October 17 Eastern Shore Energy Roundtable

From left to right: Representatives from Crystal Steel Fabricators, RMI, Maryland Plastics, K&L Microwave

October 17, Salisbury, MD.  As part of RMI’s Energy Program, we periodically meet with groups of manufacturers who are benefiting from our service and encourage them to share their successes with their manufacturing peers. RMI’s current program is funded for manufacturers served by Delmarva Power and PEPCO utilities through the Maryland Energy Administration by the State of Maryland to help reduce energy consumption and energy cost for manufacturers.

Manufacturers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore have been particularly responsive.  On behalf of RMI, K&L Microwave graciously hosted a morning manufacturing roundtable event at their Salisbury facility on October 17 so participating manufacturers in RMI’s Energy Program could discuss their energy saving progress with their peers and frankly share their experiences on their energy efficiency journey.

The roundtable featured presentations from Maryland Plastics and Crystal Steel Fabricators from Federalsburg and K&L Microwave from Salisbury. Attending manufacturers included representatives from W.L Gore from Elkton and local Salisbury manufacturers including Toroid Corporation, Trinity Sterile, Jubilant Cadista, Blind Industries and Services of Maryland and Tishcon Corporation who came to hear about their results emanating from the RMI Energy Program and to network with their peers.  

RMI’s Energy Program provides top quality engineers who provide energy audits for manufacturing facilities, makes upgrade recommendations to management, helps manufacturers get vendor quotes, finds funding sources for upgrades and helps process paperwork for grants and loans. All at no cost to the manufacture.  Our mandate is to help manufacturers reduce energy at their facilities and save them money on energy expenses. Since 2016, RMI’s Energy Program has served over 90 manufacturers, saving them over $7.5 million through cost savings from energy upgrades, rebates, grants and loans. Manufacturers value having a trusted manufacturing non-profit like RMI provide a second pair of eyes to evaluate energy savings potential at their facilities (see more about the program).

All three of the presenting companies at the roundtable had been awarded Commercial & Industrial grants last spring with RMI’s help through MEA’s competitive grant application process (as well as three other firms in the program, totaling over $220,000 in grant funding to upgrade their energy efficiency projects). 

RMI Assemble Meeting ImageEach presenter described the importance they placed on cutting waste through their energy efficiency upgrades which included primarily lighting and air compressor projects. The unique take-aways went beyond just the energy savings. Program participants discussed the value of upgrading from metal halide lights to LEDs and from fluorescents to LEDs in terms of dollar savings, but also how it was positively affecting employee morale and quality control for production.

Many of the attending manufacturers have multiple locations and have seen the value that can be brought to their one facility and now are eager to similar savings projects for other facilities. One facility manager commented how important it was to have a trusted, knowledgeable advisor guide them on a continual basis on making the right energy investments up front, noting that as they expand their facility upgrades don’t have to be made after the fact. 

Another participant commented on the value of having RMI’s engineering expertise to find opportunities that they might not have found on their own. It was also noted that the projected lower energy costs together with happier employees are helping them validate their investment.  “It’s not just a one-off, it makes us look good.”

“These manufacturing roundtable events are really important,” said Peter Gourlay, RMI Vice President and Manager of RMI’s Energy Program. “The manufacturers-only meetings allow us to hear directly from these participating manufacturers in front of their peers, so we get candid feedback on the value of our service.”  “They also learn a lot from each other so it’s a great networking opportunity for these manufacturers who are all from very different industries – from pharmaceutical – to steel fabrication – to plastics, but they still share a lot in common,” he said.  

Attending manufacturers who had not previously signed up to participate in RMI’s Energy Program were convinced of RMI’s offering and are looking to see how they too might benefit.  

Next RMI Manufacturing Roundtable Event Nov 8 in Rockville: Manufacturers served by PEPCO have a great opportunity to hear more and meet other manufacturing executives who have benefited from RMI’s Energy Program at RMI’s next manufacturing energy roundtable as part of RMI’s Business Direct event on November 8 in Rockville. See more here to register.