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Chrysler plant achieves sustainability goals with Applied Flow Technology software

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 16, 2016 –  Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) significantly reduced energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions at their top-ranked plant in the U.S. with the help of Applied Flow Technology Corporation’s (AFT) pipe flow modeling software.

Bryan Whitfield, senior energy specialist at FCA’s Dundee Engine Plant in Dundee, Michigan, used the AFT Fathom software to lead the plant’s energy savings project. 

Whitfield set out to optimize four of the plant’s large central coolant systems used in the machining process in hopes of reducing energy usage thereby mitigating their impact on climate change.

He created an AFT Fathom model of the coolant systems, and it produced the solution the plant needed to reduce their energy consumption. With two-thirds of US electricity generation derived from fossil fuels (U.S. DOE), energy reduction correlates directly with reduction in CO2emissions.

The software conservatively predicted 16% energy savings, which was enough to secure capital funding to proceed with the project. The actual energy savings achieved was 25%. The implemented project slowed down the coolant systems’ pumps, extending their lifespan and reducing waste heat.

“[This] was one of the more complex energy optimizations undertaken on process equipment at Chrysler,” Whitfield said. “I know for a fact that without AFT Fathom, the project would have never happened.”

As a result of their dramatic energy savings, the Dundee Engine Plant saved $194,000 annually in energy costs and received a $200,000 rebate from DTE Energy, their local electric services company. The project also took first place in the energy category of the FCA Environment, Health & Safety Leadership Awards 2015.

Whitfield submitted the project to AFT’s Platinum Pipe Award (PPA) contest and received the 2015 award for the Operational Benefits and Sustainability category. The award recognizes excellence in piping and ducting system modeling using AFT software.

“Mr. Whitfield was chosen as a PPA winner because his story was so compelling,” said Trey Walters, P.E. and president of AFT. “He provided not only detailed background information on the many options that Chrysler considered, and why they selected the option that they did, but he also went behind the scenes in explaining why past efforts to improve the system had failed – and what the difference was this time that helped the effort succeed.”

Entries for AFT’s 2016 Platinum Pipe Award can be submitted at

Read the Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles case study here.


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