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Featured Articles

Partners in the Spotlight

AMO and Industry News

Featured Articles

Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation Launched

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) was officially launched last week with the signature of a Cooperative Agreement with the not-for-profit organization established by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation. IACMI, The Composites Institute hosted an initial meeting with Consortium Members in mid-June in Knoxville, Tennessee.

When President Obama announced plans for the Institute in January, he observed that it “will be home to 122 public and private partners who are teaming up to develop materials that are lighter and stronger than steel…These advanced polymer composites are a sophisticated combination of materials like carbon fiber and tough plastics—they’re expensive to produce. So the idea here is for the partners to come together to see if we can not only come up with improved design, but also start driving down the cost and look at new applications.”

The new Institute will foster public-private partnerships to drive technology development and provide access to shared RD&D facilities and key resources to spur innovation. IACMI is a membership organization with representation from large and small private businesses, universities and community colleges, as well as state economic development agencies. It will focus on low-cost, energy efficient manufacturing and the recycling of fiber reinforced polymer composites for clean energy applications. Specifically, it is organized around five technology areas: three focused on target clean energy application areas—vehicles, wind, and compressed gas storage—and two cross-cutting areas—design, modeling and simulation, and materials and process technology. 

IACMI’s goals are to become a self-sustaining organization and to reduce the cost of composites by 25%, reduce the embodied energy of composites by 50% and demonstrate greater than 80% recyclability in five years.  For more information, contact Kelly Visconti.

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2015 Better Buildings Summit Celebrates Continued Energy and Cost Savings

The 2015 Better Buildings Summit, from May 27-29, drew more than 900 people to Washington DC to share and discuss solutions for cutting energy intensity in buildings and industrial facilities.

At the Summit, Brian Deese, Senior Advisor to the President, called on each existing Challenge Partner to recruit one new partner in order to double the impact of Better Buildings. In addition, he announced the expansion of the Better Buildings Challenge to include water savings goals. Since the initiative was launched by President Obama in 2011, Better Buildings Challenge Partners have cut energy waste by 94 TBTUs, saving $840 million and avoiding 6 million tons of carbon emissions – equivalent to cutting the emissions of 1 million cars, as noted in a press release.

A view of the crowd at the 2015 Better Buildings Summit.
The Summit featured a comprehensive set of panel sessions with a dedicated industrial track that drew on the experiences of Better Plants Partners and Superior Energy Performance® (SEP™) participants. For example:

  • Bob Bechtold from Harbec outlined his company’s innovative energy project-financing strategy
  • Bert Hill from Volvo Group spoke about taking advantage of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) energy efficiency resources, especially the Industrial Assessment Centers
  • Susan Rochford from Legrand discussed her company’s Energy Marathon—a competition between its 18 North American facilities to reduce energy usage

Save the Date: The 2016 Better Buildings Summit will be held May 9-11, in Washington, DC. For more information on the annual Summit, contact Andre de Fontaine.

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DOE Recognizes High-Achieving Better Plants and Superior Energy Performance Partners

DOE’s Mark Johnson and Paul Scheihing pose with representatives from SEP-certified plants from Schneider Electric, Volvo, MedImm
AMO hosted a special recognition ceremony for Better Plants Partners and SEP participants at the 2015 Better Buildings Summit. AMO Director Mark Johnson was on hand to congratulate company representatives for their energy efficiency leadership and highlight related AMO initiatives.

Three Better Plants Challenge Partners, 3M, Harbec, and Volvo Group, were called to stage and congratulated for meeting their 25% energy intensity improvement goal ahead of schedule. Bentley Mills was similarly honored for meeting its goal ahead of schedule, as well as for joining the Challenge and committing to an additional 25% improvement over 10 years. Representatives of Lennox International, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, TE Connectivity, and Toyota were formally welcomed to the Better Plants Challenge, while Oshkosh Corporation was welcomed to the Better Plants Program.

AMO also recognized companies for achieving SEP certification at their facilities: Coca-Cola and MedImmune for one each, Volvo Group with two, and Schneider Electric with five. For more information on Better Plants or SEP, contact Andre de Fontaine or Paul Scheihing, respectively.

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AMO Peer Review Highlights Cutting-Edge Energy Efficiency Projects

Holes 150 micrometers in diameter cut in a 50 micrometer-thick silicon wafer via progressively faster (left to right) pulse lase
On May 28-29, more than 100 technology experts gathered to review and provide actionable feedback on 28 R&D projects, four facility projects, and four analytical projects at the AMO Peer Review. The Peer Review was held concurrently with the 2015 Better Buildings Summit in Washington, DC.

The Peer Review featured examinations of many innovative projects, including the development of a high metal removal rate process. Traditionally, machining platforms such as drilling have been used to remove material to create a finished product. However, these manufacturing processes are ill-suited to produce small parts with high accuracy requirements. AMO is thus working with project partners Delphi Automotive Systems, Raydiance, Inc., and Microlution, Inc. to develop rapid pulse laser technology that allows very small holes to be formed in hard-to-machine materials. This technology has broad commercial applications, including ceramic hole drilling for the electronics industry, precious metal drilling for the biomedical industry, and fuel injection system manufacturing for the automotive industry.

Reviewers also looked at a similarly impactful AMO-sponsored research project with partners PolyPlus Battery Company, Corning Incorporated, and Johnson Controls that focuses on developing protected lithium electrodes for advanced batteries. Lithium-air, lithium-water, and lithium-sulfur batteries demonstrate very high energy densities but require protected lithium electrodes (PLEs) with high mechanical strength, ionic conductivity, and chemical stability. The AMO research project is developing novel manufacturing processes to fabricate PLEs at scale with just those qualities. Low-cost, high-performance, ultra-lightweight, compact batteries based on PLE technology may enable a new generation of portable devices. Other applications may include oceanographic exploration, oil and gas exploration, autonomous underwater vehicles and buoys, and unmanned aerial vehicles for both commercial and U.S. military markets.

The presentations given at the Peer Review are available on the AMO website. The Review Panel is preparing a report to AMO management on its overall assessment of AMO, which will also be published online when complete. For more information on the AMO Peer Review, contact Bob Gemmer.

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Partners in the Spotlight

Better Plants Welcomes Six New Partners

Several new Partners have joined Better Plants and set ambitious energy-saving goals with DOE, bringing the total number of partners to 157. Two companies joined the Better Plants Program, agreeing to reduce their energy intensity by 25% over 10 years and report their progress once a year to DOE. Another four joined the Better Plants Challenge, a higher-level leadership club of organizations that set energy reduction targets and agree to openly share their data and best practices so that others can follow their lead.

New Better Plants Program Partners are:

AbbVie Logo
AbbVie, Inc. is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people, and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. Together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmacyclics, AbbVie employs more than 28,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries.  As part of a corporate commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, the company implemented or began implementing 23 energy conservation projects across five manufacturing and R&D sites in 2013. This led to annual cost savings of $650,000. Through Better Plants, the company is committed to reducing 20% of its carbon footprint by 2020. 

Johnson Matthey Logo
Johnson Matthey Emissions Control Technologies Division is a world- leading catalyst manufacturer for vehicle and stationary exhaust emission control technology. The organization is a supplier to Cummins, Inc. and joins as part of the Better Plants Supply Chain Pilot.

New Better Plants Challenge Partners are:

Bentley Mills Logo
Bentley Mills, Inc. is the largest commercial carpet manufacturer in California. The company’s carpet manufacturing facility is LEED-EBOM® Gold certified and has been in continuous operation since the company’s founding in 1979. Bentley met its initial Better Plants Program target ahead of schedule, reducing its energy intensity by 25% in just four years. Through the Better Plants Challenge, Bentley set a new goal of reducing its energy intensity by an additional 25% over the next 10 years.

BCWSA Logo
Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority (BCWSA) is one of the largest water and sewer authorities in Pennsylvania, serving 385,000 people in the southeastern region of the Commonwealth. BCWSA joins the Better Plants Challenge as one of three water and wastewater treatment agencies that have committed to reduce their energy intensity and share their experiences with others in the sector.

TE Connectivity Logo
TE Connectivity is a global, $14 billion company that designs and manufactures highly-engineered solutions that connect and protect data and power inside millions of products. The company serves a broad spectrum of markets, including the automotive, broadband connectivity, energy and industrial, and consumer markets. TE Connectivity has been recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index since 2012.  It also met its initial energy intensity reduction target through the Better Plants Program and has set a new, 25% energy efficiency goal through the Challenge.

Toyota Logo
Toyota is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through its Toyota, Lexus, and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, the company has built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where it operates 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the United States) and directly employs more than 42,000 people (more than 34,000 in the States).  The company met its initial energy intensity reduction target through the Better Plants Program and set a new goal through the Challenge to reduce energy intensity by an additional 20% over 12 years.

Better Plants is a national initiative that works with industry to set and meet ambitious energy-saving targets. For more information on Better Plants, contact Andre de Fontaine.

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Schneider Electric Certifies Tenth Facility to SEP

Schneider Electric Logo
Schneider Electric now has ten facilities certified to the SEP program and to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 50001 in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This is the most SEP certifications achieved by a single organization to date. “This milestone illustrates that the SEP framework can help an organization achieve real savings through active energy management that can continue to produce results over time,” said Dennis Edwards, Schneider Electric's Energy Manager North America.

Schneider Electric has doubled the number of sites earning SEP certification since announcing its first five certified facilities in October 2014. The company’s latest SEP certifications, confirmed just recently, include facilities in the following locations:

  • Clovis, California (platinum)
  • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (platinum)
  • Rojo Gomez, Mexico (silver)
  • Peru, Indiana (gold)
  • Columbia, South Carolina (gold)

The platinum-certified facilities improved their energy performance by more than 15% over three years, while the gold and silver- certified facilities improved energy performance by at least 10% or 5%, respectively, over three years.

To achieve SEP certification, Schneider Electric set up a robust energy management system, tracked the improvements in energy performance at each participating facility, and had the results independently verified by an accredited SEP Verification Body. Certification to the ISO 50001 standard for energy management systems is also an integral part of the SEP certification process. Schneider Electric also partners with DOE through the Better Plants Challenge and as a charter member of the SEP Enterprise-wide Accelerator, which is helping companies scale the implementation of SEP across multiple facilities at the same time. For more information on SEP and the Accelerator, contact Paul Scheihing.

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SEP-Certified Manufacturers Celebrated at Strategic Energy Management Showcase

11 - SEM Showcase.jpg
DOE recently recognized several manufacturers for earning SEP certification at the 2015 Strategic Energy Management Showcase hosted by the Pennsylvania State University. The manufacturers are:

  • Curtiss-Wright, Electro-Mechanical Division (EMD) (Cheswick, Pennsylvania)
  • General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, Scranton Operations Plant (Scranton, Pennsylvania)
  • Land O’ Lakes Inc., Land O’ Lakes – Carlisle (Carlisle, Pennsylvania)
  • Mack Trucks, Inc. (part of Volvo Group NA), Macungie Cab & Vehicle Assembly Plant (Macungie, Pennsylvania)
  • MedImmune, LLC, MedImmune – Gaithersburg (Gaithersburg, Maryland)

The achievement of the four Pennsylvania manufacturers establishes the state as having the most industrial plants in the nation to earn certification to SEP. MedImmune’s Gaithersburg campus became the first U.S. biotech facility to earn SEP certification. Two DOE partners, the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP) and the Pennsylvania Department of Energy, were also recognized at the Showcase for their work to advance industrial energy savings. For more information on SEP, contact Paul Scheihing.

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Better Plants Partners Honored with Awards at Industrial Energy Technology Conference

Several Better Plants Partners were honored with awards at the 2015 Industrial Energy Technology Conference (IETC) in recognition of their energy efficiency leadership.

Four Partners—Celanese Corporation, Dow Chemical Company, Eastman Chemical Company, and MeadWestvaco Corporationreceived 2015 Responsible Care® Energy Efficiency Awards from the American Chemistry Council (ACC). The ACC bestowed these awards for implementing innovative energy efficiency improvements in 2014. Celanese and MeadWestvaco were recognized for energy efficiency programs at one of their facilities, while Dow and Eastman were recognized for making significant efficiency improvements in manufacturing. Volvo Group received a 2015 Energy Award from IETC itself in recognition for its overall energy efficiency efforts. For more information, contact Andre de Fontaine.

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AMO and Industry News

DOE Announces $20 Million to Develop Advanced Components for Next-Generation Electric Machines

12 - Next Gen Electric Machines.png
DOE recently announced up to $20 million in available funding to spur the development of high- speed industrial motors and drives that use high-power-density designs and integrated power electronics. These technologies have the potential to reduce the energy costs and improve the competitiveness of the industrial sector, which currently consumes more than a quarter of the electricity produced in the United States and is expected to increase its consumption by about 30% by 2040.

Through this funding opportunity, called “Next Generation Electric Machines: Megawatt Class Motors,” DOE will select four to six projects that demonstrate the benefits of using advanced industrial components such as variable-speed drives featuring wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors. WBG components can operate at higher temperatures, voltages, and frequencies than their silicon-based counterparts, and they are also more durable and reliable.

The selected teams will develop integrated motor drive system components including front-end power processing units, medium- voltage-class WBG semiconductor-based variable-speed drives, and high-speed motors that can be directly coupled to appropriate industrial loads. These projects will be expected to target a 30% reduction in system losses and a 50% reduction in size for megawatt-scale motor and drive systems used in the following:

  • The chemical and petroleum refining industries
  • Natural gas infrastructure
  • General industry compressor applications such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; refrigeration; and wastewater pumps.

For more information, read the funding opportunity description or contact Isaac Chan.

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AMO-Supported Project Develops Lower-Cost Titanium Component Production Process

Example titanium auto parts: a) connecting rod – Ducati, b) intake and outtake valves, c) coated/uncoated valves, d) brake pins
AMO-supported researchers have developed a novel process to minimize the cost of production of titanium materials and components. Led by Dr. Zhigang 'Zak' Fang, a Metallurgical Engineering Professor at the University of Utah, the project’s aim is to increase the adoption of titanium components for energy-consuming applications, given the material’s high strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance. The project is in its third year under an AMO Innovative Manufacturing Initiative award.

A key innovation of the new manufacturing approach is a novel titanium powder sintering technology for making titanium materials with wrought-like microstructure and mechanical properties. The process promises a meltless, near-net-shape cold compaction process for highly efficient manufacturing of titanium components. The University of Utah recently signed a license agreement for the technology with Ametek – Reading Alloys, a major titanium powder producer.  The two partners will use the next year to evaluate scale-up in a production environment and commercialization opportunities. Specifically, titanium components have widespread applications in the aerospace, automotive, and defense sectors.  For more information, contact Steve Sikirica.

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New Sheet Metal Forming Technology Promises Reduced Energy and Resource Consumption

RAFFT Machine
In May, a new industrial-scale system for small-volume, on-demand metal sheet deformation was delivered to the Ford Motor Company. The unit was based on the design developed by the AMO-administered Rapid Freeform Sheet Metal Forming Technology (RAFFT) project. Two years in the making, RAFFT systems can produce industrial parts within one week of receiving engineering computer-aided design (CAD) data.

Traditional sheet metal forming processes require engineering, casting, machining, assembling, and testing large die sets, which consumes large quantities of material, time, and energy. RAFFT eliminates the need for stamping dies and their associated heavy machinery and presses. The innovative system instead employs double-sided incremental forming. In this process, a sheet blank is clamped in place, and two stylus-type tools (one on either side) follow programmed toolpaths to shape the blank into the desired part. The toolpaths get their instructions from algorithms based on CAD data. Developing extremely efficient algorithms that can rapidly generate toolpath programs was the greatest technical challenge, and a mixed toolpaths strategy was incorporated to improve geometric accuracy.

Traditional sheet metal forming cycles can take up to 25 weeks, but thanks to RAFFT, small-volume cycles will be shortened to a few days. RAFFT is also expected to decrease energy consumption by 50%–90% and reduce the total cost of low-volume production by up to 90%. Preliminary estimates suggest that, once fully deployed, RAFFT technology could save as much as 5.28 TBTUs and $44.67 billion per year in the United States.

Project partners are Ford Motor Company, Northwestern University, The Boeing Company, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Penn State Erie. Ingersoll Production Systems constructed the unit. For more information, contact David Forrest.

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New DOE Tool Helps Industry Save Energy in Process Heating

DOE and a partner, the Institute for Industrial Productivity (IIP), developed a Process Heating Modeler Tool (PHMT) that enables users to quickly assess the magnitude of losses within their process heating system using 10 Energy Flow Calculators. PHMT is the next-generation tool for users familiar with DOE’s Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST). PHMT’s calculators help estimate losses through the following:

  • Flue gas
  • Atmosphere
  • Hot gas leakage
  • Walls
  • Openings
  • Cooling
  • Load/charge
  • Discharge/slag
  • Electrical system

The tool also includes a Process Heating Modeler and a Properties Calculator. The Modeler creates an energy balance for users’ process heating systems and the equipment included in the systems. Specifically, it can be used to model the process heating energy flow within a given plant and for each piece of equipment or process within a system. The Calculator determines the energy content and phase of a large variety of solids, liquids, and gases. Use of the PHMT’s different features can greatly improve the energy efficiency of users’ process heating systems. For more information on the PHMT, contact Paul Scheihing.

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AMO Collaborates with CDP on Supply Chain Energy Efficiency

AMO staff last month briefed companies participating in the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) Supply Chain program on DOE's suite of industrial energy efficiency resources. CDP’s Supply Chain Program is complementary to a separate supply chain initiative launched last year as part of DOE’s Better Plants Program.

The CDP Supply Chain Program features a market-based initiative called Action Exchange that was created to address the barriers faced by multinational corporations in encouraging their supply chain companies to become more energy efficient. The IIP, a longtime AMO partner, teamed with CDP on the development and implementation of the initiative, and it drew on CDP’s already successful Supply Chain Program to identify the obstacles companies face and create solutions that could bring them improved energy performance over the long term.

Now in its first full-scale cycle, Action Exchange involves 13 members of CDP’s Supply Chain Program, including General Motors (a Better Plants Challenge Partner) and Walmart (a Better Buildings Challenge Partner). More than 180 core suppliers are participating at the request of these companies and, in aggregate, are estimated to have emissions reduction opportunities of 9.9 MTCO2-e.

At the core of Action Exchange is a database of corporate environmental information, which is based on annual disclosures from companies to CDP’s supply chain questionnaire. Other resources include an array of technologies, measures and case studies on best practice energy efficiency projects. These tools are used to evaluate a supplier’s basic level of energy efficiency and recommend a pathway for improvement and cost savings. Each supplier is analyzed individually and receives an emissions reduction profile, tailored for its specific sector and location. As a follow-up, personal introductions are made between a supplier and a solutions provider to help the supplier access cost-efficient emissions reduction technologies and services. For more information, contact Bruce Lung.

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Countries Commit to Accelerate the Adoption of ISO 50001

At the Sixth Clean Energy Ministerial, held in Mexico on May 27-28, Canada, Mexico, and the United States announced a plan to accelerate the adoption of the ISO 50001 energy management system standard.

ISO 50001 is a voluntary standard developed to provide organizations in both the public and private sectors with an internationally recognized framework for managing and improving their energy performance. AMO’s SEP program uses the standard as a foundational framework and adds additional energy performance improvement criteria not required by ISO 50001.

The new Clean Energy Ministerial effort includes a recognition program for companies that have demonstrated global leadership in adopting energy management practices as well as technical cooperation among partners to ensure robust ISO 50001 outcomes. For more information, contact Paul Scheihing.

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AMO Technology Expert Elected Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Dickson Ozokwelu
Dickson Ozokwelu, a 15-year DOE technology expert, has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) by the organization’s Board of Directors. AIChE is a professional organization with more than 45,000 members from more than 100 countries. The Fellows program was established in 1969 to recognize senior members, who have typically been in the chemical engineering practice for at least 25 years and have performed “service to the profession” and “significant professional accomplishment.” The honor was formally conferred on Dickson at a breakfast ceremony during the April 2015 AIChE Spring Meeting and 11th Global Congress on Process Safety. For more information, contact Dr. Dickson Ozokwelu.

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Partners Featured in This Issue

AbbVie, Inc.; Bentley Mills, Inc.; Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority; Celanese Corporation; Coca- Cola; Curtiss Wright; Delphi Automotive Systems; DowAska; Dow Chemical Company; Eastman Chemical Company; Ford Motor Co.; General Dynamics; Johnson Matthey Emissions Control Technologies Division; Land O’Lakes; Lennox International; Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; Mack Trucks, Inc.; MeadWestvaco Specialty Chemicals; MedImmune; Microlution, Inc.; Oshkosh Corporation; Raydiance, Inc.; Schneider Electric; TE Connectivity; Toyota; Volvo Group

Events

Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative Southeast Regional Summit
July 9 | Atlanta, GA
The Summit will convene leaders from industry, academia, and government to focus on innovation in manufacturing throughout the southeastern United States and highlight federal and state resources. Many distinguished leaders in the region have been invited to speak, such as John 'Jay' Rogers, CEO and Co-Founder of the next-generation car company Local Motors, and George P. "Bud" Peterson, President of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
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American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Summer Study
August 4-6 | Buffalo, NY
The Summer Study will cover the latest thinking on managing plant energy use, national energy policy, and industrial energy efficiency program administration. It will have six panels with concurrent sessions over the two days, each developed around a hot topic in industrial energy efficiency. AMO is a sponsor of this event and will be presenting several papers.
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Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference
September 26-30 | Chicago, IL
WEFTEC®, the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference, is the biggest meeting of its kind in North America and offers water quality education and training to thousands of water quality professionals from around the world. WEFTEC’s show floor also provides access to the cutting-edge technologies and services.
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World Energy Engineering Congress
September 30-October 2 | Orlando, FL
The 38th annual World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) features a large, multi-track conference agenda, a full line-up of seminars on a variety of current topics, and a comprehensive exposition of promising new energy technologies. This year's WEEC agenda will feature the Energy Managers Summit, a special forum designed to address and allow an exchange of ideas on both the challenges and opportunities facing today's energy managers. AMO is a conference co-sponsor..
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In-Plant Trainings
INPLTs are three-day training sessions focused on cross-cutting energy systems. Trainings are hosted by Better Plants Partners and are open to other companies unless noted otherwise. Contact Bill Orthwein for information on how to participate. Space is limited.

About AMO Programs

AMO partners with industry, small businesses, universities, and other stakeholders to identify and invest in emerging technologies with the potential to create high-quality domestic manufacturing jobs and enhance the global competitiveness of the United States. There are three main areas:

Facilities
AMO Facilities are collaborative communities that provide participants with affordable access to physical and virtual tools and enable demonstration in targeted technical areas of manufacturing.
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Research & Development Projects
R&D projects at AMO explore novel energy-efficient, next-generation materials and innovative process technologies for both specific industry sectors and a wider range of manufacturing industries.
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Technical Assistance
Industrial Technical Assistance supports the deployment of manufacturing technologies and practices, including strategic energy management and combined heat and power, across American industry to increase productivity and reduce water and energy use.
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