Plastics Technology

JUN 2013

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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Nypro Mebane has already replaced 22 of its 60 injection presses with all-electric models. It has seen energy savings up to 50% vs. hydraulic presses, potentially saving $6000 to $15,000 per year per machine—and there can be government and/or utility company incentives to defray part of the purchase cost. So the net investment is no more, and possibly much less, than a hydraulic machine. sustainable Medical Molding: For nypro, it's good Business By Matthew H. Naitove, Executive Editor "Why worry about sustainability?" asks ed cathey, controller of nypro's Mebane, n.c., injection molding plant. at least four reasons jump to mind: "First, it's the right thing to do, on many fronts. "Second, it produces positive fnancial return, some of it short-term, some long-term. "Third, it's good customer relations. We got into 'green' on our own initiative at frst, but nowadays large customers are pushing for it. In fact, three of our largest customers require it. "Fourth, it can give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace. "Fifth, it provides moral or political benefts within your local community." Nypro's Mebane plant is only fve years old, located in a 113,000-ft 2 building originally designed as a warehouse. It employs 275 and houses 60 injection machines from 55 to 750 tons. The plant generates around $50 million of Nypro's $1.2 billion total revenue. About 40% of Mebane's business is medical cleanroom molding, and the rest is consumer packaging. Since 2010, 28 June 2013 Plastics technology the plant has been actively pursuing a number of sustainability initiatives, which Cathey enumerated in a session on "green molding" at the Molding 2013 Conference in New Orleans in January. Though Cathey provided instructive examples of sustainability in action, he offered these cautions, as well: "There is simply no cookie-cutter approach to green manufacturing. Any approach needs to be right for you and your business. For example, do you have access to capital for a major investment that may take seven or more years to pay for itself? Does it make more sense for you to do a number of lower-cost projects that will excite your employees, suppliers, customers, and community?" And with regard to ROI payback, he offered this advice: "While returns are very important, you can't base your major green projects solely on your average business model's ROI. You will eventually need to take a leap of faith that there are many more advantages to sustainability." GREEN TEAMS Cathey says one of the keys to a successful sustainability program or initiative is to "involve all levels of your organization—down to the machine operators." They should form a volunteer team of six to 12 members, who will meet at least monthly. You will also

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