Source: Waupaca announcement
WAUPACA, Wisc. — Waupaca Foundry, Inc., a Hitachi Metals group company, is the winner of the 2020 Green Foundry Sustainability Award presented by the America Foundry Society (AFS). The iron casting component supplier was honored for outstanding leadership in integrating sustainable business practices throughout its manufacturing operations.
Waupaca Foundry was cited for implementing the ISO 50001 program to create a formal management system approach to energy reduction. Under the systemic approach, foundry leaders are able to gather and analyze data that identifies opportunities for additional energy reduction in plant operations.
As compared to 2010, Waupaca was able to achieve an overall reduction in energy consumption of more than 20 percent at all U.S. plants. The award was presented in an AFS virtual conference on October 5, 2020.
Waupaca Foundry Named Environment Friend
Waupaca Foundry is the first United States metal caster to receive the accredited ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification. It is an international standard confirming the gray and ductile iron casting supplier has created a system of continual improvement in energy use, efficiency and consumption.
To gain this certification, teams created and implemented a program in energy management at it its gray iron foundry Plant 1 located in Waupaca, Wisc., and then reviewed and checked data to ensure consistent results. After twelve months of preparation and completing a verification audit by an independent registrar, the certification was granted in 2017.
According to Waupaca Foundry President, COO and CEO Mike Nikolai, energy is one of the largest costs of manufacturing with an annual price tag of about $150,000,000 in fiscal year 2019 across all Waupaca Foundry locations.
“We are setting the pace in our industry by committing to continuous improvement in environmental sustainability by reducing our energy use,” Nikolai said. “Our efforts not only reduce our impact on the environment but make us a more competitive iron castings supplier in the global marketplace.”
Some of the more significant, recent initiatives include:
- Installing a Blast Air Dehumidification system to reduce ambient humidity impact on cupola melting efficiency.
- Expanding the waste heat recovery system to maximize natural gas savings during cold winters in the Wisconsin plants.
- Converting LED lighting throughout the plant’s manufacturing, office, and employee areas. The retrofit effort has replaced inefficient lighting with LED technology, with over 800 energy efficient LED fixtures installed.
- Replacing outdated compressors with new, more efficient models throughout the plant. At the same time, ductwork and additional equipment have been installed to capture the waste heat and use it to heat buildings during the colder months. These heat recovery systems convert waste heat from the cupola to supply the majority of the winter space heating and hot water requirements without using additional fuel.
- Expanding and networking electric and natural gas metering to the newly installed energy management system.
In making the award, AFS cited companies that have taken significant and novel approaches to improve sustainability, reduce energy and resource use, decrease or eliminate waste generation, reduce toxicity, identify beneficial re-use options for spent materials, and generally reduce their environmental footprint while maintaining production.