June 14, 2010
Beaulieu of America, a leader in floor covering, was founded in 1978 and is based in Dalton, Ga. It has since grown to become the third largest flooring manufacturer and the largest carpet-only maker in the world. As a privately-held company, it employs more than 5,600 associates in more than 26 facilities and offices across North America and around the globe. Annual sales top $1 billion.
When managers at a Dalton, Ga.-based carpet manufacturer agreed to host a group of Georgia Tech students as part of a mechanical engineering course, they had no idea they’d also be learning some important lessons themselves. Students visited two plants at Beaulieu of America to evaluate energy-saving opportunities.
With funding from the Georgia Environmental Partnership (GEP), Beaulieu was able to have water, energy efficiency and conservation assessments conducted at five of its facilities. EI2 energy specialists conducted one-day site visits at each plant and held overview meetings on energy issues that were important to specific plants, like energy management, boilers and steam systems, large motors and drives or compressed air systems.
- Energy usage reduced by as much as 15 percent
- Estimated annual savings of as much as $2 million
- 25 million gallons of water, or $81,600, potentially saved annually
- $60,000 in documented savings
“This project highlighted some good opportunities. Saving energy is really a continuous process – there are a lot of little things you need to do to capture the savings. You don’t go through just one time and fix things; it’s a recurring event that has to be monitored,” said Troy Slatton, mechanical engineer with Beaulieu.