Innovative tools of the trade by Jessica Jeppsson (September 2010)
Saving via sustainability
Many companies have jumped aboard the sustainability bandwagon, but AkzoNobel is one of the pioneers in this “green” movement. AkzoNobel was the first to manufacture both water-based latex paints and VOC-free paints. The company recently added an innovative wash system to its Glidden Professional line. The system provides an environmentally friendly way to wash used paint supplies and equipment.
The wash system works in an easy, three-step process. Tools are placed in the top of the wash basin and cleaned off with water from the attached spray nozzle. The water and paint residue drain into the lower basin, where chemical additives are mixed in. The additives separate the wash mixture into clear water and solid paint waste. The water is pumped out and recycled or disposed of, and the paint residue is pumped through a filter. Once dry, the paint waste can be removed and bagged for disposal. This more sustainable disposal of the wash mixture keeps paint particles from running into waterways.
“Our Glidden Professional Wash System provides value to facilities managers and owners seeking to engage their crews in both sustainable and efficient practices,” said Harris Cloutier, vice president of Glidden Professional Paint Centers.
The system is available in large, on-site units that can accommodate the washing demands of more than four painters. The smaller LS40 is a mobile, wheeled unit. The system saves money by reducing fines and disposal fees. Purchasing and using the system for all paint cleaning operations can satisfy LEED credits for green buildings.
While AkzoNobel has improved the green philosophies of reusing and recycling, the best way to be sustainable is to reduce consumption and waste.
Mustard manufacturer G.S. Dunn recently replaced 18 of its 450W metal halide units in its quality control and inspection facility with Dialight’s high-efficiency DuroSite LED High Bay fixtures.
G.S. Dunn needed lighting that would save money and be more energy-efficient but maintain or improve visibility for inspecting products. The new bulbs operate at 150W, saving money and energy.
“The new LED fixtures are encased in a sealed, lower profile unit with downward directional light that preserves light quality,” said Kevin Whyte, operations manager with G.S. Dunn. “The Dialight fixtures produce a crisp, clear white light that improves visibility in our inspection area.”
The heat and UV-free Dialight fixtures have an instant on/off capability, avoiding the energy-wasting burn during warm-up. For low traffic areas, like warehouse aisles, the new fixtures operate on motion sensors. At G.S. Dunn, this reduced the bulb burn time from 24 hours a day to nine.
Dialight’s DuroSite LED High Bay bulbs come with a five-year warranty, although LED bulbs typically have an operational lifespan of nearly 10 years. This will save G.S. Dunn, and many other environmentally conscious companies, even more money.
Jessica Jeppsson is a senior in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University. Jeppsson serves as the department’s Web architect and is president of the university’s IIE student chapter. She also teaches a computing course for first-year engineers.