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Waupaca Foundry

Environmental - Jun 11, 2019

Esch, Gonzalez recognized for advancing progressive energy practices at Waupaca Foundry

Ally Melby | Waupaca Foundry

Waupaca Foundry's Bryant Esch, environmental coordinator, and Marco Gonzalez, energy manager, received the 2018 Hitachi Metals Ltd President's Award in Business Innovation.

Environmental Coordinator, Bryant Esch

The award recognizes a company's forward energy practices and honors employees who have contributed to their company through significant achievement in rationalization, cost reduction and value engineering for customers by challenging their business's current practices.

Corporate Energy Manger, Marco Gonzalez

While this award is required to be submitted for individuals, this honor is really a recognition to the Waupaca Foundry team that worked together to make the following happen:

  • Waupaca Foundry's development and implementation of an Energy Management System that received third-party certification of the ISO 50001 Program, confirming an iron casting supplier has created a system of continual improvement in energy use, efficiency and consumption. Waupaca Foundry is the first metalcaster in the United States to earn this certification.
  • Operational improvements to control and minimize energy usage during non-production days through the implementation of Start-up/Shutdown procedures.
  • Converting to LED lighting throughout the plant's manufacturing, office and employee areas. The retrofit effort has replaced inefficient lighting with LED technology of over 800 energy efficient LED fixtures installed within the past two years
  • Replacing outdated compressors with new, more efficient models throughout the plant. Ductwork and additional equipment have also been installed to capture waste heat and use it to heat buildings during the colder months.
  • Expanding and networking electric and natural gas metering to the newly installed energy management system. The system allows monitoring of real-time energy use at departmental levels and archives historical data to allow analysis and comparison of current versus past data, in order to measure the effectiveness of projects and programs.
  • Production process improvement to incorporate alternate carbon sources into iron melting and reducing coke consumption.

As a result of these efforts, Waupaca Foundry saved $576,000 in energy costs during the 2017 fiscal year.

"Waupaca Foundry has more commitment and responsibility to keep improving our energy efficiency and implementing the changes needed to make Waupaca a worldwide sustainability reference," Gonzalez said.

The energy conservation initiatives are part of Waupaca Foundry's vision to reduce its environmental impact by 2020. Goals include:

  1. Reduce energy intensity by 25%
  2. Promote state-of-the-art pollution control technologies
  3. Reduce spent foundry sand generation by 30% and to reuse/recycle spent sand used in the metalcasting process to achieve zero landfill disposal
  4. Reduce water consumption by 80%.

"Waupaca Foundry has been working hard to assume a leadership role in determining how metalcasting can represent an increasingly beneficial role in our society. When it comes to sustainability, Waupaca is doing some things that are currently not common in the metalcasting industry, and it is our organization's goal to encourage other members of our industry to follow in integrating sustainability with all elements of their business operations," Esch said.

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