New Automated Doors at CertainTeed Plant Eliminate Need for Building Heat
(Valley Forge, Pa.) – CertainTeed’s
fiber cement siding plant in White City, Ore., is celebrating a more sustainable new year upon the completion of a few key energy efficiency improvements. Topping the list is the installation of rapid open-and-close exterior doors to minimize the loss of building heat during winter months.
“In the past, building heat accounted for nearly half of the natural gas our plant consumed during the winter,” says J.R. Richmond, plant manager of the CertainTeed fiber cement plant in White City. “After one month with the new entrance and exit doors, we were able to reduce our natural gas consumption by 300 kilowatt hours per ton of production. It’s encouraging to know you can have such big results from a simple change.”
In addition, the plant installed two air flow meters to detect air compressor leaks and had existing leaks repaired, through the help of a grant from the Energy Trust of Oregon program. The new air flow meters allow plant personnel to track air usage in real time and to see exactly how much air is being lost to leaks when production is down. As a result, the White City plant has reduced air consumption by approximately 50 percent when in operation.
These and many other energy efficiency improvements made at the White City plant in recent years are a result of CertainTeed’s overarching commitment to sustainability. This commitment involves the adoption of leaner manufacturing techniques and the continuous search for new ways to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. The White City plant periodically hosts “Energy Kaizen” events, where maintenance personnel form teams to search for sources of energy waste throughout the plant and make updates to improve energy efficiency. The events have been a huge success, helping the plant to operate more efficiently and decrease its environmental footprint, as well as utility costs.
“Our employees are all deeply involved in the Energy Kaizen events and have contributed some valuable ideas for reducing energy consumption at our plant,” Richmond says. “After each event, we simply set our standards higher and continue looking for new energy waste sources to eliminate. It’s an ongoing task, but we’ve most definitely seen the benefits.”About CertainTeed
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.
A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CertainTeed earned the 2011 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The group had total sales of approximately $3.2 billion in 2011. www.certainteed.com