Graybar Saves Energy for Forest Products Manufacturer

The Challenge

Graybar Saves Energy for Forest Products Manufacturer

In early 2011, Graybar was contacted by a large forest products manufacturer that needed to update its current power monitoring system in a mill facility. By monitoring power consumption, companies can ultimately reduce energy costs.

Recent studies have shown that energy consumption devices – such as power monitoring systems – can help cut energy bills by 15 percent or more. These systems monitor the quality of power moving through facilities. By identifying a break in power and quickly rerouting it, power monitoring can help industrial facilities avoid costly downtime.

The facility had previously relied on an outdated system to record usage data for its more than $1 million in monthly electrical costs. By replacing this obsolete system, the manufacturer hoped to realize considerable cost savings.

The Graybar Solution

Graybar is a leader in providing a broad range of solutions and products for generating, distributing and monitoring energy. Graybar can help industrial customers create a competitive edge and extend the life of their facilities by providing a variety of energy-saving solutions.

Graybar teamed up with Schneider Electric to provide a turnkey solution that would replace the forest product manufacturer's outdated system. The duo identified a tailored solution that included PowerLogic PM870 meters and ION Enterprise software to report data trends. PowerLogic® ION Enterprise software is a complete power management solution for energy providers and industrial or commercial operations provided by Schneider Electric. It gives engineering and management personnel the information they need to cut energy related costs, avoid downtime and optimize equipment.

Graybar coordinated with Schneider Electric's specialists to provide the engineering, installation, commissioning and startup support to ensure the project's success.

The new solution replaced the obsolete system and allows data to be collected and disseminated via OPC/DDE to the plantwide distributed control system. The new software is Web-enabled and provides real-time energy usage data to PCs located throughout the mill. The system also automatically generates energy use reports that are distributed via email to different departments in the mill.

The Result

Graybar and Schneider Electric helped the customer transition to innovative energy technologies that will ultimately improve the manufacturer's long-term operational performance.

After completing the power monitoring project, the customer also asked Graybar to assist with a replacement and upgrade of the facility's medium voltage protective relays, which need to be replaced due to age and the harsh industrial environment. Once installed, the new relays are expected to improve reliability and decrease maintenance costs.

The customer has since expressed interest in implementing similar power monitoring systems in eight other locations across the United States. With distribution centers located nationwide, Graybar has the ability to enhance these operations with sustainable energy solutions, allowing the customer to track energy usage companywide.


Graybar is a leader in providing a broad range of solutions and products for generating, distributing and monitoring renewable power.

Graybar offers innovative products from best-in-class manufacturers, and start-to-finish logistical management of complex projects to promote efficiency.

Graybar helps industrial customers:

  • Reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs
  • Improve safety and productivity
  • Increase equipment reliability

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