Freybe dramatically lowers energy use

Freybe Gourmet Foods is one of 18 companies based in the Township which are taking part in a cost and energy savings initiative called Climate Smart Program.

Freybe Gourmet Foods is one of 18 companies based in the Township which are taking part in a cost and energy savings initiative called Climate Smart Program.

Starting with low-cost or no-cost solutions, Freybe, based out of Gloucester Estates in north Aldergrove, has realized emissions and cost savings,  some with immediate paybacks, and is building the case that there is money to be made in pursuing emissions reductions and continuing on to more capital-intensive projects. 

Freybe began by analysing the operating hours of its manufacturing facility. Redistributing shifts and compressing the work week by six hours immediately reduced their overall energy consumption by two per cent, and it cost nothing. 

Freybe has also saved over 530,000 kWh of electricity in the last nine months. By switching metal-halides lights to T5s, the company now saves nearly 400,000 kWh annually with a capital investment of $39,000 plus labour. Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) were installed on all refrigeration units, allowing them to adjust output and energy consumption based on demand.

With further investment in automated control, Freybe expects to increase savings to nearly 1,000,000 kWh annually, cutting more than 12 per cent from its total annual electricity usage. Freybe has set a goal of reducing electricity by 20 per cent by the end of October, and is also working to reduce natural gas use.

The company has its beginnings more than 165 years ago in Stettin, Germany, when Johann Carl Freybe began his sausage-making business. Six generations later, the Freybe family is now producing more than 120 varieties of sausages, ham, and specialty deli meats. Its products have earned more than 600 international medals, 

In re-examining its high-pressure boiler set up, staff determined the risk of boiler failure was low. They decided a backup boiler didn’t need to stay on constantly so they shifted to a ‘dry-layup’ procedure in which the backup is only fired when needed.

In addition, they found a way to step down excess high-pressure steam to provide low-pressure steam for other processes, eliminating the need for their low-pressure boiler. 

Changing how equipment is used has effectively reduced requirement for three boilers down to one. 

The actual annual savings will not be determined until the company has tracked the current year’s natural gas usage and compared it with last year’s. However, over 15 per cent savings are expected, equating to a five month payback. 

Freybe also reduced its water consumption. Polishing (i.e physically filtering) water at the inlet to their refrigeration coolant loop, rather than using a chemical process, has reduced water usage by 3,500 cubic metres per year. 

By reducing the total organic waste going into their effluent, Freybe’s manufacturing wastewater is purer, and the cost of disposal of this collected waste is lowered. Freybe is also looking into partnering with local food manufacturers to process their waste in an anaerobic digester, eliminating landfill-bound organic waste entirely. 

Freybe’s fleet is another area for substantial savings. Installation of GPS tracking is planned for all fleet vehicles. 

Originally, 10 one-ton vans were used for all local staff trips, from sales to deliveries and merchandising. 

In January, Freybe began replacing the five vans ordinarily used by sales reps with fuel-efficient vehicles. Deliveries are made in the remaining five one-ton vans.

The plan is to replace them with three, more fuel-efficient, hybrid vehicles. 

Its initiatives save the company $50,000 a year; its annual carbon savings exceed 390 tonnes.