Energy Department Announces Eight Winners of the Individuals Taking Energy Action in Manufacturing Prize

On August 3rd, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the winners of the Individuals Taking Energy Action in Manufacturing (ITEAM) Prize. Launched in 2018, the ITEAM Prize recognizes individuals who have implemented creative, specific, and innovative ideas and practices that led to measurable energy savings at their manufacturing facilities.

“Through the ITEAM Prize, DOE celebrates employees on the plant floor who are improving their companies’ energy efficiency,” said Alex Fitzsimmons, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. “Their innovative leadership is driving cost savings and strengthening competitiveness for manufacturers across the U.S.”

ITEAM prize winners will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and will be recognized at the virtual 2020 Association of Energy Engineers World Energy Conference and Expo. To facilitate sharing of successful strategies and examples of leadership, winning ideas and practices are highlighted on the Better Buildings Solutions Center website for the benefit of U.S. manufacturing facilities nationwide.

The eight winners are:

  • George Anglin at Toyota Manufacturing, Texas, for careful tracking of energy, maintenance schedules, and production processes to identify the most energy efficient equipment, and for implementing best practices to achieve energy reductions while maintaining quality standards. By swapping in LEDs and installing higher-efficiency HVAC systems at the plant’s medical office building, Anglin helped the plant save nearly 1.3 megawatt-hours of energy and $89,000 annually.
  • Jeff Feyen at Charter Steel for leading a culture shift to make continuous energy improvement a part of the everyday activities at his plant. With an eye to lighting upgrades, installation of variable-frequency drives, compressed air and heating usage, and more, Jeff helped his processing plant save more than 81,000 million British thermal units, or 6% of total energy use.
  • Marcus Johnson at Eastman Chemical for examining boiler efficiency and finding opportunities for performance improvements. By demonstrating the value of efficiency and showing how the operation and maintenance of equipment can impact energy performance, Marcus achieved significantly lower fuel consumption and a 4% improvement in the efficiency of the facility’s two large boilers.
  • Terry McMichael at 3M for taking a holistic approach to improving compressed air systems at the 3M Cynthiana manufacturing plant. By ensuring that the plant employed the correct mix of compressors to minimize total horsepower needed for production, implementing efficient compressor sequencing, and pinpointing and systematically fixing air leaks, Terry’s approach saved $40,000.
  • Mike Rogers at 3M for leading the 3M Cottage Grove manufacturing site of more than 35 buildings to ISO 50001 certification. In the first year of energy management system implementation, the Cottage Grove site decreased its energy costs by 1.5%, saving $59,000.
  • Rochelle Samuel at Saint-Gobain North America for deploying an innovative internal compressed air initiative that engaged 22 teams across 19 sites to identify and fix compressed air leaks, as well as enable a sustainable compressed air operating and management system. The participating sites identified 837 leaks and repaired 48% of them, representing the potential for 26 gigawatt-hours and $2.5 million in annual savings.
  • Nick Sayles at Saint-Gobain North America for developing an onsite competition to reduce compressed air leaks. As a result, the team fixed 96 of the 100 air leaks identified over the course of the three-month competition, saving approximately $10,000 annually.
  • David Turkes at Bentley Mills for completing an energy efficient LED lighting project. By retrofitting 3,455 fixtures, the facility saved approximately 1.6 million kilowatt-hours, or roughly 30% of its annual electricity consumption.

DOE also recognizes the following project with an honorable mention:

  • Andy Hopkins, John Henry, Marc Matsen, Chris Hottes, and James Kestner at Boeing for selecting an induction heated smart susceptor blanket de-bulk cell—an important step in producing thermoset composites for Boeing 787 horizontal stabilizers at the West Jordan, Utah, plant. As a first-of-its-kind installation, this technology produced energy savings of 99% over a traditional autoclave.

The ITEAM competition was open to individuals employed at manufacturing plants operating at a U.S.-based facility. Applicants were evaluated by their innovativeness, impact on energy savings, leadership, and effectiveness in engaging other workers at their sites.

The ITEAM prize is part of the Sustainability in Manufacturing Partnership, announced by DOE in April 2018 in collaboration with the National Association of Manufacturers  (NAM). Through this partnership, fostered by DOE’s Better Plants program, DOE and the NAM work together to help U.S. manufacturers drive energy productivity improvements and accelerate the adoption of energy efficient technologies.

The ITEAM prize was facilitated by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, which supports early-stage research to advance innovation in U.S. manufacturing and promote American economic growth and energy security.