Sierracin/Sylmar Corp. cuts energy consumption two-thirds with lighting retrofit

SYLMAR, Calif., Nov. 2, 2007 – Officials at Sierracin/Sylmar Corp. saw the light with an energy conservation project that cut electrical use nearly two-thirds, returned on investment in less than a year through energy cost savings, achieved unexpected energy savings for other operations and provided a brighter workspace. The project was one of the top 20 energy-efficiency programs recognized by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Sierracin/Sylmar replaced 2,463 lighting fixtures, cutting electrical use from 2.1 million kilowatt-hours per year to 780,000 kwh per year, saving more than $132,000 annually, according to Lead Industrial Engineer Sam Gupta. The fixtures have improved lighting and generate less heat, saving an additional $21,500 annually on air conditioning costs, Gupta said.

Gupta formed a team in 2006 to develop a plan for reducing energy costs at the 300,000-square-foot aerospace transparencies facility by retrofitting lighting fixtures. Their first task was to inventory the ceiling lights in the high-bay manufacturing area and offices.

“We did an assessment involving some 4,000 lighting fixtures,” Gupta said. “We then broke those down into similar types and counted 49 groups, or line items.”

Gupta and the team then ranked the 49 line items according to cost-benefit ratios and identified nine that would generate more than 80 percent of the energy cost savings.

The project was completed in eight months, from assessment and design to scope definition and implementation, Gupta said. “The extra effort and vigilance on our part increased our annual rate of return on this project investment from 50 percent to 125 percent. In the first year, we have already saved more than the project cost,” he said.

The lighting retrofit has had other benefits, according to Maintenance Coordinator Bobby Jensen, who carried out field supervision of vendor activities guided by Maintenance Manager Frank Carrasco. “The new lighting has also provided better illumination for the work areas and boosted employee morale,” Jensen said.

“In the case of lighting, there are no ifs, ands or buts about cost savings,” Gupta said. “When you replace a 160-watt light fixture with a 43-watt fixture, you are guaranteed a 73-percent energy cost savings.”

Sierracin/Sylmar Corp. is a subsidiary of PPG Industries. PPG Aerospace is the aerospace products and services business of PPG Industries. PPG Aerospace – Transparencies is the world’s largest supplier of aircraft windshields, windows and canopies, manufactured at its Huntsville, Ala., plant and by subsidiaries PPG Aerospace – Ampaspace at Casaletto Vaprio, Italy, and Sierracin/Sylmar Corp. at Sylmar, Calif. PPG Aerospace – PRC-DeSoto is the leading global producer and distributor of aerospace coatings, sealants, and packaging and application systems.

About PPG
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. The company employs more than 34,000 people and has 125 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates in more than 25 countries. PPG shares are traded on the New York and Philadelphia stock exchanges (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit




Audrey Fujimoto
PPG Aerospace

Jean Verlich
JV Communications