Proving What’s Good for the Environment is Also Good for Business
A lot of the innovation at Xten is not visible in the finished molded components or completed products customers see. It’s apparent in the changes, improvements and upgrades Xten has made in its operational methods to reduce the company’s impact on the environment.
“Like most companies, we’re always striving to reduce costs…and that does not always make for happiest employees,” said Matthew Davidson, Xten CEO. “But finding ways to reduce expenses that simultaneously narrow our environmental impact is a very positive “less is more” program, one that everyone is enthusiastic about.”
Reducing Xten’s environmental impact isn’t the responsibility of a designated company department or even a cross-functional task force. It exists within each area and is a challenge placed squarely in front of each employee…a true element of Xten’s culture.
Evidence of how thoroughly committed Xten employees are to that culture lies in the number and wide array of ways in which the company has reduced its environmental footprint in the Kenosha area:
Reduction of energy usage through the installation of:
- Energy efficient lighting
- Energy-saving motion sensors for lighting – in both the office and warehouse
- Ambient light detectors – adjusting the amount of artificial light used based on the amount of natural light available.
- Variable frequency drives on presses, which automatically vary the energy usage depending on the process running. Initial energy savings over the replaced conventional methods is averaging 29%
- Heater bands to insulate, generate and transmit heat more efficiently on injection presses. Early reduction in energy and electrical consumption is averaging 30%.
- The company’s evolution to electric presses, which uses less energy than a comparable hydraulic machine.
Energy and material reductions produced by:
- Reducing inline air pressure settings and repairing air leaks, which were found to be a major cause of energy loss.
- Reducing resin waste by 43%
- Using purging compound, creating a 25% reduction in start-up resin waste
- Recycling 30 tons of corrugated in the first year of the focus
- Recycling 1.5 tons of office paper annually
- Using reusable shipping containers
The initial successes have Xten exploring even more sophisticated steps to keep the reductions flowing:
- Install dock leveler insulation
- Insulate plant doors and windows
- E-Save voltage regulators
- Installing special ceiling fans to de-stratify air
- Water/process heating & cooling
- Plant heating & cooling
- Polymer drying technology improvements