(Issue: April 2020)

Arconic Industrial Facility Maintenance and Energy Savings Upgrade

Submitted by NALMCO General Member Stones River Electric 

Stones River Electric was selected to deliver a turn-key energy saving LED lighting installation for the Arconic manufacturing site located in Cleveland, Ohio, plus a 10-year maintenance agreement. The heavy industrial site incorporates 1,615,651 square feet of various aluminum production stages, warehousing of raw and finished materials plus on campus administrative offices. This project involved the replacement of the antiquated HID and fluorescent lighting systems with a variety of new energy saving LED options. Each area of the facility was designed to meet the stringent requirements of the production environment found in various buildings throughout the plant.  Occupancy sensors were specified in areas where deemed safe to personnel operating machinery, and where sensors made viable financial sense.

The designers of the project had to contend with existing operational conditions when selecting the replacement LED luminaires. Some of these conditions included high ambient temperatures around the pre-heating ovens, plus corrosive environments in many of the testing, product finishing, and inspection quality control areas. All luminaires were precisely selected to meet or exceed the requirements each of these harsh environments demanded. 

Stones River Electric also brought the financing package for the project upgrade with the investment principle being paid back from the guaranteed energy savings component.  The project facility designed to serve the aerospace and automotive industries, had a very aggressive installation schedule. Stones River Electric installed 7,615 new LED fixtures in less than 10 months. One challenge facing the installation team was the 24-hour 7 day a week operating schedule functioning throughout the majority of the manufacturing areas. Another obstacle for fixtures installation was access up to the 80 and 100 foot mounting heights plus working over heavy fixed machines of varying types and processes. Plus, another trial included working in high ambient temperatures throughout the various areas of the manufacturing processes. However, Stones River Electric was successful in delivering the completed project to Arconic one month ahead of schedule while exceeded the projected energy savings by $99,121.00 per year. This additional financial savings equated to another $999,470.08 in positive cash flow to the client over 10 years. This reduced installation time also resulted in less downtime in the revenue generating production areas. This energy saving upgrade project also resulted in a delivered total annual savings of 11,295,901 kWh or 38,543 MMBTU. This measured energy reduction equates to an annual energy savings dollar amount of $689,049.97 which previously had been paid to the utility company year after year. Annual maintenance costs to Arconic were reduced an additional $46,632.30 in material costs and $99,804.48 in labor costs. We also calculated additional air conditioning savings of $14,723.87 which were realized in the climate-controlled areas of the facility due to less BTU being emitted into the space from the lower wattage LED solutions. This reduction is realized due to the existing air conditioning system not having to overcome the heat load which existed with the older removed less efficient lighting system. These bundled guaranteed savings, along with the 10-year financing package and maintenance program, resulted in the client seeing real positive cash flow immediately upon project completion. 

One of the main items this project focused on was communications with accurate and timely project status reporting to the owner. This communication which was an extremely important aspect which resulted in delivering the better than estimated project savings and performance.  Weekly updates were communicated with Arconic management to provide project status reports, schedule updates and percentage of completion.  Personnel safety was obviously very paramount to the project’s success. We held installation team daily and weekly tool box talks and that preventative effort resulted in zero incidents during the installation phase.  The measurement and verification portion of the project included a guarantee for the customer in all areas within the scope of this upgrade.  This included a sampling rate of the primary fixtures with individual pre and post wattage measurements.  Additionally, for this lighting project, all light levels were guaranteed so we performed numerous measurements for both pre and post project implementation.  Numerous detailed lighting layouts and calculations were conducted in order to guarantee the project would meet the client’s expectations and light level requirements.

Our 10-year planned maintenance program offered to and accepted by the client, continues to deliver great value to Arconic while simultaneously assisting in maintaining the high degree of visual safety required through the entire facility. Because the extended maintenance program is funded by the guaranteed energy savings of the project, valuable financial resources are now available for other Arconic needs. Also, our funding facilitated a situation where this lighting project did not have to compete with other internal capital projects that are not self-funding. Stones River Electric technicians visit the site quarterly and diagnose any issues with the installed LED lighting system. Any lighting issue observed is repaired and failed components replaced as needed. Additionally, Stones River Electric manages the warranty and owner stock programs for Arconic. This provided service in turn frees up a large portion of Arconic’s labor force which previously expended considerable man hours to maintain the antiquated lighting system. The freshly installed LED lighting system along with the extended 10-year maintenance program ensures a safer and healthier working environment for the plant and all of the Arconic employees. This project exceeded all the client’s expectations!