Neenah, Inc.: 50001 Ready Facility

BACKGROUND

Neenah Inc. is a global manufacturer specializing in an innovative, solutions-based portfolio of fine paper and technical products, including filters for automotive and industrial applications. As a significant user of electricity and natural gas, the company emphasizes the responsible use of water, energy, and other resources.

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SOLUTIONS

The existing Energy Team at Neenah Inc.’s paper mill in Whiting, Wisconsin learned about 50001 Ready after joining Wisconsin’s utility-funded energy efficiency and renewable resource program - Focus on Energy. The mill’s manager and employees recognized 50001 Ready as a beneficial way to elevate the facility’s ongoing efforts to streamline daily operations, reduce the mill’s energy footprint, and take advantage of utility incentives to save energy.

Connecting monthly energy savings to specific energy activities or projects has enabled the Energy Team to incorporate its most successful measures into other parts of the mill. The 50001 Ready process strengthened existing energy management practices by adding useful measurement and evaluation steps and helped the facility obtain national recognition for its energy achievements.

Implementing a 50001 Ready Energy Management System

  • 50001 Ready Implementation: The Whiting mill’s Energy Team found the action items in the 50001 Ready Navigator tool very useful. The team’s earlier work in connection with the Focus on Energy program had generated a policy, action plan, and performance metrics, so only a few additional (yet valuable) steps were needed to complete the 50001 Ready process.  
  • Energy Team: The mill’s existing six-person Energy Team is led by the mill’s environmental engineer; other members represent financial, mechanical, quality, and technical aspects of mill operations. The 50001 Ready procedures have helped the team work to ensure that energy savings will continue, even in the event of personnel changes at the mill. Team meetings include a Focus on Energy consultant who regularly supplies input and updates on utility incentive programs. To keep the entire mill workforce engaged, the team is now developing dashboards to display energy data in worker breakrooms and other locations.
  • Energy Performance Modeling: Neenah’s Whiting mill used DOE’s Energy Performance Indicator (EnPI) Lite tool to quantify its natural gas and electricity savings, helping to verify previous calculations and obtain 50001 Ready status. 
  • Keys to Success: The Whiting Energy Team offers two key tips: (1) track your progress and maintain good documentation to avoid backtracking, and (2) share all energy management documents by placing them in an intranet/shared-drive folder to keep everyone on the same page. The team found it useful to work through the 50001 Ready Navigator in conjunction with the Strategic Energy Management manual provided by Focus on Energy.
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OTHER BENEFITS

Implementing an energy management system helped the mill increase its production efficiency, accelerate machine speeds, and save on raw materials. Energy efficiency measures implemented in 2016 and 2017 provided over 530,000 therms/year of natural gas savings and 1.6 million kWh/year of electricity savings. Achieving 50001 Ready recognition has confirmed the ongoing value of the mill’s energy management system (EnMS) in generating continuous savings, further elevating awareness of energy efficiency within Neenah Inc.’s Whiting mill workforce. The mill’s energy management activities have strengthened standard operating procedures and work instructions, which have helped to improve both safety and operational efficiency at the mill, leading to reduced maintenance and downtime.

50001 Ready activities have reinforced the value of systematic energy management and support the Neenah Inc. Whiting mill’s efforts to encourage mill-wide awareness of opportunities for energy savings. Benefits of 50001 Ready beyond energy savings have heightened corporate interest in energy management and may encourage even greater investment in future energy management projects.

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Sector Type

Industrial

Location

Whiting, Wisconsin

Project Size

Paper mill and wastewater treatment, 10 acres, 260 employees, 400,000 sq. ft.

Neenah paper mill - 50001 Ready 2018