Analysis of Energy Recommendations in the U.S. Wood Products Industry
Bauman, Michael Justin
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As energy prices and demand are projected to increase globally and markets become more competitive nationally and internationally; the wood products industry must find ways to remain relevant. By: 1) analyzing energy-saving recommendations contained in the IAC database; 2) comparing those recommendations by criteria such as cost, savings, and payback period; 3) identifying recommendations that incorporate lean manufacturing principles; and 4) investigating the practices and perceptions of manufacturers at the facility level, this project provides information for identifying the greatest opportunities for energy management among U.S. wood product manufacturers. Results from the analysis of the IAC database show that wood product manufacturers had a low implementation rate of energy recommendations ranked purely by cost, savings, and payback period among wood product manufacturers suggesting they were not focused on implementing energy recommendations specifically based on those criteria. While some recommendations were found to be statistically different in at least one criteria: cost, savings, or payback period between wood and non-wood manufactures as well as primary and secondary wood manufacturers, only two recommendations had practical differences, large payback periods, between primary and secondary wood manufacturers. Twenty-four of 192 energy recommendations were classified as lean-based energy recommendations using the Kirby and Green (2003) methodology, however, there was no clear evidence to suggest the lean-based energy recommendations were superior in terms of cost, savings, or payback period when compared to simple energy recommendations. Interviews with primary and secondary manufacturers revealed a lack of commitment to energy performance improvement and the reported barriers of implementation among a small sample of wood products manufacturers suggests that the dissemination of energy management knowledge and benefits is a problem.
- Masters Theses