Energy Audit Helps Printing Company Improve Production Environment
Award winning Riegel Communications Group, Inc. operates from a state-of-the art 41,000 square foot facility in Ewing, New Jersey. The company’s cutting edge technology provides its clients with superior digital pre-press services, expert conventional multi-color printing capabilities, high-quality/high speed digital printing, enhanced bindery and finishing with timely schedules and competitive pricing, all delivered by a team of highly experienced print production professionals.
Riegel wanted to satisfy their customer’s request to get ‘green’ but were concerned about the potential cost and benefits.
Riegel first met NJMEP as a result of its telemarketer contacting the company. An appointment was scheduled to explain the services that were provided. At the time Riegel was working with a consultant to become ISO compliant in order to grow their business. When an inquiry was made by one of Riegel’s clients about going green, the company contacted NJMEP to schedule a meeting.
During that meeting, The Green Supplier Network (GSN) was discussed. As discussions continued, NJMEP came back with the recommendation that Lean and Green Manufacturing would get Riegel where they wanted to go. Energy usage and lighting was also discussed as Riegel already knew their ballasts were obsolete and would have to eventually switch out its lighting.
With the assistance of NJMEP, Riegel submitted an application for a New Jersey Department of Labor Customized Training grant for transitioning the company to Lean and Green. While waiting for the grant approval. NJMEP brought in its expert in the energy field to conduct a lighting and energy audit.
NJMEP’s resource visited Riegel’s facilities to walk through and observe the existing equipment and building operation. They reviewed the energy usage, installed equipment, operational practices, present and future facility design requirements, power interruption and recovery issues, cost per sq. ft. of gas and/or electric where applicable, third party alternative energy supplier availability and costs, and other areas that were relevant. Riegel provided energy usage, billing histories and made relevant personnel available for interviews as well.
The report that was provided to Riegel identified and described areas where energy could be used more effectively and provided recommendations on how that should be accomplished. The report included estimated costs, energy and operational savings along with the possible rebate dollars available.
During a follow-up meeting to discuss the audit a detailed Lighting Replacement/Retrofit Proposal showing a payback of 2 years or less was presented. NJMEP’s resource also provided on-going energy related telephone support for 1 year. Based on the recommendations that were made, Riegel Communications Group has replaced the lighting throughout its entire facility and is currently investigating the replacement of its HVAC equipment.
The analysis indicated Riegel would see a monthly saving of $3,200 with the lighting change out. Putting a number on the actual savings is impossible as Riegel’s utility bill includes HVAC, its presses as well as all its other equipment.
Riegel’s CFO Jim Eska, explained “Although we can’t put numbers to the cost savings, the environment is greatly improved. The much brighter facility has improved production. As an example, matching client colors is critical to our work; good lighting makes that job much easier.”
In addition to the Energy audit, Riegel moved forward with the lean transition. Its grant application was approved and Lean manufacturing techniques were implemented.
Riegel continues its Lean journey with NJMEP, applying Lean tools and methodologies throughout its entire organization.
Mr. Eska, added, “Our first launch into Lean with NJMEP was very successful! We engaged and re-energized our employees and developed a new product offering as a result of this initiative. Our company added 5 employees last year and increased sales approximately 7% and saw a cost savings of $500,000. Our lead time was reduced –we can more quickly respond to our customer requests. Our goal in instituting our new training program is to enhance our turnaround time.
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