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“The Calhoun facility was using outdated and inefficient T12 fluorescent bulbs to light the office areas,” Brown explained.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
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Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

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