VeriForm's Journey To ISO 50001 Certification

“VeriForm’s reason for embarking on this energy systems management journey was very practical; it was to make our business more profitable by looking at a controllable cost,” notes Gerry Cutting, Energy Manager at VeriGreen, the energy management daughter company of VeriForm. Cutting adds that VeriForm’s vision is to be an industry leader by being the greenest metal fabricating company in the region.

VeriForm Inc., based in Cambridge, Ontario, is a metal fabricating company specializing in cut, formed and welded parts for mining, forestry, and machinery building industries. The company, employs between 25 and 35 people, and is in operation 10 to 18 hours a day, depending on workload, 51 weeks a year.

In 2012, VeriForm embarked on a journey to ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems standard certification, which the company achieved in the spring of 2013.

VeriForm’s journey to certification started in 2007, when the company completely re-engineered its energy profile. By conducting research and procuring effective energy solutions VeriForm Inc. increased the size of its fabricating plant by 145 percent while reducing monthly electricity costs by 58 percent. These initiatives, along with other technological improvements, translated into an increase in operational profits of 76 percent.

Additionally, VeriForm achieved the ISO 9001-2008 QMS standard in 2008, after upgrading from ISO 9001-2000, which it had certified to since 2004. This quality management system standard incorporates processes into management ensuring that organizations monitor and optimize tasks and procedures, not just final product inspection.

Since that time over 80 individual projects aimed at energy use and waste reduction have been completed at the facility. One project was the replacement of a 20 hp screw air compressor with an 8 hp Kaeser Screw Compressor and a 120-gallon storage tank. Projected energy savings were verified at 94 percent a reduction of nearly 30,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually.

Early in 2012, VeriForm installed energy-monitoring equipment on their processes that allows the company to monitor its energy use on-line and establish priorities based on simple statistical tools. Subsequently, in the winter of 2013, a baseline of energy use for natural gas and electricity was established. At the same time, an energy policy was written to incorporate the ISO 50001 EMS standard, which also established a goal of 10 percent annual reduction in energy. Moreover, the energy management team was trained by the Canadian Standard Association on the implementation of the ISO 50001 standard; the team subsequently trained VeriForm staff.

Gerry Cutting is planning other improvements. “Our next area of focus will be large capital investment in the plant that uses hydraulics that range from 165 to 900 tonnes and are large users of electricity,” he notes.

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