The Association of Energy Engineers recognized the Stellantis Windsor Assembly Plant for the Energy Project of the Year 2021 in the Canada region award. The factory won this award for drastically reducing the amount of energy it uses in its paint shop.
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How has the factory reduced its energy consumption?
The Windsor Assembly Plant energy management team, in particular, won the award for improving their topcoat application process. The team aptly named it the “Upper Layer Observation Cabin Downdraft Optimization” project. This has led to an 8 percent reduction, or 20,250 gigajoules, in energy use per year. The same amount of electricity is used in 490 homes over the course of a year.
The Windsor Assembly Plant manufactures the Chrysler Voyager, Grand Caravan, Pacifica and Pacifica Hybrid. Every 48 seconds, one of these minivans goes out of line. It takes about 27 hours for workers to finish a vehicle, and they spend up to 10 hours working on the vehicle in the paint shop.
After conducting an on-site survey, the plant’s energy management team discovered that the paint shop had opportunities to reduce its energy consumption. A detailed assessment identified the finishing process as one of the main sources of energy consumption. The team then found that optimizing the airflow coming down from the paint booths could save energy.
The paint shop has three cabins, each with 20 exhaust fans to maintain a temperature of 62 degrees and 18 air chambers to bring in fresh air. In the “observation area” of each cabin, the team reduced the flow of fresh air to optimize the downward flow of air. This had no effect on the performance or the quality of the paint application.
Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator and Enbridge Utilities are offering Windsor Assembly Plant an additional energy rebate for its efforts. The Association of Energy Engineers also recognizes Stellantis and the energy management team at the AEE Regional Awards on October 19.
Amanda Drago lives in West Chester, Ohio with her wonderful family, which includes her adorable dog, Coco. Amanda recently graduated from the University of Miami with degrees in Marketing and Creative Writing. However, if she was ever forced to change careers, she imagines she would train dogs for the movies. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing and watching Netflix. She also has a special place in her heart for the theater and buys tickets for as many shows as she can. See more articles by Amanda.