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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oak Creek company transitions from small shop to major energy saver

From a news release issued by Focus on Energy:

(August 12, 2009) - Like many Wisconsin businesses, Columbia Grinding, Inc. started out with a dream, a lot of hard work and limited resources. In 1953 the business opened as a 1,800-square-foot one-man shop in South Milwaukee. By 1978, the production workload grew and the first employee was hired. Today, Columbia Grinding has grown to 35 employees and a 43,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Oak Creek Industrial Park.

Although the company's values remain the same, over the years Columbia Grinding has enhanced its energy efficiency and high-performance standards to power its state-of-the-art equipment, processes and services.

With the help of Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, Columbia Grinding's Oak Creek, Wis. plant has reduced energy consumption by more than 230,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 14,000 therms of natural gas - enough energy to power 40 houses for a year. The company will also save $33,500 on its energy bills each year.

Since 2008, Columbia Grinding has received $13,500 in cash incentives from Focus on Energy to boost its efforts toward becoming more energy efficient. The biggest energy saver was an innovative air filtration system installed last month that will significantly reduce the facility's heating and air conditioning loads. The system connects with the existing energy management system to provide automated control of the make-up air and exhaust in the main production area.

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