Heads Up CIPEC – Volume 19, Issue 5

Volume 19, Issue 5

Stackpole International’s embedded energy manager lines up projects

“Stackpole International has always been energy conscious, and with a Hydro One Embedded Energy Manager incentive, the company can take energy efficiency to a new level,” says Neil Hague, the company’s energy manager. With annual electricity costs running at around $4 million at one powder metal plant alone, Hague has his work cut out for him.

Hague is one of an increasing number of embedded energy managers in Ontario manufacturing facilities. The Embedded Energy Manager is part of Hydro One’s Process and Systems upgrade incentives, in which an on-site energy expert manages a facility’s energy and spearheads large efficiency projects. The utility pays up to 80 percent of the energy manager’s salary to a maximum of $100,000.

Stackpole International, a new CIPEC Leader in the Transportation Equipment Manufacturing sector, produces highly engineered, technologically differentiated powertrain components, systems and assemblies. The company has two facilities in Ancaster, two in Mississauga, one in Stratford, Ontario, two in China, one in Korea and another in Turkey. The plants in Ancaster, where Hague is currently spending his time, are comprised of a 12,539 square-metre powder metal plant and a 10,904 square-metre engineering products manufacturing plant. About 700 employees work on a 24 hour/five-day-a-week schedule.

Previous compressed air and process cooling studies pointed to some needed efficiency improvements. As a result, a new 200-hp compressor was purchased along with a control sequencer with efficiency-based algorithms. This will assist the variable frequency drive (VFD) compressor in using up to 40 kilowatts (kW) less power. Ongoing maintenance of the compressed air system and leak repairs are adding to these savings. A more energy-efficient cooling tower was installed, which consumes 5 kW less than the old one. The new tower will be up and running before the summer, and, with it, Hague hopes to drastically reduce the use of the existing 100-tonne chiller. Stackpole benefited from an incentive from Hydro One to reduce the payback period to less than one year for both upgrades.

In terms of future projects, Hague is looking to take advantage of the plant’s existing sintering furnaces and natural gas burning stacks by installing a heat recovery system, possibly modeled on the Rankine cycle.  Many of the plant’s machines are aging, as are the motors running them, so Hague is planning to replace these motors over time. In a case study of some of these motors, Hague showed that replacement with premium efficiency motors would result in a payback period of less than one year. “We are also exploring voltage conditioning as a way to reduce our electricity consumption,” he notes.

Customized Process Integration workshop for oil and gas sector a success

Photo of workshop attendants
 

Participants in the customized Process Integration workshop for oil and gas sector

Participants in a recent CanmetENERGY Process Integration (PI) training workshop, customized for the oil and gas industry, left with a toolkit for optimizing energy in industrial processes and the ability to identify and evaluate heat recovery opportunities in their plants.

The workshop, held in Calgary from March 17 to19, was sponsored by CIPEC, CMC Research Institutes and the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance. Ten process engineers, energy managers and others involved in energy and GHG emissions reduction strategies from ConocoPhillips, Statoil, BP, Nexen, Husky Energy, ArcelorMittal and Process Ecology attended to learn more about integrating heating and cooling applications.

Warren Brooke, Project Manager at CMC Research Institutes, speaks to the advantages of applying PI: “PI considers the plant as a whole and allows engineers to discover greater savings by using energy and heat optimally in different processes.” “The oil and gas sector continues to look for new ways to optimize processes, and PI is a powerful means to do this,” says Philippe Navarri, Senior Project Manager, Industrial Systems Optimization program at CanmetENERGY and PI workshop trainer. He also notes that GHG and energy reduction remain key priorities.

Brooke adds that the CanmetENERGY INTEGRATION software provides users with an analysis of individual equipment, which is valuable in itself. “More importantly, the added value is that the software can then arrange the processes to minimize overall energy consumption.”

Both Brooke and Navarri say that participants found the workshop valuable and practical and appreciated that it was customized to the oil and gas sector with realistic and representative examples and case studies. “Many participants were particularly impressed by the use of the INTEGRATION software to improve heat recovery of typical steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) configurations,” notes Navarri adding that participants were also very interested in gaining a better understanding of Pinch Analysis. “They were looking for more theory and how to best apply such tools in their operations.” 

“Offering customized PI workshops like this one is a winning formula,” says Navarri, further commenting that CanmetENERGY plans to continue to provide specialized workshops to different industrial sectors including pulp and paper, and oil refineries. 

Sons Bakery on track to meet its 2020 energy reduction goals

“Sons Bakery has sustainability at its core with a vision to achieve an ever smaller environmental and carbon footprint,” says Hasan Mustafa, the company’s maintenance engineer. Sons Bakery has a 2020 goal to reduce its energy and water intensity by 20 percent over its 2011 baseline and is well on its way with many completed, ongoing and planned energy efficiency initiatives.

Sons Bakery in Brampton, Ontario, is a manufacturer of buns for the restaurant industry and is a CIPEC Leader in the food and beverage sector as well as a Partners in Project Green Ambassador. The 4,645 square-metre facility, operating 24 hours six days a week, was built in 1989 and accommodates about 50 employees.

Completed energy efficiency projects include the installation of a new 75-hp variable frequency drive (VFD) air compressor and the decommissioning of an existing load/no load air compressor leading to savings of about 15,506 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. A plant lighting upgrade is saving the company around 260,000 kWh annually with the replacement of 270 metal halide fixtures and T-12 lamps with T-8 lamps. The compressed air discharge pressure was reduced from 99 psi to 93 psi saving about 34,000 kWh a year and allowing for additional capacity. Other projects include the retrofit of the facility’s evaporator cooling tower with a 5-hp fan motor (from a 7-hp motor) for annual savings of 1,385 kWh.

Mustafa explains that several initiatives are currently underway such as testing LED T-8 lamps in the office area, which could save 1,900 kWh annually if all office lighting were to be replaced. Start-up and shut-down procedures are being optimized to save energy and the bun depanner vacuum motor is currently being retrofitted with a delay timer and a pan sensor for savings of approximately 4,680 kWh annually.

“Sons Bakery is also active on the water conservation front,” notes Mustafa. The existing manual irrigation controller is being upgraded to a central controller while leaks in this system are being repaired and non-essential heads are being relocated or capped. Annually, this will save about 1,500 cubic metres of water. The facility’s glycol chiller water tank is being retrofitted with an automatic blow-down controller to better control chemical use and the amount of blow-down water discharge.

Future projects include the creation of a Green Sustainability Team and an employee engagement program as well as implementing yet more water and energy conservation initiatives. Mustafa notes that being a CIPEC Leader and a Partners in Project Green Ambassador supports the company’s sustainability goals and provides a wealth of project ideas. “Both of these partnerships are valuable for us to share best practices that can inform our work on continuous improvement.”

Online Sustainability Portal for the Food and Beverage sector receives Top Project of the Year award

"Our goal is to deliver the best online resource for our members and all food and beverage manufacturers looking to integrate sustainability into their operations and culture. This award tells us our hard work is paying off," says Cher Mereweather, Executive Director of Provision Coalition, the Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards 2015 winner of the Top Project of the Year award.

In its second year, the Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards recognize excellence in products and services that provide companies with energy and environmental benefits or in corporate projects that improved environmental or energy management and increased the bottom line. It is a five-point rating system designed to offer companies feedback and recognition.

Provision Coalition is comprised of 11 member associations representing the sustainability interests of food and beverage manufacturing and input supply sectors across Canada.

The portal, a free, user-friendly, one-stop resource for food and beverage manufacturers looking to improve their sustainability performance, was launched in October 2013. The portal provides valuable resources and tools to the sector, and, in particular, the Self-Assessment Tool offering first-time data on the sustainability profile of the Canadian food and beverage manufacturing industry. 

To date, 96 facilities, representing $3.6 billion in revenue across Canada, or about four percent of Canadian industry, have registered on Provision’s portal. According to Mereweather, the Self-Assessment Tool is the most popular since it allows users to compare facilities to others in the industry and/or sister plants. Moreover, users can turn the results of the self-assessment into an action plan. “The feedback from users of the portal has only been positive,” she notes.

Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company was part of the portal pilot project and used the portal’s tools, particularly the Self-Assessment Tool, to integrate sustainability into their business practices and to identify opportunities. “It highlighted things that we were already doing but not really tracking,” says Steve Beauchesne, Beau’s CEO.

For Sons Bakery, the portal supported the launch of their formal sustainability program in addition to identifying energy- and resource-saving ideas. The company took advantage of the Key Performance Indicator Scorecard as well as the Environmental Benchmarking Tool. “Unless you’re measuring and know where things are going, you don’t know if you’ve had a positive impact or not,” says Rick Bossy, Managing Director for the bakery.

Mereweather notes that the Portal works on a model of continuous improvement with new tools and modifications being developed with market trends, such as responsible sourcing. “We would love to bring agriculture into the portal. If we can create a platform where the food and beverage and the agricultural sectors can share information, the whole concept would be even more powerful.”

For more information on the portal, visit www.provisioncoalition.com/Home.

Agnico Eagle’s LaRonde mine strives for big efficiency gains

Agnico Eagle’s Responsible Mining Management System (RMMS) is driving the company’s operations toward many environmental and energy-efficient initiatives. Jean-François Doyon, the company’s corporate sustainable development specialist, explains that Agnico Eagle’s philosophy that underpins the RMMS is aligned with the indicators outlined in the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining initiative.

Agnico Eagle’s LaRonde mine has recently joined CIPEC as a Leader in the mining sector. The LaRonde mine, located near Rouyn-Noranda, in Quebec, is the company’s flagship mine with a life expectancy through 2024. It produced 204,652 ounces of gold in 2014 as well as secondary metals including silver, zinc and copper.

“One of our key objectives is the reduction of our energy consumption and, as a result, our GHG emissions,” notes Doyon, adding that the company has been active on this front for nearly a decade, using energy efficiency as one of the means to achieve this reduction. He explains that each site has energy committees responsible for tracking energy use, identifying issues and potential energy efficiency projects, and implementing them.

Daniel Paré, the general manager of the LaRonde mine, explains that, with mineshafts close to three kilometres underground, ventilation and cooling are important considerations in ensuring employee comfort. So, when water infiltration near the ventilation raise that provides fresh air in the mineshaft became an issue during winter, the solution was to pump the water out to the surface to avoid ice build-up in the raise.

Completed in the summer of 2014, the water pumping project saved the mine about $300,000 in annual natural gas costs. Paré notes that the same water pumping system will be installed on the other side of the ventilation raise this summer for even greater savings.

Another project involved temperature regulation in the mineshaft. Paré explains that, instead of heating or cooling at a fixed temperature, a system modulates mineshaft temperature according to the presence or absence of employees. This is saving the mine about $100,000 in natural gas costs a year. In addition, heat is recovered from the mine’s compressors to heat surface walkways during the winter.

In the near future, the company is planning to investigate different options for LaRonde’s ventilation system. Instead of large intake ventilators, the company is considering exhaust ventilation, which would reduce the need for air conditioning. They will also be looking at reconfiguring the heating systems of the mine’s water treatment plant for greater efficiency.

Paré says that becoming a CIPEC member means that the mine can benchmark against others in the industry and learn about best practices in energy efficiency that could be applied at LaRonde and Agnico Eagle’s other sites.

Complete list of industrial events

Call for story ideas

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