Cutting Tool Manufacturer Reaps Economic Benefits from Cogen System

After paying $2 million annually in electricity costs, an old Simonds International factory installs new cogeneration technology from 2G-CENERGY to slash its electricity costs and carbon emissions.

After paying $2 million annually in electricity costs, an old factory installs new cogeneration technology to slash its electricity costs and carbon emissions.

North America’s oldest cutting tool manufacturer, Simonds International (Fitchburg, MA), recently demonstrated its commitment to keeping its feet firmly planted in its 180-year-old factory and corporate headquarters. The company’s biggest plant innovates from its home in a city committed to manufacturing, thus supporting generations of families that comprise its skilled work force.

 

For small and large shops alike: Here is an explanation of how the combined heat and power cogeneration technology that the Fitchburg plant installed works when compared to conventional power generation systems.

 

As a major energy consumer, the plant was facing electric rates that were in some cases double those of its other U.S. plants. It goes without saying that making heat-treated metal cutting tools consumes a lot of electricity. As a result, Simonds was paying $2 million annually in electricity costs at its Fitchburg plant.

Since a significant portion of the company’s workforce is employed at the Fitchburg factory, the executive leadership team decided to make a bold move toward green energy that would combat high costs, preserve jobs and enable future growth. Their solution was a natural gas-fired CHP (Combined Heat and Power) cogeneration system from 2G-CENERGY Power Systems Technologies, Inc. (St. Augustine, FL) that produces enough energy to run, heat and cool the entire 400,000 sq ft plant.

As of now, the system has been online for over a year, with three generators each producing 600 kW of power. It is estimated to save Simonds approximately 40 percent in annual energy costs – drastically reducing CO2 emissions and water use. The system’s automation and control technology also enables the company to further monitor its energy efficiency, lower its environmental load and reduce CO2 emissions.

U.S. manufacturers need to rethink their energy use plans,” says Michael J. Turwitt, president and chief executive officer of 2G-CENERGY. The Florida-based company designed, manufactured, supplied, installed, and commissioned Simonds’ CHP unit.

The cost of gas has dropped dramatically because of the abundance of this natural resource, while electric prices continue to rise. When you compare the U.S. with other industrialized nations, electric prices are relatively low, depending on the geographical location in North America. They will, however, increase steadily, in some areas rapidly, and eventually be on pace with the rest of the world.”

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