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Columbia Manufacturing recently teamed up with Eversource and MHR Development, LLC to identify operational inefficiencies and complete a number of energy efficiency improvements. As a result of the upgrades, the company is expected to save more than $31,000 in annual energy cost savings, year-after-year for the lifetime of the improvements.

Since 1980, the Columbia, Connecticut-based manufacturer has provided CNC machining of components, sheet-metal and machined fabrications for the aircraft and other related industries.

“As a supplier to customers throughout the United States and across the world, we are always looking for ways to stay cost-competitive and reduce our operating costs without sacrificing our high production values,” said Columbia Manufacturing Chief Financial Officer Kathryn Conlon.

Through the Energize Connecticut initiative, employees were trained on lean manufacturing and participated in kaizen events to reduce waste, improve production efficiency and reduce energy consumption. Columbia Manufacturing also underwent a comprehensive equipment upgrade project that included the installation of new, high-efficiency lighting and the replacement of motors and controls to optimize machinery performance. 

“The training encouraged our employees to think of new, cost-effective ways to approach our day-to day operations and improve our production, while the equipment enhancements helped make the overall process seamless,” said Conlon. “We were able to cut our overall annual energy usage by 18 percent, which is tremendous.”

State Representative Tim Ackert and Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) representative Barbara Fernandez recently toured Columbia Manufacturing to learn more about a project.

“I was impressed,” said Representative Ackert. “It was great to see firsthand how process improvements combined with energy efficiency upgrades can help improve productivity and competitiveness, reduce costs, and improve a company’s sustainability.”  

Eversource provided technical expertise and helped Columbia Manufacturing secure Energize Connecticut program incentives to offset the overall cost of the project. MHR Development, LLC developed and completed the upgrades with Eversource-authorized contractors Environmental Systems Corporation, Earthlight Technologies, and Sixth Floor Consulting Group.