Lafayette-based Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. has received the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in the category of Energy/Renewable Resources. The award recognizes projects or programs that prevent pollution through reducing energy use or low-emission technology. September 22, 2014
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA) was honored this week with the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in the category of Energy/Renewable Resources. The Governor’s Awards recognize organizations throughout Indiana who have implemented outstanding environmental strategies into their operations and decision-making processes. The award for Energy/Renewable Resources recognizes projects or programs that prevent pollution by either reducing energy use or by producing energy using zero- or very-low-emission technologies.
In 2012, SIA became the first US auto manufacturer to receive ISO 50001 certification for its robust Energy Management System. Since then, a strong focus on energy reduction has led to the implementation of several energy-saving projects throughout the plant. In 2013, SIA’s paint shop identified a production process that needed improvement.
The plant’s Paint Main Mix Team collaborated with Paint Maintenance Associates to enact energy savings from the agitators on paint totes. With Subaru’s autobody paint, the material arrives in 150-400 gallon totes and the paint is required to be agitated to maintain quality.
Traditionally, these agitators ran 24 hours per day, seven days per week using more compressed air than any other system in the shop. After analyzing the system, Paint Associates invented a new agitator locking collar and re-routed air supply lines, which allowed the agitators to be automatically switched off during non-production times while maintaining quality. As a result of this innovative project, SIA’s Paint Shop reduced their annual energy consumption by 2.4%, resulting in a 4,637,175 KWh annual reduction. In addition, reducing the runtime of the agitators increased the lifespan of the machinery, reducing maintenance frequency and costs by $15,244 per year.
Beyond this, when Paint Associates had to perform agitator connections, the process contained safety risks associated with fingers being pinched in the agitator. However, with the invention of the new agitator locking collar, the safety risks were removed from the process. Ultimately, as a result of the collaboration and innovation of Paint Main Mix and Maintenance teams, they were able to successfully develop and implement a project which resulted in substantial energy savings, reduced costs, and improved worker safety.
In an awards ceremony held in Indianapolis on Wednesday, representatives from SIA accepted the Governor’s Award on behalf of the Associates at the Lafayette Subaru plant. This is the third time SIA has been honored with the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence. Past awards include the 2003 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Recycling and Reuse and the 2006 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for Five Years of Continuous Improvement.
Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA), a subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd., is the home of North American Subaru production. Models built at the Lafayette, Indiana plant include the Subaru Legacy and Outback. SIA also produces the Toyota Camry under contract with Toyota. SIA employs nearly 4,000 Associates, and every Associate is committed to quality, safety and environmental stewardship. An industry leader in environmental stewardship, SIA was the first auto assembly plant in America to achieve zero landfill status, and SIA’s entire 832-acre site has been designated a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SIA’s community outreach programs include providing charitable contributions and corporate sponsorships, hosting charitable events on-site, donating vehicles and vehicle parts to educational institutions and encouraging Associate volunteerism, which supports hundreds of non-profit organizations and schools throughout Indiana annually. For more information, visit www.subaru-sia.com
Source: Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc.