Oregon Manufacturer Participates in Energy Improvement Initiative

Blount International, a global manufacturer of saw chains and other equipment for the forestry, garden, and construction industries, had two of its manufacturing facilities participate in the Industrial Energy Improvement initiative offered by Energy Trust of Oregon. After 12 months in the program, Blount estimated that the two facilities would realize annual electrical savings of more than $227,000. The majority of the projects focused on the operation and maintenance of the facilities’ compressed-air systems. Engineers from the local utility provided free energy studies—for example, a study on compressed air that found that repairing leaks could save Blount a significant amount of energy—and recommended using valves that automatically shut off portions of the compressed-air system when specific equipment wasn’t being used. The facilities repaired leaks within the compressed-air system, installed the automatic shutoff valves, and optimized the motor sequencing. Blount also installed a new air compressor that uses a variable-frequency drive to adjust the system’s air output according to end-use demand. Two other projects involved improving the chilled water and lighting systems. The company increased the chilled-water supply temperature and improved system control by optimizing the temperature of the condenser water. The lighting system was improved by installing high-performance T8 lamps and electronic ballasts inside the buildings and high-efficiency metal halide lamps outside. And finally, Blount incorporated lighting controls to eliminate unnecessary lighting use.