Now that’s a Bright Idea: How Manitowoc is Conserving Energy and Putting Money Back in Your Pocket
As a child I had this weird conception that very very little people were tossing ice into our freezer’s small bin every time I heard the clinking of ice against ice. The only relatable analogy I had at the time was the way the tube at the bank drive-thru worked. My assumption was that ice shipped from the ice factory (of course! where else?) in a small tube and those action-figure sized people then scooped it up with a smile on their face and tossed it into the bin. As much as I still imagine this being the case, I’m also glad that it isn’t, not just because working in a freezer would be miserable, but also because of all the new technological advancements made in the field of commercial ice machines. Manitowoc is one of the top leaders in these advancements, especially in the area of energy conservation. In today’s blog we’re going to see how Manitowoc Ice as a company is becoming more sustainable, along with looking at their increasing line of energy saving products.
Manitowoc's Conservation Plan
Manitowoc Ice has been around since the 1960’s, based in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. With a 360,000 square foot facility and over 200 models in production, they have recognized the need to be increasingly energy efficient. In order to take steps to improve their overall conservation, Manitowoc partnered with Energy Star and they began their own energy saving initiative known as the Enerlogic program. Manitowoc began this program in order to “help operators maximize energy savings and profit by identifying the most energy-efficient and environmentally responsible equipment.” They do this by meeting or exceeding California Energy Commission expectations, having an Energy Star qualification(which awarded Manitowoc with their Sustained Excellence award in 2012), or by matching standards given by the Federal Energy Management Program. The EnerLogic program currently monitors Manitowoc’s internal and external conservation efforts, which include technological progresses, the way they produce equipment, and the type of businesses they partner alongside. Below is a list provided by Manitowoc which details how they have implemented the EnerLogic program:
- 1. Lean manufacturing implementation - fully developed organizational methodology in manufacturing processes; intuitive and simplistic scheduling and point of use material supply in assembly areas.
- 2. Eliminated R-22 refrigerants as blowing agent in foam; converted to water-blown foam.
- 3. Utilize sheet metal optimization software to reduce the amount of waste material in sheet metal fabrication operations.
- 4. Recycle paper, cardboard, plastics, aluminum cans, steel, and copper; utilize reusable packaging with a number of suppliers.
- 5. Energy efficient lighting on assembly line; motion detection/shut-off sensors in offices and restrooms.
- 6. Counter flow rinsing, flow restrictors, and water reuse and recovery techniques are used in cleaning and plating processes.
- 7. Replaced or upgraded HVAC units with more efficient models in office areas.
- 8. Cell phones are dropped off at regional recycling centers or they are donated to local non-profit organizations.
- 9. Outdated computers, batteries, lamps/bulbs, and used oils are sent to regional recycling center.
Manitowoc's Conservation Equipment
Manitowoc’s plan to continually increase energy efficiency is backed by their newest equipment. The Indigo Series features Manitowoc’s Patented Air-Assist Harvest Technology, which reduces freeze time by up to as much as 20 percent, preserving energy and saving you money. Many of Manitowoc’s internal components, such as in the NEO models, are coated with Alpha San, an antimicrobial solution made from silver, that keeps your machine cleaner for longer periods of time, so your employees can be even more productive elsewhere. Because the foodservice market consumes more than double the energy per square foot compared with other commercial buildings, there is a great need to reduce this consumption. When using energy conserving equipment, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, bars or coffee shops can save anywhere from 10 to 30 percent energy consumed. Energy saved means more of earnings are saved too.
Manitowoc even came up with the top 5 energy saving tips for Ice Machines:
- Close the lid - ensure that staff is limiting the amount of time they have the door open on the ice machine to keep the cold air in.
- Capacity – ensure you have an ice-machine that meets your capacity need, too large or too small can mean wasted energy.
- Clean – make sure to regularly clean your ice machine according to manufacturer specifications to keep the equipment in proper working order
- Maintain – Schedule regular maintenance to keep equipment in proper working condition and extend the life of the machine
- Filter – change out your water filter according to manufacturer directions
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said it well, "Manitowoc Foodservice and all our Energy Star award winners are helping Americans find cost-effective ways to save energy in everything we do, which is good for our climate, our health, and our future." To locate energy efficient ice makers, visit our page listing all our Manitowoc Ice equipment that is Energy Star Certified: Energy Star Ice Makers
What ways have you conserved energy or used equipment that is cost effective? Please share your ideas below in the comments!