Contact: David Herb, RETAP Manager, at 517-284-6863
Retired engineers, scientists, and other professionals are available through the Retired Engineer Technical Assistance Program (RETAP) to assist small manufacturers in Michigan with pollution prevention, water conservation and energy efficiency. RETAP services are always objective and free of charge.
Pollution Prevention and Energy Efficiency Assessments
RETAP provides comprehensive onsite pollution prevention, water conservation, and energy efficiency assessments to small manufacturers in Michigan (see Eligibility below). Recently, RETAP further enhanced its free assessment service by incorporating the following tools and capabilities into our assessment process:
Infrared Thermal Imaging
Ultrasonic Leak Detection
3E Plus® Insulation Thickness Calculator
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®
EPA Greenhouse Gas Calculator
Variable Frequency Drive Savings Calculator
Lean Six Sigma Assistance
Source Reduction Planning Assistance
- RETAP assessments are always free, confidential, nonregulatory, and objective. The assessment can encompass all or part of the manufacturing facility.
- Teams of RETAP engineers review operations for potential cost saving opportunities achievable through source/waste reduction, toxic/hazardous material subsitution, reuse/recycling, water conservation, process and energy efficiency, and related cost reduction measures.
- Written reports containing specific recommendations to save money, increase efficiency, eliminate waste, minimize waste disposal and treatment, reduce toxic chemical usage, and promote a positive public image. The reports further include resource and cost savings estimates of the significant recommendations identified during the assessment. Potential cost savings have averaged over $60,000 per facility assessed for each of the past five years.
- There is no obligation to implement RETAP recommendations. However, significant cost savings can be achieved from employing P2 and energy efficiency techniques. Follow-up with companies assisted through RETAP has shown assessed facilities consistently report implementing over 70 percent of the retired engineers' suggestions for improvement.
- To date, RETAP has completed over 1000 assessments at manufacturing facilities in Michigan.
- Priority is given to small manufacturers that request a RETAP assessment in conjunction with source reduction planning assistance (see below).
Source Reduction Planning and Lean Six Sigma Technical Assistance
RETAP provides confidential, nonregulatory, on-site source reduction planning (SRP) and/or Lean Six Sigma technical assistance to small manufacturers in Michigan (see Eligibility below). The focus of the assistance is typically specified by the manufacturer, and can be in parallel, following, or independent of a RETAP assessment. However, priority is given to small manufacturers that request a RETAP assessment in conjunction with SRP assistance.
For SRP assistance, a RETAP engineer evaluates an operation, process, or system to assist in outlining or further developing the facility’s plans for reducing toxic chemical use and hazardous waste generation.
For Lean Six Sigma assistance, a RETAP engineer will assist facility personnel in evaluating a process to identify significant waste reductions in material, time and energy for the purpose of improving quality, productivity, and profitability.
RETAP assistance is provided to small manufacturers that are:
- Organized for profit
- Independently owned and operated
- Employees 500 or fewer employees company-wide, including facilities located outside of Michigan
- Is not dominate in its field of operation
- Primarily engaged in manufacturing activities
And, the facility to be assessed/assisted:
- Is owned and operated by the small manufacturer
- Is located in Michigan
- Incurs significant daily use four (4) or more days per week
- Is not scheduled to be closed or sold within the next 36 months
- Encompasses over 15,000 square feet of floor space
- Has combined waste, water/wastewater, and energy expenditures totaling $25,000 or more per year
- Is a manufacturing operation based on its primary onsite activity
RETAP Engineers and Contractor
RETAP maintains nearly fifty (50) retired engineers, scientists, and other professionals active in the program. Each RETAP engineer has thirty to forty years of experience with Michigan industries giving RETAP the unique ability to offer nearly 2000 years of combined professional experience to help businesses save money free of charge.
The RETAP contractor for the past fifteen years has been the Retired Engineer Technical Assistance Foundation, which is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization established by the retired engineers. It is staffed by dedicated retired engineers and scientists with extensive industrial experience in waste reduction and energy efficiency assistance. The LARA - Michigan Agency for Energy administers the RETAP and establishes program policies and priorities. The contractor is responsible for the daily management of the RETAP engineers and providing the written reports.