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Automated Merchandising Systems Seeks to Improve Energy Efficiency


Automated Merchandising Systems (AMS) headquartered in Kearneysville, West Virginia, was founded in 1997 by an industry icon, the late Roy Steeley.  AMS has revolutionized the vending world with the introduction of a guaranteed delivery system that uses light beam technology to guarantee the customer receives their product, the choice to choose another product, or receive a refund. In 2000, a second plant was added in Guadalajara, Mexico, which serves the Mexican and South American markets.

The Challenge

Innovation, reliability, and dependability are at the core of AMS.  One thing that ties these values together and allows AMS to be an industry leader is continuous improvement. Leadership at AMS has been extremely proactive in identifying opportunities to improve their manufacturing processes in support these core values. Most recently, this commitment to continuous improvement led to an interest in understanding energy costs associated with production and what opportunities may exist to reduce said costs. AMS reached out to the WVU Industrial Extension, part of the MEP National Network™, based on a long-standing relationship of successful assistance with continuous improvement and safety efforts. 
We are extremely pleased with the assessment conducted. The report we received was extreme thorough and provided a lot of detailed information that allowed us to better understand our energy use and develop a plan for how to reduce our usage through their recommendations.
— Greg Mason, Vice President, Manufacturing

MEP's Role

After an initial discussion to better understand AMS’ goals for this project, the WVU Industrial Extension involved WVU's Industrial Assessment Center to conduct an energy assessment. This energy assessment was funded by the US Department of Energy through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE EERE). The Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) team conducted a one-day on-site visit to AMS including interviews with operational personnel and evaluation of the manufacturing operation to gather data and identify improvement opportunities. 

The assessment resulted in a 97-page customized report outlining overall energy usage at AMS, along with recommendations for improvement, each of which included a calculated cost estimate, savings estimated, and payback estimate. The report also outlined new energy efficient technologies to considered and analysis of all data gathered on-site that lead to the previously mentioned recommendations.   

Created April 6, 2024