We were green before green was in. Then we learned there was more to it than just energy…
The long and winding road from general energy efficiency to a specialty in cooling systems
For processes that require cooling, the cooling system is mission critical to the successful operation of the plant. It’s our driving ambition to be the valued partner of cooling system operators so that they can focus on their real businesses without worrying about the cooling auxiliaries.
ISG has been focused on energy efficiency since its beginning as a side gig in 1993. Our founding principal, Clayton Penhallegon, Jr., first started working with businesses on energy cost control in 1979 as a co-op student while an ME undergrad at Georgia Tech, and in the years since, he has worked on practically every imaginable energy efficiency application there is for businesses.
Over the years that work became oriented primarily toward manufacturing. Not only is the efficiency leverage high in manufacturing due to the scale of the applications, we also appreciated its importance to the people and communities where plants are located and its overall benefit to the United States. Even as many touted the shift to more intellectually-refined business activities (at least as viewed by those not in manufacturing), ISG maintained its focus on plants and their processes. Through these years we have worked with many diverse industries including aerospace, automotive, bulk materials, glass & metal containers, lumber & wood products, paper & paper products, plastics of all kinds, natural and synthetic rubber products, and textiles.
It became increasingly evident with our growing experience that industrial cooling systems were an area needing attention. While there are many very capable consultants and service providers in various industrial utilities like compressed air and vacuum systems, steam systems, pneumatic conveying and the like, there are very few companies that specialize in industrial cooling systems.
And why not? Industrial applications are under 10% of the total market for large cooling equipment. Most equipment manufacturers, consulting engineers, and distributors concentrate on the 90% of the applications in non-manufacturing building systems such as offices, hotels, retail centers, hospitals, campuses, and the like. And frankly, they serve these markets very well.
But when it comes to industrial systems they leave a lot to be desired. While they may have highly educated, very intelligent people, nothing substitutes for experience. ISG’s intentionally directed practice has given us experience with specific industrial processes from injection mold cooling to fiber extrusion, from batch steam jacket cooling to direct contact air washers, from glass containers to closed loop machine cooling, and more.
ISG’s experience tells you when the process cooling can be optimized instead of buying more equipment. It tells you when your chiller isn’t giving you the output you think it is and how you can improve it. And it tells you when an investment in your system will provide benefits back to you for decades versus spending money for fixes that will only patch the problems for the short term.
We truly believe our knowledge of cooling systems equipment and experience with real process cooling applications is unmatched by any other service provider large or small.
And while energy efficiency was the initial driver in our chosen path, you may have noticed that it’s not the primary benefit we talk about in our work. We have learned through the years that energy efficiency per se is a 2nd tier benefit to manufacturers. It’s important, but it’s the tail and production effectiveness and earnings are the dog.
Fortunately many of the steps taken to improve cooling systems’ energy efficiency also have great impacts on the things that really matter to manufacturers. Process stability, reliability, reductions in maintenance materials and manhour costs, and ultimately improved EBITDA all flow from the same measures ISG implements to improve the operating efficiency of systems every day.
We’d be delighted to share more of these ideas with you, so if you’re interested in green (both the environmental kind and the bottom line type, too), please contact us. We’re looking forward to hearing from you soon.