Going Green in Our Metal-Working Plants

All of us who work with metal are trying to keep our costs down to serve our customers well and to be profitable.  To these ends we want to minimize the amount of energy we use when we are shearing, forming, machining, punching, and welding metal.  We want to sustain our businesses and to sustain the larger environment.  We want to save money and we want to be “green.”

All of us have been approached by various vendors promoting their wares to achieve these goals.  Sorting through all the options can be challenging.  It is worth the effort.

Chicago Metal Rolled Products is committed to cost savings and sustainability in its operations.  Two recent programs were particularly effective:  new furnaces and new lighting.

The installation of new furnaces in our plant resulted in a 30% reduction in therms and a greater-than-50% cost savings.  Also, the new locations of the furnaces provide a more comfortable environment for our associates.

We had even better results from putting in a new lighting system.  Per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the installation of new lighting saved 231,578 kilowatt hours of energy on an annual basis.  That’s an annual greenhouse gas savings of 161 tons of carbon dioxide; 597lbs of sulfur dioxide; and 2,265lbs of mono-nitrogen oxides NO and NO2.

To put it in simpler, more understandable terms, per the EPA, the following are the conservation equivalents from our lighting project:

29 cars off the road for one year, and

4,136 trees absorbing pollution for 10 years.

Furthermore, the quality of the light in the plant is now much better.

Other conservation projects at Chicago Metal Rolled Products include in-plant recycling of hydraulic oil; the use of earth-friendly citrus cleaner and lubricants; and minimal toxic waste, minimal fumes, and maximum ventilation.

Lastly, we also replaced all CRT (old-TV-style) monitors with LCD and LED which consume less than half the power.

The combined effect of these savings required that we “retune” our back-up generator because it was producing too much electricity for the lower power load.

All to reduce our costs and improve the environment of our plant and the planet.


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