NSA AND EFFICIENCY
Using less means doing more at NSA Industries
As featured on Efficiency Vermont (June 10, 2013)
There is a common misconception that increasing energy usage is a good thing. The line of argument is that if a business is using more energy, it must be producing and selling more. Based on this thinking, you could be tempted to assume, incorrectly, that a successful company should accept that consuming more energy is the cost of doing business well.
The truth is that when a business makes a commitment to energy efficiency, they are often able to cut costs, while putting out more product, and streamlining their operations.
A great example of this can be found here at NSA Industries, which has been based out of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont for more than 30 years. If you don’t live in the St. Johnsbury area, you probably have not heard of NSA – but you’ve likely been impacted by our work: the metal components that we bend, fabricate, and assemble can be found in dozens of products including mowers, yard equipment, and rowing machines.
Metal and machine work are complex, exacting processes. For NSA, the focus on quality products means investing in a topnotch facility – one that enables staff to operate our equipment with skill and precision. This is where energy efficiency has been a major asset to the business.
First off, we did a full-scale lighting upgrade. Not only have the savings been great (to the tune of $12,000 per year), the better lights actually make it easier for employees to see their work and do their jobs.
Then we upgraded and streamlined our sheet metal cutting machines, replacing five pieces of equipment with two. This has helped to modernize their manufacturing process, and freed up staff that formerly had to closely manage several machines throughout the day. As Ed Stanley, VP of Operations for NSA notes, an unanticipated effect of the energy efficiency work has been that it “enables us to help our employees be more effective.”
Next, we plan to undertake more equipment upgrades throughout our machine shop. For NSA, the path forward means doing better by investing in the facility and equipment. According to Stanley, “The biggest benefit is that we’ve been able to grow our business while investing in technology without having to increase our square footage…it has helped us to do our work better.”
At NSA, using less energy means doing business better.