Cookeville plant receives award
(Left to right) Paul Dana, president, APCOM Inc.; Herb Pirkey, director of safety, health, and environment, A. O. Smith; Milton Collins, Phillip Wilson, Randy Stamps; all of the Cookeville plant; Paul Jones, chairman and CEO, A. O. Smith; Wayne Key, operations manager, Cookeville plant; and Mark Petrarca, senior vice president of human resources and public affairs, A. O. Smith.

MILWAUKEE — Last year, the Cookeville plant — with help from the local Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, and the Tennessee Valley Authority — identified opportunities to significantly reduce electricity consumption as well as natural gas and water usage in the 54,500-square-foot facility.

As a result of its efforts to conserve energy and resources, the plant and its 75 employees received the A. O. Smith Chairman’s Green Star award during a special ceremony.

A. O. Smith created the Chairman’s Green Star award in 2009 to encourage natural resource conservation efforts throughout the company. It is awarded to the plant that achieves the most year-over-year reductions in natural gas consumption, electricity usage, and water consumption. A total of 13 facilities worldwide were in competition to receive this year’s award.

“Your experience is an excellent example of what can happen when a plant is open to help from the community,” said Paul W. Jones, CEO and chairman, A. O. Smith Corp. “There are dozens of these programs available to companies throughout the United States, and I applaud how you were able to make use of them to improve your operation and positively impact the environment.”

Significant savings were achieved by replacing Cookeville’s old heating system with new, high-efficiency infrared heating equipment. The new units deliver the same amount of heat while requiring less than one-third the energy as the old equipment.

Other projects around the plant are contributing to additional energy savings. The Cookeville team replaced an older, natural gas fired parts washer with a new, high-efficiency unit, reducing natural gas and water consumption. They are in the process of modifying hydraulic units inside the plant to vent heat outdoors, reducing strain on the plant’s HVAC system.

Publication date: 9/10/2012