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Jencast Earns DOE Honors for Energy Savings

March 4, 2010
Converting to three-phase melting cut energy cost, nearly triples melting capacity
Jencast, a ferrous foundry in South Coffeyville, OK, recently earned the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Save Energy Now Energy Champion Plant award for having achieved annual energy reductions of more than 250,000 million BTUs, or over 15% total energy savings in plant operations. The foundry is one of two manufacturing divisions of Jensen International Inc., of nearby Coffeyville, KS. It produces gray iron, compacted graphite iron, and ductile iron castings weighing from 25 to 3,000 lb., in orders from 1 to 500 pieces. Its two coreless induction furnaces are capable of pouring more than 100 tons of iron per day. The DOE’s Industrial Technologies Program administers the Save Energy Now program, to encourage manufacturers to participate in energy-assessment studies to identify areas for potential savings. ITP provides guidelines for manufacturers to reduce industrial energy intensity 25% or more in 10 years. The awards recognize the operations that have made significant progress toward prescribed goals. Jencast explained that its energy savings resulted from transitioning its two, 3.5-ton/hour furnaces from single-phase to three-phase melting. Plant managers indicate they expect to save more than 32% in energy costs, ultimately, and to nearly triple the foundry’s melting capacity. “The upgrade involved installing a new cooling tower, new water piping, a new transformer and electric power lines, and other modifications,” explained metalcasting engineer Gerald Robertson. “We essentially tore the old furnaces down to their metal shells and built everything up from there.” Jencast financed the changes on its own, with help from a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture grant and a loan guarantee. “Our enhanced furnaces will enable us to save on energy and maintenance and to produce twice the number of castings we have in the past,” said Jencast president Eric Jensen. “The extensive upgrade we have undertaken complements our ongoing efforts to provide our customers with quality products and services at competitive prices and in a timely manner.”