Gopalakrishnan, B., Gupta, D., and Bitar, A., "Analysis of Compressed Air and Process Heating Systems - A Case Study from Automotive Parts Manufacturer in Mexico," SAE Technical Paper 2012-01-0323, 2012, doi:10.4271/2012-01-0323.
Automotive industries in the US and around the world have enormous impact on the economy of each country. Not just the major vehicle manufacturer, but all the other companies in the supply chain are equally important. This was evident with the earthquake and Tsunami that happened in March 2011. Because of the massive destruction at suppliers' facilities, the automakers in the US and other countries struggled to get the necessary parts and supplies. This created a ripple effect throughout the world and led to the closure of several automakers' facilities for a long time. Thus, the automotive supply chains are as important as the main automotive manufacturing facilities. Since these suppliers produce a lot of parts and supplies, the corresponding energy usage is also significant. The current research is focused on compressed air and process heating system analysis at one of the automotive parts manufacturer in Mexico. The Best Practices software tools (AIRMaster+ and PHAST) developed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) were used to create a baseline of the two systems and estimate energy savings from the proposed recommendations. Based on the baseline models and data analyses, it was estimated that the energy consumption of these two systems could be reduced by at least 20%. Similar energy assessments were done for this manufacturer's plants in the US and results are compared to show the difference in opportunities between the two countries.