Minority business enterprise manufacturers to meet in Atlanta August 15-16 for second annual National MBE Manufacturers Summit

Networking MBDA Summit 2016

Attendees of the inaugural National MBE Manufacturers Summit in Atlanta in 2016 discuss issues affecting minority business enterprises. (FILE PHOTO)

More than 250 minority business enterprise (MBE) manufacturers from across the country will be in Atlanta August 15 and 16 for the second annual National MBE Manufacturers Summit 2017.

 

The Summit, which is hosted by the Atlanta Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) Advanced Manufacturing Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Global Learning Center, brings together world-class leaders in manufacturing and is the premier event that brings industry peers together, facilitates networking and procurement opportunities, and highlights innovation.

 

BMW Group, Enhanced Capital, FORCAM, Grady Health System, Ingersoll Rand, Novant Health, Siemens, and WestRock are Summit sponsors.

 

Among the highlights for attendees of the 2017 Summit:

  • One-on-one fast pitch meetings with corporations and original equipment manufacturers.
  • Experiencing the most cutting-edge technologies through on-site “innovation pods.”
  • High-level exposure for companies participating in the second annual “Poster Walk Competition.”

 

Featured speakers include:

 

“We are building on the success of last year’s inaugural program, and a critical focus of this effort is innovation because it remains a key issue, according to our MBE manufacturers,” said Donna Ennis, Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center director. “Our Summit is designed to facilitate critical one-on-one meetings between our attendees and corporations, as well as provide the opportunity for our MBE attendees to network with one another.”

 

The Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center is a program of the Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), Georgia Tech’s chief economic development and business outreach arm. A sister program to the Atlanta MBDA Business Center, the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center was created via a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce MBDA awarded to Georgia Tech in 2016.

 

One of four such centers across the country, Tech will receive $1.25 million over a five-year period to operate the Center, which is charged with providing targeted assistance to MBE manufacturers. The funding is designed to help identify, screen, promote, and refer MBEs to specialized advanced manufacturing programs, and provide technical and business development services and assist with access to capital, opportunities and markets.

 

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, the number of minority-owned manufacturers increased 30 percent between 2007 and 2012 to nearly 107,000. These firms generated $80 billion in annual revenue in 2012. More than 25,000 minority manufacturers employ almost 332,000 workers.

The Summit is an outgrowth of the Atlanta MBDA Business Center’s Connecting Advanced Manufacturing Program (CAMP), which is now the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center, Ennis said. “The vision behind CAMP and what led to us creating the Summit is to connect MBE manufacturers in the ecosystem to business opportunities, research, innovation, funding, and critical information they need to grow and thrive as businesses,” she said.

 

To register for the Summit and for more information, please visit mbemanufacturersummit.com.

 

About the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center:

Focused on building a national ecosystem of minority business enterprise (MBE) manufacturers, partners, and stakeholders, the Atlanta MBDA Advanced Manufacturing Center creates expansion opportunities for MBE manufacturers by facilitating their growth through innovation and technology, training and education, as well as advocating inclusiveness with corporate suppliers.

 

About the Atlanta MBDA Business Center:

As part of a national network of 42 centers, the Atlanta MBDA Business Center helps minority business enterprises access capital, increase profitability, create jobs, and become sustainable. It is part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), the nation’s largest and most comprehensive university-based program of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization, and economic development. For more information, please visit mbdabusinesscenter-atlanta.org.

Georgia Center of Innovation for Manufacturing to hold “Shark Tank” event for students in Dalton

WEAV3DThe Georgia Center of Innovation for Manufacturing, in partnership with the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Startup Ecosystems, Floor360, Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, Calhoun College and Career Academy, Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy, and Shaw Industries, is hosting an event for high school students in honor of National Manufacturing Day. The goal of Sumo Robot Leaguethe Oct. 3  event is to raise awareness of manufacturing, with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.

The “Shark Tank”-inspired event will be held at the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy in Dalton from 9 a.m. to noon. Four startup companies, including Synapse, Sumo Robot League, Phoenix Rescue, Wish for Wash, along with Chris Oberste, a Materials Science Engineering doctoral candidate at Georgia Tech, will first give a 10-minute overview of their respective technologies and how it was Synapsedeveloped.

Each company and Oberste will move to a breakout area where they will oversee several groups of students who will be split into teams of three. The students will be asked to brainstorm solutions to a problem relevant to
Phoenixthe company and present their findings to their breakout group. The startup companies will each select a winning solution/team and each of the five winning teams will then present their ideas to the entire student assembly. Awards will be given to each winning team.  A total of 90 to 120 students are expected to participate in the event.

 

EI2 Energy Assessments to Save Carpet Manufacturer $2M Annually

Thanks to on-site plant visits by Georgia Tech students to evaluate energy-saving opportunities at Beaulieu of America, the carpet manufacturer discovered it could reduce its utility use by almost 15 percent with an estimated annual savings of $2 million, reports Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute.

The site visits addressed energy issues important to the specific plants including energy management, boilers, steam systems, large motor and drives, and compressed air systems. Based on the assessment data, Bob Hitch, a project manager with EI2 and other energy specialists at Georgia Tech  made energy conservation recommendations for each facility.

In addition to the energy conservation projects, DNR helped Beaulieu with its water conservation efforts. Based on the group’s recommendations, the carpet manufacturer could save more than 25 million gallons per year, or $81,600. Six months into the implementation, the team has already achieved $60,000 in savings.

To read the full article in Environmental Leader, click here.

Carpet Manufacturer Focuses on Energy Efficiency with Georgia Tech Assistance

When managers at a Dalton, Ga.-based carpet manufacturer agreed to host a group of Georgia Tech students as part of a mechanical engineering course, they had no idea they’d also be learning some important lessons themselves. Students visited two plants at Beaulieu of America to evaluate energy-saving opportunities.

“We had a group of students at two of Beaulieu’s plants in Dalton, and they really helped us. It’s good to get the students out of the classroom to see real things,” said Bob Hitch, a project manager with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. “And then we talked about multiplying those opportunities throughout all of the company’s plants and getting everybody up to speed.”

With funding from the Georgia Environmental Partnership (GEP), Beaulieu was able to have water, energy efficiency and conservation assessments conducted at five of its facilities. GEP includes the Sustainability Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the University of Georgia’s Engineering Outreach Service and Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. The Sustainability Division helped Beaulieu address its water conservation issues and Georgia Tech provided assistance on the energy efficiency assessments.

“We conducted one-day site visits at each plant. During the mornings, we held overview meetings on energy issues that were important to specific plants, like energy management, boilers and steam systems, large motors and drives or compressed air systems,” Hitch recalled. “Then we walked through the facility and observed where we could conserve energy.”

The objectives of each site visit were to understand how management systems apply to energy conservation, recognize significant cost saving opportunities and typical paybacks, and identify specific opportunities at each facility. After determining the major energy uses at each facility, the team determined what additional data and metering devices were needed for conservation calculations. After the data were collected, Hitch and other energy specialists at Georgia Tech guided the energy conservation analysis and made energy conservation recommendations for each facility.

“This project highlighted some good opportunities,” recalled Troy Slatton, mechanical engineer with Beaulieu. “Saving energy is really a continuous process – there are a lot of little things you need to do to capture the savings. You don’t go through just one time and fix things; it’s a recurring event that has to be monitored.”

According to the findings of the study, Beaulieu could reduce its utility usage by almost 15 percent with an estimated annual savings of $2 million. Georgia Tech engineers trained Beaulieu staff so well that the corporate engineering staff recently led the training and baseline assessment for the company’s sixth facility themselves. According to Slatton, plant personnel awareness has increased through participation in the projects, and management is enthusiastic about the corporate culture change.

“We have a project on one of our coater ovens that is attempting to reduce our natural gas usage by reducing the oven’s exhaust rate,” noted Slatton. “We’ve had good results over the past eight months and are continuing to implement and track the results.”

In addition to the energy conservation projects, Beaulieu enlisted the help of DNR to assist with its water conservation efforts. DNR engineers examined water and sewer bills, toured each facility and focused on common water users and maintenance issues. The recommended savings totaled more than 25 million gallons per year, or $81,600. Six months into the implementation, the team had already documented $60,000 in savings.

“There’s a great value for what Georgia Tech and the Department of Natural Resources do,” Slatton said. “But it’s up to us to implement these recommendations and make energy and utility savings a priority.”

Photo caption: Troy Slatton, a mechanical engineer at Beaulieu, measures the major energy users in the company’s Dalton facility.

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:

The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office

Enterprise Innovation Institute

Georgia Institute of Technology

75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314

Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

Newnan Manufacturers Use Lean Consortium as Springboard for Continuous Improvement

Sean Leroux, plant manager for Kason Industries in Newnan, Ga., believes in learning by doing. When he and Skipper Schofield, continuous improvement manager for Kason, had the opportunity to get involved with the Georgia Tech Lean Consortium – a forum for organizations to advance their knowledge and effective use of lean principles – they didn’t merely sit in on meetings and take notes. They took the ball and ran with it.

“In going through different factories and facilities, we were able to learn new ideas and then try to expand on them within our own facility,” said Schofield. “If we can bring back one good idea from each event, then we’ve been successful.”

As part of the Consortium, member company representatives rotate hosting the group at their facilities, where they present their vision for lean and the challenges and successes to date. After a plant tour, the group provides feedback to identify areas of success, as well as opportunities for further improvement. Members are also offered exclusive training classes in areas that they help to select.

Leroux and Schofield learned about reducing die changeover time inventory control from Newnan-based Bonnell, an aluminum extrusion manufacturer. They were particularly impressed with the 6S program of E.G.O., a local manufacturer of heating elements, as well as the way the company’s equipment was color-coded and labeled. The 6S program derives from 5S, the method of workplace organizations and visual controls developed by Hiroyuki Hirano, which translates into sort, stabilize, shine, standardize and sustain. Many companies add a sixth S, safety, to eliminate hazards and embed safe conditions into all work environments.

“E.G.O. had a great training program in 6S, and Earl Smith and Dave Perry, both E.G.O. engineers, led a group of 16 people here at Kason, most of them managers,” Leroux recalled. “We did a spin-off of that and then trained our entire factory in that methodology.”

Schofield also received invaluable assistance from Bonnell when it came to learning about implementing ISO 9001, a set of standards for quality management systems. Bill Tucker, quality and process manager for Bonnell, invited Schofield into the company’s facility to see how it approached the standard.

“The nice thing about Bonnell is we have similar processes, so there’s no sense in recreating the wheel,” observed Schofield. “I was actually able to tag along with the quality auditor at Bonnell during their six-month audit and ask whatever questions I wanted. It was a unique experience to see things from the auditor’s perspective.”

According to Larry Alford, director of the Georgia Tech Lean Consortium, the working relationship between Kason, E.G.O. and Bonnell demonstrates the best of what the Consortium can offer.

“What these guys have done is really special. They’ve taken it beyond just seeing each other at the meetings and translated it into how they can genuinely help each other,” he said. “I am overwhelmed by one company’s willingness to come to another company and teach a course.”

Organizations from any economic sector – including manufacturing, service, government or health care – are welcome in the Georgia Tech Lean Consortium if they have a vision for lean within their organizations, a strategy and commitment to its implementation and successful experiences to share with the consortium.

Lean principles are a set of tools widely used in manufacturing to help identify and steadily eliminate waste from an organization’s operations. Already, 11 south metro Atlanta companies, six Augusta area companies and seven northwest Georgia companies are participating in the Lean Consortium through shared training and peer-to-peer relationships.

To learn more about the Georgia Tech Lean Consortium, please contact Larry Alford (404-895-5237); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@drofla.yrral) or visit www.gtlean.org.

Photo caption: Earl Smith of E.G.O., Sean Leroux of Kason, Bill Tucker of Bonnell, Larry Alford of Georgia Tech EI2, Skipper Schofield of Kason, and Dave Perry of E.G.O., all shared continuous improvement ideas as part of Georgia Tech’s Lean Consortium.

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:

The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office

Enterprise Innovation Institute

Georgia Institute of Technology

75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314

Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

Modernizing Manufacturing with Georgia Tech Assistance

When managers at Delta Metals, a Savannah manufacturer of commercial and industrial sheet metal products, were thinking of ways to modernize their business and increase productivity, they had a pretty good idea of what would work. But since their idea involved purchasing half a million dollars worth of equipment, they needed to be certain it would work. To assist, they called on experts from Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2).

“Over the years, Delta has participated in many seminars offered by Georgia Tech, and we have always had the highest regard for their innovation and research capabilities,” said Ben Wells, the company’s president. “Orjan Isacson, region manager for coastal Georgia, has been very helpful in keeping our management team aware of Georgia Tech’s assistance capabilities for small business.”

In 2007, EI2 began offering growth services assistance through the U.S. Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to help Georgia companies develop new strategies for growth. The seminar helped to confirm that Delta needed to expand its existing processes by modernizing a sheet metal production facility that, for the most part, had not been updated for more than 30 years. Wells and other Delta staff attended a seminar on growth strategies for manufacturing companies.

“We had already researched a piece of equipment that’s been around a while, but it is continually improved with new software. That really made it more do-able,” Wells explained. “Scott Rasplicka, vice president of Delta Metals, suggested we hire Georgia Tech to examine our numbers to convince our board of directors to get the project going.”

Isacson and EI2 project managers provided Wells and Rasplicka with market research to substantiate a need for the product beyond Delta’s then-existing market area. They also confirmed that the new process would result in substantial cost savings through an increase in productivity.

“Bringing in Georgia Tech to conduct this research gave management much greater insight into both the company’s customers and competitors,” said Ann O’Neill, an EI2 project manager. “This really increased confidence in making the decision to invest in new equipment and a new business model.”

The management team took Georgia Tech’s report to its board of directors meeting, along with a marketing survey that identified potential new customers. According to Wells, the Georgia Tech team verified the predicted cost savings and return on investment, prompting the board to approve the project.

The Pro-Fabriduct coil line that Delta Metals purchased has modernized and automated the duct fabrication process. Wells estimates the company has already realized savings from the investment and has increased productivity. Not only have the automation processes improved, but there is also a better flow of materials throughout the plant.

“This piece of equipment actually reduces the number of people you need for labor. Typically when that happens, people think there are going to be layoffs,” Rasplicka explained. “But because our product is labor-intensive, the new equipment freed those employees up to go to other jobs and bring more work in. Last year at this time, we had 68 employees and now we have 93.”

Both Wells and Rasplicka credit Georgia Tech with providing objective marketing research, thereby validating their decision to purchase the piece of equipment.

“Sometimes when you’re that close to a project, you can be myopic,” said Rasplicka. “Georgia Tech provides a valuable resource to businesses wanting to expand or change product lines. Now we are much better positioned to be competitive on future projects.”

Photo caption: Jamie Sullivan, shop foreman, and Ben Wells, president and CEO of Delta Metals, stand in front of the company’s new equipment that has modernized and automated the duct fabrication process.

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office
Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright


Georgia Tech Alumni, Researchers Author Comprehensive Book on Biomass Energy Systems

Installing biomass energy systems can greatly reduce a company’s operating costs, create a cost-effective and cleaner way to produce energy, and reduce its carbon footprint – if managers, engineers and environmental health and safety professionals understand renewable fuels and the equipment required to convert these fuels into energy. A group of Georgia Tech alumni and researchers now have in print a comprehensive book on this subject, Biomass and Alternate Fuel Systems: An Engineering and Economic Guide.

The book is a joint publication of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and John Wiley & Sons. It is an update and significant expansion of the Industrial Wood Energy Handbook written by the same Georgia Tech team in 1984.

“Knowledge about biomass energy is essential as the domestic economy moves toward an emphasis on sustainability, which requires the conversion to renewable energy sources like wood and biomass,” noted Mike Brown, one of the book’s editors and an energy specialist with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. “Biomass energy, which is the greatest renewable energy resource, is of prime importance in the Southeast because other renewable resources like wind, geothermal and solar are available in only marginal quantities. In the United States, the potential sustainable amount of biomass rivals that of current nationwide use of coal.”

The book explains characteristics of renewable fuels, especially biomass and wood, and the cost-effective and environmentally friendly methods for handling, storing, burning and converting these fuels into heat, steam, power and chemicals. Wood refers to renewable fuel generated from trees and comes in forms that include bark, sawdust, shavings and whole tree chips. Biomass — a more general term referring to fuel generated from any type of plant life — includes trees, agricultural residue, biogas, and small, fast-growing plants like switch grass and algae.

The book also includes economic evaluation methods; information on furnaces, boilers and gasifiers; pollution control equipment to limit emissions from biomass combustion; production of liquid fuels from biomass; a case study and feasibility study; costing; and calculation methods for greenhouse gas and carbon emission comparisons between conventional and alternate fuels.

“People who would be interested in this book include upper managers who would make the decision to install the biomass system; operating personnel who must evaluate the technical feasibility of a system; environmental, health and safety staff that permit and support operations; and equipment manufacturers who want to educate potential customers on the details of the system,” said Thomas F. McGowan, the book’s co-editor and president of TMTS Associates, Inc., an engineering consulting firm specializing in combustion, air pollution control, solids handling and biomass energy. “This comprehensive book introduces new technologies and contains current cost and equipment vendor data. For those involved in the alternate fuels industry, this book contains a wealth of information.”

The editors of the book are all Georgia Tech alumni: McGowan (Industrial Management, 1985), Brown (Mechanical Engineering, 1973 and Management, 1987), William Bulpitt (Mechanical Engineering, 1970 and 1972) and Jim Walsh (Aerospace Engineering, 1969 and 1970) have more than 140 years of experience among them. McGowan was a senior research engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) from 1978 to 1985, and Bulpitt recently retired as a senior research engineer with Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute. Brown and Walsh are both senior research engineers with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute.

For more information on the book, please contact Thomas McGowan (404-627-4722); E-mail: (moc.gnirpsdnimnull@nawogcmft). For more information on Georgia Tech’s services in energy management, please contact Bill Meffert (404-894-3844); E-mail: (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@treffem.llib). The book can be purchased from John Wiley & Sons at http://tinyurl.com/Wiley-biomass-book

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office
Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

Luring Manufacturers to the Coast

The Georgia Tech campus in Savannah was a key incentive for Firth Rixson, a manufacturer of forged metal products.

Firth Rixson Limited, a provider of highly engineered forged metal products, recently announced its expansion to Midway in Liberty County, citing the new location’s proximity to Georgia Tech Savannah as a significant incentive. The 200,000-square-foot facility will provide components for the aerospace industry, and will create at least 200 local jobs.

In Midway, Firth Rixon Forgings will have convenient access to the pipeline of talented graduates and research expertise at Georgia Tech’s Savannah campus. Ranked among the top 10 public universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Georgia Tech is an active partner to aerospace and other industries, providing them a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

Working with Georgia Tech’s Strategic Partners Office, Firth Rixson officials learned about a broad range of resources and expertise at Georgia Tech, in collaboration with the Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP) of the University System of Georgia. Strategic Partners Officer Greg King provided information to the company about Georgia Tech’s capabilities in industrial and systems engineering, management, metallurgy and materials, tribology, advanced manufacturing, and aerospace structures.

In addition, Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute will assist the company through its statewide network of field staff with expertise in process improvement, production design, sustainability and automation.

“The Strategic Partners Office at Georgia Tech will link Firth Rixson to campus resources, applying faculty know-how, specialized facilities and student talent to such goals as university talent acquisition, product development and improved manufacturing systems,” said King. “We can help the company identify the appropriate resources and make the right connections to develop a collaborative partnership that meets its needs.”

Firth Rixson’s Midway operation will be known as Firth Rixson Forgings LLC, and will be the company’s largest greenfield investment. The new facility will also become Firth Rixson’s fourth closed die forging facility. The majority of the more than 200 anticipated jobs will be filled from the local community, with hiring for human resources positions beginning immediately.

“One of the many benefits of locating in coastal Georgia is the opportunity to establish a lasting relationship with Georgia Tech. Our vice president of human resources, Jeff Hughes, and vice president of technology, Dave Hebert, have already engaged Georgia Tech’s Ralph Mobley, director of career services and Cynthia Jordin, associate director, in preliminary planning meetings,” said Andy Blanda, manager of mergers and acquisitions for Firth Rixson Limited. “We will soon be in contact with Yvette Upton, director of outreach and student affairs at the Savannah campus, as well. Together, we are looking forward to building a robust process for the identification of talented students at Georgia Tech, and the development of solid employment candidates for Firth Rixson.”

The aerospace industry plays a significant role in Georgia’s economy, and provides more than 80,000 jobs for aircraft manufacturers and aerospace suppliers.

“The coastal Georgia region has been successfully attracting world-class manufacturing companies to establish a presence in the region. The combination of synergies with other companies, the breadth of higher education opportunities and the outstanding quality of life make coastal Georgia a very competitive option,” said David Frost, director of Georgia Tech Savannah and a Georgia Tech vice provost. “The opportunities for close collaboration with Georgia Tech Savannah in hiring intern, co-op and permanent engineers, as well as the ability to leverage the continuing education and research capabilities of the institution, are important considerations for many companies.”

 

About Firth Rixson Limited

Headquartered in Sheffield, UK, Firth Rixson serves customers worldwide in market sectors such as aerospace, defense, power generation, transportation, petrochemical, medical and general industrial. Firth Rixson owns 11 operating facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. Firth Rixson Limited (www.firthrixson.com) is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners (www.oakhillcapital.com).

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office
Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

Supporting NCR’s Move to Georgia

The Enterprise Innovation Institute collaborated with Georgia Tech’s School of Industrial and Systems Engineering to support development of the NCR Corporation’s advanced manufacturing facility in Columbus. Shown discussing the facility are Professor Dave Goldsman (right) and student Thomas Teyrasse.

Adhesives Manufacturer Taps Georgia Tech’s Resources for Energy Savings

Bostik is a world leader in adhesive and sealant manufacturing. In 2008, the company employed 5,000 people across 48 manufacturing sites and 12 research centers, and generated nearly $2 billion in business. With such an expansive and diverse company, it made sense that Bostik’s parent company would mandate an energy reduction program to keep costs under control.

In Calhoun, Ga., the 23 Bostik employees operate on a smaller scale, but they still need to use energy efficiently. Ray Davis, plant manager, and Dan Conetta, production manager, selected Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2) to help implement their energy reduction program because of its expertise in energy reduction and lean manufacturing. EI2 offers Georgia manufacturers a three-step program to identify and implement operations for immediate energy cost savings, adopt a system of best practices to sustain energy cost reductions and assist with certification in ANSI/MSE 2000-2008, a national standard for energy management adopted by the American National Standards Institute.

“The level of expertise and the availability make the Enterprise Innovation Institute a valuable resource for any company,” Conetta said. “We needed to move to a more sustainable mode of operation, and wanted to use energy conservation as a means to justify a four-day, ten-hour work week schedule.”

Jessica Brown, an energy specialist with EI2, visited the Calhoun facility to identify areas where energy improvement could be realized, communicated industry best practices and provided advice and consultation on the procurement of diagnostic tools for energy reduction purposes. She made a number of recommendations for Bostik, including utilizing more efficient fluorescent bulbs, reducing peak load by staggering equipment startup, relocating the air compressor intake from indoors to outdoors, discontinuing the unnecessary use of compressed air, reducing boiler blow-down in the summer, recovering steam condensate and properly insulating the boiler and steam piping.

“The Calhoun facility was using outdated and inefficient T12 fluorescent bulbs to light the office areas,” Brown explained. “T8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts produce equivalent light output with less power input and have become the standard for new fixtures and retrofits in this application.”

According to Conetta, the results of Brown’s assistance have been significant: Bostik has reduced its energy consumption by an estimated 56 percent, saving $40,000. Employees have expanded their knowledge of energy reduction practices and Georgia Tech continues to be a resource to facilitate continuing education in energy reduction. As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program, Georgia Tech can provide energy, waste and productivity assessments at no charge to small- and mid-sized manufacturers.

Conetta also notes that the energy audit yielded non-monetary results: a “cultural shift” towards energy reduction awareness and a reduced corporate energy footprint.

“Although the intent was not for Calhoun to be a model or pilot plant, many of the best practices which originated at this facility were leveraged and other facilities benefited from our experience with Georgia Tech,” noted Conetta. “Additionally, some of the other Bostik facilities approached universities in their areas that are part of the same national energy reduction partnership and had energy audits conducted.”

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

About Industrial Assessment Centers:
Industrial Assessment Centers – like the one based in Georgia at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute – provide energy, waste and productivity assessment at no charge to small and mid-sized manufacturers. Assessments help manufacturers maximize energy efficiency, reduce waste and improve productivity. On average, recommended actions from an assessment result in annual cost savings of $55,000. The assessments are performed by teams of engineering faculty and students from more than 26 participating universities across the country. Work is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Research News & Publications Office
Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright