North Texas Daily

University’s new Industrial Assessment Center is ready to help local manufacturers

University’s new Industrial Assessment Center is ready to help local manufacturers

University’s new Industrial Assessment Center is ready to help local manufacturers
November 25
11:51 2022

The university has recently become the first in North Texas to join the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Assessment Center program to help local members of the manufacturing sector.

The assessments the center provides are designed to help manufacturers save energy, reduce waste, maximize productivity and prevent pollution.

“This assessment is free to the company — they don’t pay anything,” the university’s IAC founder and director Nourredine Boubekri said. “It is done so that the company benefits from this federal program […] that seeks to help small and medium-sized companies be more competitive.”

The center will help these manufacturers in a series of five steps, which are listed on the university’s IAC website. The process begins with a pre-assessment survey that all applicants must fill out. The survey asks applicants for the size of the plant, its layout, industry type, production levels and more.

The second step ensures key plant personnel is involved, such as the plant manager, energy manager, environmental personnel and maintenance personnel.

The third step is when the pre-assessment analysis is conducted. During this step, the IAC will analyze the manufacturing process, chart and graph utility bills, start a plant profile using QuickPEP, identify possible energy-saving potential recommendations and more.

The fourth step is the industrial assessment itself, where there will be a plant tour, meeting room debriefing, data gathering session and more.

Finally, the fifth step is when post-assessment activities occur. Such activities include conducting engineering and financial analysis, creating an IAC Report, drafting case studies, following up on the IAC Report and posting “positive publicity” posts on social media.

The IAC covers all manufacturing sectors, according to the IAC website. Some of these sectors include food manufacturing, apparel manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, machinery manufacturing and more.

However, not all members of the manufacturing sector are eligible to receive aid from the university’s IAC. A company is qualified to contact the center if:

  • They are within codes 20 to 39 for the Standard Industrial Classification and codes 311 to 399 for the North American Industry Classification System.
  • They are located within 150 miles of Denton, Texas.
  • They report gross annual sales below $100 million.
  • They have fewer than 500 employees at the plant site.
  • They receive annual energy bills between $100,000 and $3.5 million.
  • They have no professional in-house staff to perform the assessment.

Boubekri will be accompanied by Huseyin Bostanci and 12 students, 10 undergraduate and two graduate, to collect data from 20 qualifying companies.

Bostanci, the assistant director and master’s program coordinator for the college of engineering, is responsible for the recruitment of students into the university’s IAC.

“We are also in the process of recruiting undergraduate engineering students who have fundamental knowledge and eagerness to be part of the center for a unique experience,” Bostanci said.

The graduate student positions have been filled by Prudhviraj Nayudu and Rushabh Patel. After a screening process, these two were selected for their relevant experience and pursuit of master’s degrees in engineering management.

“Personally, [I] and Nayudu are so excited to be part of this because this is all funded by the U.S. government,” said Patel. “It’s a big thing that we are honored to be a part of.”

This is not the first time Boubekri has been involved in introducing an IAC to a university. He did the same 22 years ago at the University of Miami as the associate director, according to a memorandum.

The University of Miami’s IAC is still in operation and has conducted 402 assessments, saving local manufacturing companies $80.22 million.

Featured Image: Graduate students and management leaders Rushabh Patel (left) and Prudhviraj Nayudu work in the Industrial Assessment Center at Discovery Park on Nov. 10, 2022. Photo by Ismael Belkoura

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Kevin Keigher

Kevin Keigher

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