Macungie plant over a 10-year period. Plant investments included lighting upgrades and controls, a building automation system, air compressor management, changes in heat recovery during the manufacturing process and heating, ventilation and air conditioning system efficiency upgrades.
General Dynamics achieved gold-level SEP certification by achieving energy reductions of 11.9 percent over three years at its Scranton plant. General Dynamics was able to identify $536,000 in overall savings in the first year of implementation, with a payback period of just six months. The facility implemented operational and management changes including weekend shutdowns, coordinated production schedules, employee cooperative programs and cooling tower temperature set points.
The companies worked with PennTAP as part of a demonstration project funded by the Department of Energy and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.