At a Glance
Industrial Goods and Manufacturing
Clean and Renewable Energy, Data Analysis, Industrial Energy Efficiency
Net Present Value:
Annual kWh Savings:
Annual CO2 Reductions:
2,000 metric tons
Ajith Das Menon identified energy saving opportunities at a 1 million square foot manufacturing plant in Macungie, Pennsylvania.
In 2015, Mack Trucks Inc., a subsidiary of AB Volvo Group, was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for its collective efforts with 7 other Volvo manufacturing plants for being a “Better Plants Program Challenge Partner” and achieving its targets in half of the time allotted. As a five-time participant in EDF Climate Corps, Mack Trucks hosted fellow Ajith Das Menon to help further its efforts in energy efficiency at its 1 million square foot vehicle assembly plant in Macungie, Pennsylvania. His task was to identify carbon-neutral projects and opportunities for energy savings as advised in Mack Truck’s Superior Energy Performance® (SEP™) and ISO 50001 certifications.
Despite Mack Trucks’ long history of dedication to environmental efforts, Das Menon was able to identify six opportunities that could help reduce the company’s energy consumption. One of the first things he noticed during his fellowship was that the exterior lighting of the plant was still using outdated technology. Shifting to energy efficient LEDs could reduce electricity bills. In subsequent weeks, he also recognized that replacing existing electric water heaters with heat pump models and V-belt motor drives with synchronous belt drives could provide additional savings opportunities. Then, while looking at the break down of energy consumption in the Macungie plant, Das Menon noticed that a substantial amount of energy was being used to power forklifts. This led him to look at upgrading the current industrial battery chargers to more efficient high-frequency models, which could provide the additional benefit of using less energy to charge batteries. Finally, as a result of reduced solar PV costs in recent years, he was able to restart a dialogue about solar electricity generation which was not pursued in years past due to high costs.
Das Menon presented his findings to the energy team and the management in charge of Macungie operations. With the help of the Energy Team at the Macungie plant, Das Menon identified projects, which if implemented, could save a total of $2.4 million over project lifetimes. Annually, his recommendations could save $130,000 in utility bills, 2.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity and nearly 2,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. With these projects, Mack Trucks should be able to achieve its goals set by ISO 50001/SEP certification.