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The YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. National Manufacturing Center in Macon, Georgia implements sustainable manufacturing processes
Today we continue our series of articles which explain what each of our facilities are doing to be a more environmentally friendly company.
The YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. National Manufacturing Center in Macon, Georgia, which produces zippers and other fastening products, is another YKK company that is dedicated to being a sustainable manufacturing company. They have installed a building automation system to monitor and control its electrical, water and gas consumption within its plants. Called TREND, this system contains a dashboard containing charts which show the facility’s current water, electricity and gas consumption.
Commenting on this building automation system, Dustin Miller, YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. senior manager of facilities engineering states, “By seeing our water usage at each plant and even some specific processes, we have been able to eliminate wasted usage during down periods as well as to reduce the amount of water required to run a certain process. For example, we caught an excessive flow of water during a shutdown period at our slide fastener plant that was caused by various equipment and valve failures. Without this system which allows us to see the water usage when we are not there, we would not have caught this waste usage.”
Miller also points out that through the use of TREND, the company has been able to reduce the number of air compressors used in its slide fastener plant and thus decrease the horsepower required to supply the plant and significantly reduce the cost to run the air compressors.
“We were running four air compressors in our slide fastener plant, and we measured our air flow in cubic feet per minute, and we found that we only needed to run two and a half compressors to satisfy the required air flow. By identifying what our air flow demand is to run the plant, we were able to reduce the number of air compressors, and we decreased our horsepower from 600 to 300 for our first shift. We also reduced our horsepower for the second shift from 600 to 300 24 hours a day.
“Since each air compressor costs around $50,000 to $60,000 a year to run, we also have saved a significant amount of money by reducing the number of air compressors that we use from four to two and a half.
“The TREND system is a continuous monitoring platform. In the slide fastener plant in particular, the TREND system has paid for itself.”
In addition to reducing its electricity, water and gas usage through TREND, the YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. National Manufacturing Center also has an extensive recycling program. It has recycling containers inside of each of its plants used for recycling plastic bottles, cans, white paper and magazines, as well as containers outside of its plants used for recycling scrap metal, card board and brass.