OSI Group, Aurora, Ill., tapped Cascade Energy, Portland, Ore., to improve its energy efficiency efforts and expand its single-facility pilot program into five additional plants.

In 2013, Cascade Energy and OSI launched a pilot program at OSI's Oakland, Iowa, facility that involved: 

  • Setting up an energy measurement, tracking, benchmarking and reporting system.
  • Performing a tune-up on the facility's refrigeration, compressed air and high-pressure water pump systems.
  • Delivering a final report, listing action items to be implemented.
  • Engaging OSI site staff to assist with the action item implementation.
  • Reviewing system performance to drive additional energy savings.

In December 2012, Cascade Energy developed SENSEI, an energy-efficiency management system designed to help industrial companies master their energy spending. SENSEI incorporates real-time energy use, production and weather data to provide visibility into true energy performance. At the Oakland site, OSI used SENSEI to assign, record and track action items and monitor the resulting energy savings.

“I want our operators and technicians to be able to spot any other possible system inefficiencies and fixes like that," says Mike Koranda, OSI Oakland general manager, after observing Cascade's engineers walk through the OSI facility and quickly identify sources of inefficiency.

Cascade developed a 2-day industrial refrigeration best practices training program specifically for the OSI team to impart thorough knowledge of the system and give them the ability to propose appropriate solutions for their facility.

As of November 2014, OSI Oakland has saved over 4 million kWh and over $295,000.Based on the success of the training and tune-up results, OSI will be rolling out a 3-year program to five more facilities in Illinois, Wisconsin and Utah. Cascade and OSI will work together to help meet OSI's company-wide goal of 10% energy intensity reduction by 2020.

To do so, OSI will focus on developing:

  • Executive support and commitment.
  • Site-specific energy goals.
  • Dedicated roles and responsibilities for program implementation at each site.
  • Program performance monitoring through energy key performance indicators.

Cascade will provide support for the program in the form of:

  • On-site energy efficiency tune-ups that identify and implement low/no-cost energy savings opportunities.
  • Training on refrigeration system best practices.
  • Implementing Cascade's proprietary energy management information software, SENSEI.
  • Technical support over the 3-year program to help facilitate continuous improvement.

"OSI is taking an aggressive and comprehensive approach to energy management," says Marcus Wilcox, chief executive officer of Cascade Energy. "We are excited to build on the success of the Oakland facility, and look forward to our continued partnership, working side-by-side with the OSI team to strategically manage energy costs."