O’Fallon Casting is a Partner in the US Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program and committed to reduce its energy consumption by 25% within ten years. At the close of 2014 OFC had already achieved a cumulative 19.3% against its 2012 baseline.
In a letter to O’Fallon Casting the DOE Director of Advanced Manufacturing Office, Mark Johnson, commended the company on achieving its already impressive energy savings:
“O’Fallon Casting is leading the way on industrial energy efficiency. Together with other Better Plants Partners, your efforts are helping to cut energy waste, grow jobs, reduce air pollution and improve the competitiveness of the US manufacturing sector.” “As of September 2014, Partners have saved about 320 trillion Btu and $1.7 billion cumulatively. I extend my congratulations on your achievement of a 19.3% cumulative improvement in energy intensity and look forward to continuing our partnership.”
To achieve these energy savings, in 2012, O’Fallon Casting began first by engaging the University of Missouri (Columbia) Department of Industrial Engineering to conduct an energy efficiency and renewable energy assessment of the O’Fallon facility. On March 8, 2012 a team from the Missouri Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) conducted their assessment. The report from the IAC contained seven recommendations that O’Fallon Casting could immediately begin to address. Some of the quick fixes suggested by the IAC were:
- Ensuring that all compressed air lines were leak free.
- Insulating steam pipes.
- Repairing broken seals on the preheat furnaces.
Appreciable energy savings have also been realized by the installation of new and more efficient equipment. O’Fallon Casting has replaced three natural gas preheat furnaces with three energy efficient electric Unitherm furnaces and the replacement of a less efficient autoclave and boiler with a new state of the art LBBC BoilerClave and Parker Boiler yielded immediate energy savings. In addition to providing a more efficient dewax operation the new LBBC BoilerClave is equipped with a heat exchanger that captures and recycles the spent heat from the LBBC BoilerClave steam exhaust to provide hot water for the O’Fallon Casting facility.
One of O’Fallon Casting’s 2015 Continuous Improvement projects is to re-lamp its entire facility and to replace 2700 existing T8 fluorescent tubes with LED lamps. In addition to greater foot-candles of lighting the LED lamps are estimated to yield an annual energy savings of more than 280,000 kWh.
As cited by Director Johnson, improvements in energy efficiency reduce air pollution and improve company competitiveness. O’Fallon Casting has made reductions in energy consumption a part of its Continuous Improvement process. As a Partner in the DOE’s Better Plants Program, O’Fallon Casting continues to explore new ways to further reduce its energy footprint.