ORBIS Corporation

Fast Facts

Industry: Plastics Manufacturing
Location: Rexdale, Ontario
Program: OPA DR3
DR Strategy: Curtailment
Primary Curtailment Strategy: Temporary shutdown of grinder and extruder
Annual Payments: Approximately $10,700

The Big Picture

ORBIS Corporation is a part of Menasha Corporation, an innovative manufacturing company with over 160 years of history. ORBIS provides reusable plastic containers and other packaging systems to customers all over the world. With more than 30 locations in the United States and Canada, their manufacturing plant in Ontario uses 13 molding machines, a grinder and an extruder to produce thousands of plastic products a year.

ORBIS Corporation strives to make a positive difference in communities in which it operates and it is committed to improving the environment. In 2010, ORBIS launched its first Annual Sustainability Report to ensure they provide solutions that both create economic value and are as friendly to the environment as possible.

Reducing Costs

In April 2010, ORBIS signed on with Enel X to participate in the Ontario DR3. With electricity prices rising year after year, ORBIS was determined to reduce their energy demand and cut costs. “We were looking for ways to reduce our electricity cost. With demand response, we offset our peak, and we get paid to do it. It’s that simple,” said David Berg, Maintenance Manager at the Ontario facility.

While the financial and environmental benefits were enticing, ORBIS conducted a close evaluation of the impact of demand response on its business. At first, ORBIS leaders did not like the idea of shutting down any manufacturing equipment. “Our operations run 24 hours, 7 days a week, every day of the year. We can’t stop production, even if it is for a couple of hours,” said Berg. However, when they learned that Enel X would work with them to design a customized plan that would minimize disruption to the business, they became comfortable with a curtailment strategy that works well with their operations. During a dispatch, ORBIS shuts down some of the machines that are not process-critical, like the grinder and the extruder. They also pay close attention to the weather and decide if they can adjust any other non essential load, like air conditioning or lighting. Depending on the orders they have that day, they can even shut down some of the molding machines.

Planning Ahead

Since joining the program in 2010, ORBIS has been dispatched an average of six times per year. Dispatches in Ontario tend to occur during the summer months, when peak demand is high. “Planning for a dispatch is easy. Enel X notifies me in advance, and I inform plant workers. We adjust our operations accordingly, and everyone knows we are participating in demand response,” said Berg.

As part of its participation with Enel X, ORBIS received Enel X’s powerful energy intelligence software (EIS) which gives Berg access to real time energy data. Using this tool, he can decide which machines to shut down in order to reduce their demand to the desired load.

The Future

Participating in demand response is helping ORBIS achieve its sustainability goals. As part of Menasha Corporation, leaders at ORBIS are clearly focused on respecting and protecting the environment for today and for generations to come. “Sustainability is a big part of what we do,” added Berg. The energy curtailment plan is an integral part of their strategy to reach their 20% absolute reduction in carbon emissions target by 2020.