Sustainable development is an integral part of Teknion’s® corporate culture, and can be seen in every detail of their organization. Their focus on the environment started small but grew to be a part of their philosophy throughout the whole organization, with the collective effort of all team members. “Sustainability is ingrained in our corporate culture at every level — it is part of our processes and how we think,” says Rob Dean, Sustainability Program Manager at Teknion. Their recent environmental initiatives, implemented with the support of various Save on Energy programs, have Teknion reaping the benefits of reduced energy costs through energy-efficient upgrades.
Teknion is an international designer, manufacturer and marketer of mid- to high-end office systems and related furniture products. Teknion’s recent energy conservation projects included implementing an energy-efficient dust collection system in their wood panel plant and upgrading the lighting in their factory, offices and showrooms. “We’re looking at the programs to see how we can apply them across the company, across different processes. We’re trying to take full advantage of them,” says Harry Nikoletos, Director of Manufacturing Engineering.
A few years ago, Teknion began looking into a more effective dust collection system in their wood materials plant. “During production, the system was constantly running at full power. It would not modulate based on actual dust generation and, in turn, was consuming enormous amounts of energy,” said Olaf Boehm, Manufacturing Engineer at Tekwood, a division of Teknion.
Teknion engaged SyENERGY Integrated Energy Solutions, which designs, supplies and installs specialized energy efficiency technologies. The Tekwood division received a Save on Energy incentive of $75,840 to install an Ecogate dust collection system that leverages high-efficiency motors with variable frequency drive controllers. The automated Ecogate system ensures that the fan speed is continually optimized to minimize power consumption. The fan speed increases as more production areas go online and decreases during maintenance, downtime or breaks. “We now have a system in place that can make every facility of Teknion save money every year,” says Boehm.
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Teknion received $55,502 in Save on Energy incentives to replace 400 fixtures in their panel plant with T8s, and 300 fixtures in their offices and showrooms low-wattage LEDs. “In addition to upgrading the halogen lighting to LEDs in the showroom, we also introduced controls, a combination of hard switches and motion sensors. With the technology behind it, we went from running 12 hours to just six hours a day,” says David Burt, Facilities Supervisor. “The increase in the quality of light has greatly improved the showcasing of our product.”
The energy savings from both the dust collection system and lighting upgrades have been impressive. The Ecogate system has yielded over 60% in energy savings, with an estimated $90,000 in energy costs savings a year. The lighting upgrades reduced energy use for lighting in the plant by 51%, and by 93% in the offices and showrooms – resulting in over $47,000 in annual savings.
Teknion will continue to seek new technologies and processes that are in line with their philosophy of progress based on responsibility. With the support of the Save on Energy programs, their future plans include installing efficient vacuum pumps in their CNC (computer numerical control) machines and conducting a full audit on their compressed air system. “By there being potentially an incentive to implement a technology or to review something we already have, it allows us to be a little more creative,” says Burt. “The incentive helped expand our scope on energy-saving projects,” adds Nikoletos.