Shields Bag and Printing Success Story

Shields Bag and PrintingDerek LaFramboise (left), Shields Bag and Printing environmental services manager with Pacific Power’s Toby Freeman.

For more than 70 years, family-owned and -operated Shields Bag and Printing Company in Yakima, Washington, has been a leader in sustainable practices.

“Being good stewards of the earth has always been an interest of the Shields family,” said Derek LaFramboise, environmental services manager at Shields Bag and Printing. “They’ve been conscious of the quality of life here in eastern Washington, in the Yakima Valley and our community.”

In fact, the Washington Industrial Energy Leaders program this year recognized the blown film packaging manufacturer with a Leadership in Innovation award for utilizing highly innovative technology to save energy. The company, which employs more than 500, also has been a longtime participant in Pacific Power’s energy efficiency programs.

Study finds savings

In a recent project, Shields Bag and Printing installed a new energy-efficient flexographic printing press and an associated regenerative thermal oxidizer for emissions control to improve production and reduce energy use.

An energy analysis by Cascade Energy and paid for by Pacific Power’s wattsmart® Business program provided specific upgrade recommendations, quantified potential savings and costs, and included an incentive offer from the utility.

“When we sat down with Pacific Power, we were able to look at not only the press and how it operates, but also the oxidizer and the motors that were used,” said LaFramboise.

With an efficient design, the new press has much lower power blower motors and less total combined heater power compared to other models. Installing media with a low-pressure drop in the oxidizer made it possible to use a smaller, more efficient fan controlled with a variable frequency drive for energy savings. For example, if the fan flow is reduced to 90 percent using the VFD, the fan power is reduced to approximately 75 percent.

The printing press and oxidizer upgrades are saving Shields Bag and Printing more than 1.3 million kilowatt-hours in electricity and nearly $60,350 in energy costs annually. The company also received $195,764 in Pacific Power incentives, which helped slash the project payback from nearly six years to 2½ years.

Incentives and answers

The Yakima company also took advantage of Pacific Power’s wattsmart Business program to install a 350-horsepower variable frequency drive air compressor and cycling dryer when the company expanded operations into an adjacent building.

The improvements to its compressed air system are saving Shields Bag and Printing more than 334,000 kilowatt-hours in electricity and nearly $15,500 in energy costs per year. Incentives from Pacific Power totaling $50,200 cut the project payback from about nine years to about six years.

“Pacific Power has always been fantastic with coming in and saying ‘show us your normal day-to-day operations so that we can better isolate areas of potential improvement,’” said LaFramboise. “They do the calculations and guide us through – it’s almost like somebody giving you the answers to the test!”

Learn more about energy efficiency services and incentives for businesses »