Volvo Group North America’s Hagerstown, MD, powertrain facility recently hosted a tour as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings, Better Plants 2019 Summit. The July 9 tour highlighted the production facility, as well as the state-of-the-art crankshaft grinding machines that helped reduce energy consumption at the plant.
“We are pleased that the DOE visited Volvo’s Hagerstown powertrain facility and that we were given an opportunity to spotlight our efficiencies,” says Pierre Jenny, Vice President and Plant Manager of the Hagerstown facility. “Our people and processes are instrumental in helping our plant achieve reduced energy consumption, and we are very proud of the work that they do.”
The Volvo Group retrofitted crankshaft grinders with Computer Numerically Controlled grinding machines, replacing 13 machines with three. The new energy-efficient machines process more crankshafts per day, while reducing electricity consumption by 56%, water consumption by 53% and coolant chemicals by 60%. The new grinding machines also generate less waste, enabling the facility to divert 68 tons from the landfill.
The project was completed in 2014 as part of the ISO 50001 EnMS and SEP certification. The achieved savings from this project helped the facility achieve platinum level Superior Energy Performance certification.
The company met its first Better Buildings, Better Plants goal – a 25% reduction in energy consumption at U.S. facilities – 5 years ahead of schedule and set a new goal of 25% more in savings by 2024. In the first 4 years of the new challenge, the Volvo Group is more than halfway to its target, reducing energy consumption by 17.5% compared with a 2014 baseline.
The Better Buildings, Better Plants program is just one way in which the Volvo Group has worked with DOE to improve the efficiency of its facilities. Three of the company’s manufacturing sites – Lehigh Valley Operations, New River Valley and Hagerstown – are platinum-level partners in the DOE’s Superior Energy Performance program, the highest certification available in the United States.