Multinational Biomedical Company

Achieved total annualized fan energy savings of 63%

Gains Total Annualized Fan Energy Savings of 63%

A global biomedical company based in the Bay Area regularly evaluates its energy use looking for ways to improve efficiency. Efforts include working with its utility on how to increase the efficiency of pumps and motors in a production manufacturing facility. The company is committed to taking advantage of a utility program that provides incentives for high-performance new building design and construction that exceed energy efficiency standards.

Pharmaceutical companies must comply with Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These assure proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities, requiring drug manufacturers to adequately control manufacturing operations.

Solution Benefits

The company wanted to improve the efficiency of its headquarters HVAC equipment and reduce costs related to monitoring its fault detection and diagnostics system. Reducing maintenance costs and losses from production downtime also had to be addressed while making the system more reliable.

The customer tackled these challenges by replacing the fixed speed induction motors in three HVAC rooftop units (RTU) with SMC motors.

About the Customer

The customer is an international biotechnology company headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area that provides innovative therapeutics to patients with serious unmet medical needs. The company is committed to conducting its operations in a manner protective of the environment and constantly reviews operations to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impacts. In fact, energy efficiency is a competitive metric for pharmaceutical companies.


Building Type: Pharmaceutical Company Headquarters

HVAC system size: 3 Rooftop Unit (RTU) HVAC system (Manufacturer: Trane)

Motor size: Total 6HP SMC motors (2 x 1.5HP and 1 x 3HP motors)


When comparing the baseline data to data collected after the SMC motors were installed (baseline fixed speed: 1760 RPM), the SMC motors delivered total annualized fan energy savings of 63%.

For the three RTUs, the motors achieved between 28% – 42% savings during Heat/Cool modes (1550 RPM) and 76% – 90% during Vent modes (690 RPM).

The facilities team was able to conduct data logging on motor torque, supply, return, outside temperatures and developed performance trends from baseline data. The customer used the data to detect anomalous operations and proactively maintain the HVAC system, which eliminated the need to take the system offline and avoided costly downtime.


By using the SMC Motor System, the pharmaceutical company improved reliability and achieved significant energy savings for its headquarters HVAC system. By replacing 3 RTU blower fan motors, it achieved total annualized fan energy savings of 63% with a 2.2-year payback. After increasing operations reliability and gaining the ability to use diagnostic data trends to detect anomalies that mitigated downtime, the company committed to replacing exhaust fans in its lab equipment buildings.




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