GM Flint Truck Assembly opened its doors in 1947, and in the same year that the plant is celebrating 75 years of production, it is also being recognized as the winner of the Michigan Battle of the Buildings award in the Industrial category for achieving the greatest volume of energy reduction. The plant initially constructed now-classic cars, from Chevrolet Corvettes to Bel Airs, later moving to Suburbans, Impalas, Chevrolet/GMC G-series vans, and a multitude of other vehicles that are household names today. Currently, the plant produces Heavy Duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks.
With just about 5.2 million square feet and over 5,600 employees, the facility recognized opportunities for improvement that would not only benefit the company, but their employees, customers, and surrounding communities. With GM’s vision of “a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” a leap in energy efficiency seemed only fitting.
The energy efficiency improvements were accomplished through a series of initiatives and smart operations enacted by the plant. While these initiatives were required to be a “less than two-year payback” due to the nature of the energy projects, the utility rebates from Consumers Energy typically covered about 50% of the installation costs on the projects that required additional funding.
The energy-reducing projects included:
- Changes to the electrical systems, such as converting several thousand 4-foot, 6-lamp T8 fixtures to LED with occupancy sensors (42% of cost covered by Consumers Energy Rebate).
- Decreasing lighting and HVAC operations in areas of low occupancy.
- Reducing electrical power up to 70% during periods of non-production.
- Optimizing HVAC scheduling by taking into account environmental temperatures.
- Decommissioning 42 unnecessary process infrared pre-heaters serving paint ovens.
- Installing 71 Smart Battery Charging Stations (for forklifts, Hi-Los, etc.)
All of these initiatives resulted in a reduction of 32.5% in 2021.
We were so excited to celebrate the energy accomplishments of General Motors at our Michigan Energy Summit on June 15, 2022 where they were awarded in the Manufacturing/Industrial Category (per widget)!