With over 6,000 employees and 7,000 dealers worldwide, Mercury Marine is a leading designer and manufacturer of marine propulsion systems for the pleasure watercraft market. It is the largest division of Brunswick Corporation, a Fortune 500 company with a 100-year history of producing recreational products for consumers worldwide. The division’s 200-acre campus in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, is home to its headquarters operation and extensive product development and manufacturing facilities. Energy consumption at this vast site is monitored, controlled and optimized using building automation technology.
In mid-1999 management was considering whether to upgrade or replace the campus’ existing building automation system. A significant effort was required to address Y2K concerns, but central facilities manager Jerry Eaton, P.E., had reservations about making further investments in a proprietary architecture.
“We were really looking for openness and flexibility,” said Eaton. “Upgrading wouldn’t deliver that. To get it, we needed to rip everything out and start over.”
Eaton evaluated the leading control providers on the market at the time and proposed switching to Automated Logic Corporation. “I looked at who was focused on openness,” he said. “The answer was always Automated Logic.”
Eaton received a green light to begin transitioning the campus’s control technology in 1999. It’s an ongoing process that continues to the present as he identifies new opportunities for improving productivity and reducing energy consumption. The Fond du Lac system currently consists of 300 devices and more than 3,000 control points. It includes HVAC, security, lighting, backup power, environmental monitoring and numerous other subsystems.
Despite the system’s size and complexity, control is easy with Automated Logic’s WebCTRL System, Eaton noted. The browser-based software allows secure access from many types of web-enabled devices. The staff is able to make parameter and schedule changes and resolve problems virtually on the fly. The system’s BACnet communications protocol provides the 100% open architecture that the facilities staff viewed as so critical and helps to ensure that the system will interoperate with additional subsystems as they are automated.
Financially, the move to Automated Logic has been a great success for Mercury Marine. With trending data and reports from the WebCTRL system, Eaton has been able to document annual savings of at least $800,000 a year. “We see a lot more opportunity here and at other locations to generate savings,” said Eaton. “Our system has gotten such great reviews we’d like to go company wide.”
|Location:||Headquarters, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin|
|Building Size:||1.5 million square feet (10 building campus)|
|Objectives:||Reduce natural gas and electricity use|
|Design Considerations:||Interoperability with multiple vendors systems, including HVAC, security, lighting, backup power, and environmental monitoring|
|Major Decision Drivers||Browser-based graphic user interface; native BACnet open protocol|
|HVAC Controls:||Automated Logic's WebCTRL® System|
|Installation Date:||Phased 1999 - 2006|
|The Challenge:||Integrate multiple subsystems located throughout a 200-acre manufacturing campus
Transition from a proprietary system to an open control system offering increased flexibility and improved data reporting
Maintain optimal tolerances of temperature, air pressure and relative humidity in manufacturing environment
Reduce operating, repair and preventive maintenance costs
Demonstrate an effective environmental energy savings and control strategy