SME Student Members Find Energy and Cost Savings for North Carolina Manufacturer

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A manufacturing energy assessment was recently completed by SME student members from North Carolina State University.

The experience with Kayser-Roth was a great segue from coursework to industry.

A hosiery plant in Burlington, N.C., received a cost-saving energy assessment from SME student members at North Carolina State University. The assessment is part of the Department of Energy’s Industrial Assessment Center program.

In 2012, SME was granted $292,000 from the DOE to partner SME student chapters with existing IACs at universities nationwide. SME is one of the manufacturing industry’s trusted sources of knowledge and information with members throughout the world, who actively engage with their local manufacturing communities and educational institutions.

Wendy Johnson and Stephen Taylor, members of SME’s NCSU S317 student chapter, completed the energy assessment for Kayser-Roth Corp. under the supervision of their faculty advisor, Rohan Shirwaiker, PhD, an assistant professor at NC State.

Laval Choiniere, director of operations engineering for Kayser-Roth, said the company is constantly trying to improve its processes and conserve energy. According to Choiniere, “The team from NC State was conscientious and easy to work with.”

The recommendations were focused on improving process design, efficiency and ergonomics associated with multiple operations and workstations.

"The experience with Kayser-Roth was a great segue from coursework to industry,” said Johnson, a senior in industrial engineering. “We felt very prepared for this project because of our coursework. Not only were we able to prepare recommendations, but we were equipped with the skills to present them effectively and professionally.”

IACs focus on industrial energy conservation techniques through energy audits and provide free assessments to small and medium-sized manufacturers. This program is an example of how SME, industry and government can collaborate to strengthen manufacturing as a critical component of the U.S. economy, while finding energy cost savings for manufacturers.

The Southeast region is one of the fastest-growing manufacturing regions in the U.S., with North Carolina ranking among the top 16 states in new growth of manufacturing jobs. As today’s students are the future of the manufacturing workforce, this program allows them to apply their industrial and manufacturing engineering knowledge and toolsets in reducing energy, materials and wastes for small to mid-sized local manufacturers.

This student chapter will conduct more assessments in conjunction with the NCSU IAC as part of a three-year partnership. For more information on this program or how to participate, visit SME’s IAC Web page.

About SME:
SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to advancing manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skill needs for industry. At SME, we are making the future. Together.

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