SEP Success Story: Detroit Diesel

May 26, 2016

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Detroit Diesel Verifies $37 Million in Energy Savings with SEP

Detroit Diesel verifies $37 million in energy savings with the Superior Energy Performance Program.

This video features Detroit Diesel’s success with DOE’s Superior Energy Performance® (SEP™) program. Daimler’s Detroit Diesel Corporation facility earned Platinum SEP certification in November 2015. The video describes how the automotive manufacturer is managing energy and using SEP to track progress, validate savings,  and build confidence for future investments in resource efficiency measures that can stimulate growth and create jobs

The facility implemented a robust energy management system in compliance with ISO 50001 and used SEP to quantify its energy performance improvement. As a result, the facility demonstrated it had improved energy performance by 32.5% and saved $37 million over a ten year period. For a large manufacturing facility where the average monthly energy bill is about $1 million, these savings are important and accumulate quickly. These impressive energy and cost savings garnered attention and support from management, all the way up to Detroit Diesel’s parent company Daimler in Germany.  

Learn more about Detroit Diesel’s SEP certification.

Read the video transcript

The video opens with a shot of the manufacturing production floor, with engineers working on an engine.

Jeff Allen, Detroit Diesel Plant Manager: “Here at Detroit Diesel Corporation, we are the provider of the entire powertrain package for Daimler Trucks North America. Within this facility we house about 2500 employees, and on a daily basis we produce about 400 engines a day, about 1300 axels a day, and we are ramping up to the point where we will be doing about 250 transmissions a day. So we are pumping out a lot of iron and we are doing it right here in the heart of the motor city.”

“Our average monthly energy bill in this facility is about 1 million dollars.

So making sure we use that resource in a very productive and efficient way is very important to us.”

Text on screen: Superior Energy Performance (SEP) delivers real value.

Jeff Allen: “Managing energy is a very important part of our business because at the end of the day, energy is a limited resource. We were able to quantify with SEP that over the last 10 years, we saved 37 million dollars—quantified, taken to the bottom line.”

Text on screen: How many more products or services would your company need to sell to add $37 million to the bottom line?

Paul Scheihing, U.S. Department of Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office: “The Detroit Diesel facility used the robust SEP program to verify its energy performance improvement. It improved its energy performance by nearly a third, even as production went up 93%. The facility tracked its energy performance and a third party verified the results. Leading businesses use SEP to lower their energy use, save money, and reduce their carbon footprint.”

Jeff Allen: “Now the team is very energized. They know the potential. Since we were able to quantify that, it got the attention from not only me, but my boss and all of the top management in Germany. They said, boy ok, now you can really start to reinvest in the facility by some of the monies we are saving, and so this has opened doors for us.”

Del Spooner, Detroit Diesel Technical Services Director: “Investments are expected to have a payback of 1-2 years. Being able to validate what we’ve saved over the past 10 years give us credibility. Therefore our management is much more receptive to investing in 3-5 year projects across the facility.”

Jeff Allen: “It has been very eye-opening, very rewarding, and a very beneficial process for us.

For another company that might be considering the SEP process, you learn a lot from it. I say go for it, it’s painless.”

“Not only is it important to the environment, but any little opportunity for us to save and conserve really affects the bottom line directly. And the more money we can save from things like our gas bill and our electric bill, we can automatically take those savings and reinvest them back into the plant and ultimately create more jobs for the people here in Detroit.”