The objective of the project is to examine energy consumption as a cost of die cast products. The use of life cycle assessment (LCA) to compare the environmental impacts of materials and energy inputs and waste outputs for various components for automotive, appliances, and electronic products is an emerging trend. Several companies will participate in this study and will supply information on energy and equipment.
The U.S. die casting industry needs to characterize their energy usage to identify opportunities for energy savings and to compare usage with other industries. To facilitate implementation of energy audits by die casters who will help identify energy drivers, additional templates are needed to disaggregate a facility’s energy use and allocate it to specific activities. The proposed research has two main objectives. During Phase I (Year 1), a pre-survey and focus energy audit standard will be completed. The survey will examine the die casting industry to determine current energy management practices and adapt a Griffith’s energy audit standard to focus on characterization of energy use by die casting activity. During Phase II (Year 2), surveys will be conducted to develop a database, data will be statistically analyzed, and recommendations developed. The focussed energy audits will be used to quantify energy drivers in U.S. die casting operations. The database will be based on current U.S. die casting energy use by categories for equipment, process configuration, and alloys. Statistical analyze will be used to examine U.S. die casting industry usage data by contrasting the data by categories for equipment age, type, fuel source, insulation, and coverage, process configuration, and alloys. The energy use will be compared between the data accumulated against reported energy use in other sectors. Recommendations will be developed for energy conservation and energy management practices that may provide cost savings for the die casting industry.