Comau LLC — 50001 Ready Facility

BACKGROUND

Comau LLC, a multinational company that is part of the FCA Group, manufactures and supplies integrated automation technologies. The company uses sustainable production practices to cut fuel costs and reduce CO2 emissions. As a U.S. Department of Energy Better Plants program partner, the company exceeded its energy intensity reduction goal in 2016, achieving a 26% reduction from its baseline year of 2011. With its largest facilities (e.g., the Novi, MI plant) included under its corporate certification to the ISO 50001 energy management system standard, the organization aims to expand use of energy management to reduce overall energy consumption in its facilities around the world.

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SOLUTIONS

Comau focused on earning 50001 Ready recognition at the Novi facility, its largest manufacturing plant in Michigan, after seeing the time-saving resources packaged in the 50001 Ready Navigator tool. Comau used the Navigator to access useful charts and templates to help them save time in maintaining their energy management system, and also to train other management-level employees to integrate them into the energy team. The energy team at the Novi plant initially used the 50001 Ready Navigator tool as a cross-check for their energy management activities to date, and now uses the tool to prepare for internal audits and for the annual surveillance audits as part of their ISO 50001 certification. Comau is exploring how to leverage the 50001 Ready Navigator tool in its plants in Mexico.

Implementing a 50001 Ready Energy Management System

  • Time commitment: ISO 50001 certified at the corporate level; required one day to use the Navigator as a checklist to confirm activities
  • Energy team: Energy manager, EHS supervisor, and cross-functional team from facilities, machine shop, paint, and integration.
  • Energy performance modeling: Regression-based modeling using EnPI Lite, demonstrating 8% performance improvement
  • Keys to success: (1) Strong support from management. (2) Involvement of team members from a variety of departments, all of which impact energy use
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OTHER BENEFITS

Comau's Novi, MI facility was recognized by DOE as the first facility under a corporate ISO 50001 certification to achieve 50001 Ready in September 2017.

Key Takeaways
Comau's greatest opportunity for saving resided in operational changes; 75% of the savings achieved through use of the energy management system at the Novi plant resulted from operational improvements. For capital projects, the cost of energy is low in Michigan, so reaching a desirable ROI can be difficult. Using 50001 Ready Navigator's built-in software tools and spreadsheets, the team can enter finer, granular energy data to determine a more accurate ROI. This helps the team prioritize areas of improvement and make the business case for energy efficiency projects.

The energy management system at the Novi plant also brought about benefits beyond energy and cost savings. Replacing lighting resulted in a better illumination in the shop, which improved productivity. With better monitoring and tracking in place, the facility can better compare usage and billing, and correct any errors with utility invoicing. Changing an air compressor as part of a system-level approach that included leak remediation and storage enhanced employee awareness of compressed air leaks and improved safety.

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Sector Type

Industrial

Location

Novi, Michigan

Project Size

475,000 square feet

Comau plant - 50001 Ready 2017