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Cutting Costs in Half

A leading international manufacturer of heating and air conditioning components was looking for ways to improve its operations. To achieve this goal, the company called Air Products to assess its facilities in North America.

“We were looking for suppliers that provide value-added services,” says its Vice President of Procurement in North America. “We were impressed with Air Products’ portfolio of technologies and thought they’d be a great fit for us.”

After meeting with the company’s operations team in the fall of 2005, Matt Thayer from Air Products, audited a number of their facilities. The results were impressive. Most notably, Thayer found a way to save the company over $500,000 per year at one of its facilities by shutting down one of its two exo generators. The company uses exo generators to create an atmosphere for annealing certain air conditioning parts.

“We made some changes in the company’s process work flow and looked at all of the production units in the entire plant,” explains Thayer. Thayer discovered that one of the exo generators, a late-1990s Surface Combustion generator, was being underutilized. By taking advantage of the unit’s turndown and shutdown capabilities, the manufacturer was able to produce the same atmosphere flow output using only the Surface Combustion generator at less than half the cost. This allowed the company to idle the second generator, a 1950s vintage unit that was inefficient and lacked the most up-to-date capabilities.

By using the more productive and efficient of the two exo generators in the plant, Thayer was able to create significant savings. “The biggest component is the natural gas savings, which results in $360,000 a year alone,” says Thayer. “Air Products literally cut our natural gas bill in half by shutting down one of the exo generators,” says the company’s Vice President.

And this is just the beginning. The company is currently looking for ways Air Products can help at other plants and with other technologies.

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