EnerSys Wins DOE Better Project Award for Innovative Cold Cube Cutting System


READING, PA — EnerSys has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with the prestigious Better Project Award for its implementation of the Sovema Cold Cube cutting system. This marks the second time in as many years that EnerSys has received this honor, highlighting the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency, and innovation within the manufacturing sector.

As part of the DOE’s Better Plants Program, which EnerSys joined in 2021, the company pledged to improve its energy intensity by 25% over a ten-year period ending in 2031. The Sovema Cold Cube cutting system represents a significant leap forward in achieving this goal within the realm of lead battery manufacturing.

Traditionally, producing lead for batteries involves heating the metal until it melts, then casting and cooling it into the desired shape—a process that is both energy-intensive and environmentally challenging. The Cold Cube system, however, introduces a groundbreaking alternative. By trimming lead directly from its solid state into cubes of the necessary thickness, this cold process eliminates the need for melting and cooling altogether. This not only conserves energy but also reduces carbon emissions and water usage, contributing to EnerSys’s sustainability efforts.

The benefits of the Cold Cube system are manifold:

  • It achieves a significant reduction in embedded Scope 1 carbon emissions, lowering CO2e by approximately 0.5 kilograms per battery produced. This equates to a roughly 20% decrease in emissions per battery, marking a substantial stride toward greener manufacturing practices.
  • Worker safety is notably enhanced. By bypassing traditional lead melting processes, the system minimizes employees’ exposure to harmful lead fumes, thereby reducing health risks associated with lead handling.
  • Water conservation is another key advantage. The new system saves an estimated 495,000 gallons of water annually at each site where it’s deployed, thanks to the elimination of water cooling in the production process.
  • Additionally, the environmental impact is lessened through reduced lead emissions to the atmosphere and decreased lead waste—by about 20,000 kilograms per year—resulting in savings of approximately $15,000 annually.
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Patrice Baumann, Chief Integrated Supply Chain Officer at EnerSys, expressed pride in the recognition, stating, “Receiving the Department of Energy’s Better Project Award is a testament to our commitment to innovation and sustainability.” He emphasized that the Cold Cube cutting system embodies the company’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of energy-efficient manufacturing while ensuring the safety and well-being of its workforce.

The replicability of the Cold Cube system, now being implemented across other EnerSys manufacturing facilities, amplifies its potential impact. This initiative not only positions EnerSys as a leader in sustainable manufacturing practices but also sets a precedent for the broader industry to follow.

The implications of EnerSys’s achievement extend beyond the company itself. In an era where environmental sustainability and energy efficiency are increasingly prioritized, innovations like the Cold Cube cutting system represent critical advancements. They not only help companies meet regulatory standards and societal expectations but also contribute to the global effort to combat climate change. As more organizations seek to reduce their environmental footprint, EnerSys’s pioneering approach offers a compelling blueprint for sustainable manufacturing in the 21st century.

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