The Rodon Group Makes Commitment to Go Green by Enrolling in Demand Response Program

The Rodon Group Proves they are Committed to Reduce their Carbon Footprint by Signing an Agreement with North America’s Leading Demand Response Provider.

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How manufacturers can cut their energy bills; lessons learned by The Rodon Group

Excerpt from article on PlasticsToday.com.  To read full article, visit http://www.plasticstoday.com/articles/two-steps-every-processor-should-take-now-cut-his-energy-bill-09092011.

Reducing your company's overall operating costs by 12% is a dream for many plastics processors, but Lowell Allen, senior vice-president at The Rodon Group, and his team have spent the past few years making it their reality. He kindly joined us for a "chat" during the industry's first-ever Virtual Event titled Continuous Improvement in Injection Molding. 

As Allen recalled, in order to identify where money can be saved in your molding operation (from an energy standpoint), one must first identify what processes are continuously running. "If you are a 24/7 molder, as we are, with 106 molding machines, it's best to prioritize each continuously running process. Of course, none of us have an unlimited budget, so it's important to investigate those areas that can be changed for a mimimal investment and with the shortest payback time," he explained.

What runs continuously? At The Rodon Group, it is:

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Energy efficiency at The Rodon Group.

The Rodon Group is lucky to have so many talented and dedicated professionals on staff. We recently asked one of these individuals to provide some insight for our blog.

Jack McPherson is the Technical Manager for The Rodon Group.  He joined the organization in 2006 after serving as an Engineering Manager in the automotive industry.  Today he is responsible for providing technical assistance on everything from quality assurance to regulatory compliance.  We asked Jack to share some insights into the energy saving initiatives at Rodon.  Here is Jack’s story.

“Rodon has a long history of energy consciousness. In the mid 80’s, we were located in Southampton and our electric was served to us expensively by Pennsylvania’s PECO utility. The neighboring electric utility, PPL, just to our west, charged considerably less for electric. So Rodon began plans to move into the PPL area. Not an easy task with a building full of  injection molding machines, support equipment, continuous production obligations and relocating employees.

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The Rodon Group Embraces Environmental Stewardship

As a sustainable manufacturing company, The Rodon Group understands the importance of holding true to the overriding principle of Earth Day, to leave this world a better place for our children and grandchildren.  We celebrated the 43rd anniversary of this event on Monday, April 22.  This movement influenced many young business leaders who now see sustainability as the driving force for how they conduct business.  In June, many of these companies with the same motivation and inspiration will gather in San Diego at the Sustainable Brands Conference.

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Can manufacturing companies recycle effectively?

Excuses, excuses, excuses.

“We can’t ask our employees to sort their trash.”

“We don’t recycle because it all ends up in the landfill anyway.”

“It could end up costing us time and money.”

There is a long list of excuses often espoused by organizations to justify their hesitancy to become involved in recycling programs.  Most often these excuses are based on old myths, technologies and processes.  Today, recycling and waste collection companies have refined their procedures to offer hassle free, mutually beneficial recycling relationships with businesses throughout the country.

One stream or two?

Gone are the days of containers for every form of trash.  Many waste companies now offer either dual-stream or single stream recycling.  Dual stream recycling separates paper from all other forms of recyclable material.  This method helps increase compliance and collection speeds.  Single stream recycling was introduced in the late 1990’s partly in response low recycling rates within communities and organizations.  This method allows all recyclable material to go into one container.  The material is sent to a sorting facility. Using lasers, conveyor belts and other equipment; various plastics, metals and paper are sorted and baled. 

Make electricity not trash.

In Europe, countries have been creating energy from trash for a very long time.  In this country, the practice is fairly recent, and we are capitalizing on the innovations and successes of our European allies.  Many trash-to-steam plants have been built across the country.  These plants take just about any material, burn it at extremely high temperatures, heat water which converts to steam.  The steam is piped into generators to create electricity.

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Do you work with a sustainable injection molding company?

In today’s world, the green movement is more important than ever. No matter what the industry, it’s a company’s duty to make changes and choices that support the environment.

When you’re looking for a plastic injection molding company, there are several things you can check for to be sure you’ll be working with an environmentally responsible business.

The Rodon Group is committed to environmental sustainability. The company's green initiatives make it a leader in the plastics industry. Its manufacturing process minimizes packaging, transportation costs, waste, water consumption and energy. Consider this example: in manufacturing just one of the more than 600 unique K'NEX parts, the Rodon Group recycles enough cardboard to save 300 cubic yards of landfill space, the equivalent of three football fields! Additionally, using servo robots they incrementally stack many of the K'NEX parts, reducing part distortion, while tripling, or quadrupling the number of parts packed into the same size carton. This also helps in the sustainability initiative by reducing the amount of overall cardboard used. All scrap is reused and recycled and Rodon uses only non toxic colorants and resins.

All lubricants and cleaners used in processing are non‐toxic and no hazardous chemicals are used in the plant. Recent, ongoing efforts include installation of plant‐wide motion sensor activated high‐efficiency lighting to help save on energy costs. Rodon's customers are offered a returnable/reusable packaging program and all employees are able to participate in a recycling program including a drop off for any used lights, electronics, computer equipment, batteries.

Rodon also runs FDA‐regulated products, uses resin sources certified by FDA, RoHS, REACH, and NSF, and is one of the first molding facilities in its area to have been designated as a "Landfill‐Free Facility" by Specialty Waste Solutions, LLC. Specialty Waste Solutions, LLC (SWS) provides a landfill‐free alternative for recycling, waste transportation, and disposal to companies of all sizes and across a broad range of industries throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley and Delaware. Using a state‐of‐the‐art Energy‐from‐Waste resource recovery facility, they generate enough electricity from waste to power tens of thousands of homes per day in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Over the past 25 years, the Energy from Waste (EfW) industry has developed state-of-the-art technology that makes EfW one of the cleanest forms of energy generation. The advanced technology in combusting waste is the air quality (emission) control system. EfW facilities meet or exceed the strictest federal standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and employ a multi-step process to achieve superior environmental performance. Benefits include:

  • The US Environmental Protection Agency has stated that EfW plants are a “clean, reliable, and renewable source of energy” that “produces electricity with less environmental impact than almost any other source of electricity.”

  • Landfill-free solution

  • The by-product of EfW yields energy that powers millions of homes across North America

  • Can save 2 barrels of crude oil, 12,000 cubic feet of natural gas, and 1,200 pounds of coal per year for every household serviced

  • Knowledge that all waste is properly and permanently disposed of

Lastly, as a member of Energy Curtailment Specialists, Inc. (ECS) the largest private demand response provider in North America, Rodon curtails their energy usage during peak periods of demand, typically in the summer on extreme heat days when energy usage is at its highest.

Demand response is the action of end users lowering their demand for electric (reducing consumption) in order to help balance supply and demand on the electric grid and ensure stability.  The greatest need for demand response typically occurs during times of peak electricity demand, between the hours of 11 am and 6 pm, when extra strain is placed on the grid from situations such as increased air conditioning use on hot days or downed power lines resulting from a storm. Rodon joined the program to help maintain available electricity for the surrounding community, and to help with prevention of blackouts.

Watch this You Tube video to learn more about our sustainable efforts.  

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Manufacturing optimism is on the rise

Even in these uncertain times, manufacturers continue to be optimistic about the future.  This was confirmed in a recent study of American Manufacturers.  McGladrey, LLP, a Tax and Consulting firm, recently released their 2012 Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor report.  The results are based on a survey of over 900 businesses engaged in manufacturing and distribution.  Here are some highlights from the study.

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Green Initiatives Reflect Commitment to Sustainable Manufacturing

The Rodon Group, a high volume, custom plastic injection molder, became designated as a “Landfill Free Facility” by Sustainable Waste Solutions, LLC, making them one of the first molding facilities in its area to receive this certification.

Sustainable Waste Solutions, LLC
(SWS) provides a Landfill Free alternative for recycling, waste transportation, and disposal to companies of all sizes and across a broad range of industries throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley and Delaware. Using a state‐of‐the‐art Energy‐from‐Waste resource recovery facility, they generate enough electricity from waste to power tens of thousands of homes per day in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Over the past 25 years, the Energy from Waste (EfW) industry has developed state-of-the-art technology that makes EfW one of the cleanest forms of energy generation. The advanced technology in combusting waste is the air quality (emission) control system. EfW facilities meet or exceed the strictest federal standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and employ a multi-step process to achieve superior environmental performance.

“We have immensely enjoyed our two year relationship with SWS. We think very highly of their technical abilities, as well as the close, personal relationship we have developed with Scott Woodrow (COO) and Dieter Scheel (Business Development Manager),” said Lowell Allen, Sr. VP of Manufacturing at The Rodon Group. “We are more than happy to no longer have to haul trash to be land filled and on top of that, we’re saving money! “

Rodon’s green initiatives make it a leader in the plastics industry. Its manufacturing process minimizes packaging, transportation costs, waste, water consumption and energy. All scrap is reused and recycled and Rodon uses only non toxic colorants and resins.

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Earth Day and Sustainable Manufacturing.

On April 22, 2012, the 32nd Earth Day will inspire "random acts of greenness" around the world. Earth Day was started in 1970 by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. After witnessing the environmental impacts of a California oil spill, Mr. Nelson wanted to harness the power of the public to make a positive impact on the environment.

Over the last few decades, this new environmental awareness has grown, and it greatly impacts the way we manufacture products. The increased focus on sustainable manufacturing has helped thousands of local manufacturers save money and the environment at the same time.

What is Sustainab
le Manufacturing?

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Is Your Plastic Injection Molding Company Sustainable?

In today’s world, the green movement is more important than ever. No matter what the industry, it’s a company’s duty to make changes and choices that support the environment.

When you’re looking for a plastic injection molding company, there are several things you can check for to be sure you’ll be working with an environmentally responsible business.

Certification
ISO 9001 Certification is a way for companies to keep a close eye on their production processes. Meeting the International Standards for Quality Management ensures the company has been thoroughly audited and is fully in control of its’ procedures so that no part of the production process “slips through the cracks.”

Waste Reduction
Make sure the company you work with is minimizing waste. During the molding process, excess plastic is generated. What does the company you work with do with it? Look for a company that has a system to recycle all excess plastic.

What about boxes? The efforts of cardboard recycling make a huge difference. For example, 300 cubic yards of cardboard waste (approximately 3 football fields) were saved through recycling initiatives at The Rodon Group, a plastic injection molding company in Pennsylvania.

How is the virgin resin delivered? Ideally, it should be delivered in bulk and loaded into silos, minimizing the need for packaging. Find out how your plastic injection molding company has its’ raw materials delivered.

"Landfill-Free" Facilities and Energy from Waste
Did you know that waste could generate energy? Energy-from-waste technology is now available through companies like Specialty Waste Solutions, LLC, (SWS). In fact, The Rodon Group was one of the first molding facilities to be designated as a "Landfill-Free Facility" by SWS. This means all of The Rodon Group's waste gets processed into electricity. SWS generates enough electricity from waste to power tens of thousands of homes per day! See if you are working with a "landfill-free" facility.

Local Vs. Overseas Shipping
Questions to ask are, is the company importing materials or shipping production overseas? Or, is all work done here in the U.S.A.? Where do they get their colorant and other supplies? The more businesses can keep things local, the better.

Waste Minimizing Technology
The most eco-friendly plastic injection molding companies employ state-of-the-art machinery to assist them in minimizing waste, transportation, and packaging. The Rodon Group was able to go from packing 750 parts to 4500 parts per box by implementing a robotic packing system. Now, 15,700 fewer boxes are being used and 13 less trailers are on the road. Additionally, plastic waste is eliminated from the molding process through the use of high-tech equipment that transports it to a grinder so that it can be re-used.

A plastic injection molding company that thinks green is "landfill-free," and has the right certification, waste reduction, transportation and technology in place to minimize the impact on our planet. As a business owner, it’s your job to ask the right questions and make sure the company you work with is sustainable.

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