How Mid-South Metallurgical cut Energy Use by 22%

Mid-South in Murfreesboro, Tennessee operates a high-energy plant providing precision heat treatments for high-speed tools – and also metal annealing and straightening services. This was a great business to be in before the energy crisis struck. That was about the same time the 2009 recession arrived. In no time at all the market was down 30%.

Investors had a pile of capital sunk into Mid-South?s three facilities spread across 21,000 square feet (2,000 square meters) of enclosed space. Within them, a number of twenty-five horsepower compressors plus a variety of electric, vacuum and atmospheric furnaces pumped out heat 27/7, 52 weeks a year. After the company called in the U.S. Department of Energy for assistance, several possibilities presented.

Insulate the Barium Chloride Salt Baths

The barium chloride salt baths used in the heat treatment process and operating at 1600?F (870?C) were a natural choice, since they could not be cooled below 1200?F (650?C) when out of use without hardening the barium chloride and clogging up the system. The amount of energy taken to prevent this came down considerably after they covered and insulated them. The recurring annual electricity saving was $53,000.

Manage Electrical Demand & Power

The utility delivers 480 volts of power to the three plants that between them consume between 825- and 875-kilowatt hours depending on the season. Prior to the energy crisis Mid-South Metallurgical regarded this level of consumption as a given. Following on the Department of Energy survey the company replaced the laminar flow burner tips with cyclonic burner ones, and implemented a number of other modifications to enhance thermal efficiency further. The overall natural gas reduction was 20%.

Implement Large Scale Site Lighting Upgrade

The 24/7 nature of the business makes lighting costs a significant factor. Prior to the energy upgrade this came from 44 older-type 400-watt metal halide fixtures. By replacing these with 88 x 8-foot (2.5 meter) fluorescent fittings Mid-South lowered maintenance and operating costs by 52%

The Mid-South Metallurgical Trophy Cabinet

These three improvements cut energy use by 22%, reduced peak electrical demand by 21% and brought total energy costs down 18%. Mid-South continues to monitor energy consumption at each strategic point, as it continues to seek out even greater energy efficiency in conjunction with its people.

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IT Security and the Threats from Within

When the economy makes a downturn, companies, then eventually, employees suffer. Now, I’m sure you’re wary of frustrated laid-off employees stealing valuable data. Who knows? That information might end up in the hands of your competitors. Then as if that threat weren’t enough, there may be jobless IT specialists who turn to rogue activities either to earn a quick buck or simply out of lack of anything productive to do.

That’s not all, as we’ve got more news for you. When we think of IT Security, what instantly comes to mind are hackers and acts laced with mal-intent. However, a recent worldwide survey on IT security showed organisations were more inclined to expect data leakage as a result of accidental exposure by employees (45%) than of anything maliciously performed by an external entity (15%).

If you’re not aware of this, you’ll be focusing your spending on protection against incoming attacks while exposing your innards through accidental leakages. Our solution? While we’ll naturally provide your data with protection from outside threats, we’ll also put special attention in protecting it from the inside.

The defences we’ll put up include:

  • Data Loss Prevention
  • Network Security
  • Firewalls
  • Malware
  • Authentication and Access Control
  • Mobile Security
  • Forensics
Authentication and Access Control

Threats to your data can come from external or internal sources.

  1. There are individuals who don’t have the authorisation but are driven by malicious intentions to gain access to certain information. This may refer to individuals who already belong to your organisation (but don’t have the necessary access rights) as well as those who don’t.
  2. There are individuals who have both the authorisation and, unfortunately, the malicious intentions over certain information.
  3. Finally, there are individuals who have the authorisation, no malicious intentions, but have accidentally exposed the information in question to those without the proper authority.

While curbing threats 2 and 3 would require other methods, threat #1 can be countered if the right authentication and access control systems are in place.

Here’s what we can do for you:

  • Work with your key personnel to determine who gets access to what.
  • Help you decide whether a single factor or a two-factor authentication (2FA) is appropriate for your organisation and recommend which factors are most suitable. Login methods may include but are not limited to the following:
    • biometric devices
    • Kerberos tickets
    • mobile phones
    • passwords
    • PKI certificates
    • proximity cards
    • smart cards
    • tokens
  • Install the necessary infrastructure needed for the factors chosen. For instance, if you opt to use biometrics, then biometric scanners will be installed. We’ll make sure that the authentication terminals are situated in places where achieving optimal traffic and work flow has been taken into consideration.

Other defences we’re capable of putting up include:

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