Incorporating Conservation in the Manufacturing Model

06/28/2013 |

Tracy Fialli and Steve Fugarazzo

BUILDINGS Content Director Chris Olson talks with two FMs at defense contractor Raytheon – Tracy Fialli, senior energy engineer, and Steve Fugarazzo, facilities engineering director – about their efforts to reduce energy consumption on the manufacturing floor.

What are your strategies for submetering? What data do you focus on?
TRACY: We look at the manufacturing equipment and try to put the energy data in terms that people on the manufacturing floor can understand. We ask them to take responsibility, but it’s easy to give them too much data. Right now we ask them to look only at the energy they’re using on Sundays, a day when there aren’t other people in the facility. This puts each of three shifts on a level playing field.

How do you report the energy use data?
We have a manufacturing excellence model – also known as MEM – that is based on lean manufacturing principles and used on the floor to rate efficiency and productivity. Energy behavior is a component of the model and it is a line item in the MEM report.

STEVE: MEM scores are posted in various displays by our lean manufacturing office. One manager who saw that his team’s score was low called up lean manufacturing and asked how to get the score higher. Tracy put a team together and did some training to increase the activity level and improve the score. No floor team wants to be at the low end of the MEM scores. Because energy contributes to the MEM score, and these scores are published for each group, an informal competition has developed among groups, and that has started an energy buzz. The competition has been a great way to make energy more tangible.

What about your energy budgeting?
STEVE: We take each month of the previous year and ask executives to populate the coming year with the expected manufacturing projects and to look at the energy usage for each. Ultimately, we come up with a month-by-month kWh usage base for each manufacturing program. Facilities engineering and the finance group translate the usage into dollars for the budget. Executive management usually puts a challenge to operations to come in under the budget number by a certain goal.

How do you keep the momentum for conservation moving forward?
: We have several tools. The most widely used is a weekly report on each facility’s energy performance. The report is distributed to all facility operations teams and provides a basis for enhancing conservation tactics.

On the manufacturing floor, we use a project book application. Every energy project initiated by a manufacturing team is entered into the application and must be completed in 30 days. That time limit forces us to break down a project into granular steps. A $2 million piece of equipment isn’t going to be replaced in 30 days, but maybe a process engineer can complete a study in 30 days. During the next 30 days, the engineer’s results might be presented to a manager for a decision. The goal for the next 30 days might be to check with a manufacturer to see if we can put drives on the equipment. The 30-day requirement means that an initiative doesn’t get lost.

What can you tell me about your energy outcomes and where you have achieved success?
: It’s been interesting because for the past 10 to 15 years we’ve been averaging about a 3% reduction per year. Of course you can get some savings with new controls and other equipment upgrades, but we’ve gotten the most results when a leader of a floor area is engaged and enthusiastic, creating buzz, and leading by example. It’s about having a few energy champions who are passionate.

TRACY: We’ve developed energy walkabouts on the floor with the people who understand the operations. Once started, it’s amazing what they can do – all of a sudden, we pass by equipment that we walked by months earlier and can see it operating more efficiently. And then we can envision another step and do even more.

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