METALCASTER OF THE YEAR: Sustainability Drives Waupaca Foundry


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Click here to watch a short video about Waupaca Foundry.

 

The metalcasting industry has been recycling metal since the process was born, but Gary Gigante felt it was only scratching the surface. Eight years ago, Gigante, the now-retired president and CEO of Waupaca Foundry, delivered a strong message to the industry urging metalcasters to work harder to improve their efficiency and minimize their waste. In his 2010 AFS Hoyt Memorial Lecture, Gigante called on the industry to embrace the possibilities of sustainability and start thinking green in all aspects of the process. Within Waupaca Foundry, significant sustainability goals were set for 2020 to lead by example.

“He wanted Waupaca to take a leadership role in this initiative to show it is important for the industry and for the viability of our company,” said Mike Nikolai, CEO, Waupaca Foundry. “He defined what our targets would be and formed how we look at sustainability. The good thing is, it makes financial sense in the end.”

Although Gigante retired in 2016, his legacy lives on at Waupaca Foundry, which has accumulated a long list of sustainability accomplishments as it nears 2020 and the end of its first 10-year sustainability initiative.
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From 2009-2016, Waupaca Foundry reduced its cumulative energy intensity by 18.9% as a voluntary charter member of the U.S. Department of Energy Better Plants program. Landfill waste has been reduced significantly, with 71.3% of all byproducts now avoiding the landfill altogether.
From 2015-2016 alone, Waupaca Foundry reduced its water use by 22%.

Keystone XL Pipeline

In 2017, its Plant 1 in Waupaca, Wisconsin, became the first U.S. metalcasting facility to receive the accredited ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification. Plant 2/3, also in Waupaca, has made significant reductions in energy by improving the yield of its highest volume parts. Additionally, installation of a mechanical and thermal sand reclamation has reduced that waste stream and closed loops in compressor and heat recovery systems have reduced energy and water use.

For the significant sustainability efforts and accomplishments, Waupaca Foundry plants in Waupaca, Wisconsin, have been named tClick here to watch a short video about Waupaca Foundry.

The metalcasting industry has been recycling metal since the process was born, but Gary Gigante felt it was only scratching the surface. Eight years ago, Gigante, the now-retired president and CEO of Waupaca Foundry, delivered a strong message to the industry urging metalcasters to work harder to improve their efficiency and minimize their waste. In his 2010 AFS Hoyt Memorial Lecture, Gigante called on the industry to embrace the possibilities of sustainability and start thinking green in all aspects of the process. Within Waupaca Foundry, significant sustainability goals were set for 2020 to lead by example.

“He wanted Waupaca to take a leadership role in this initiative to show it is important for the industry and for the viability of our company,” said Mike Nikolai, CEO, Waupaca Foundry. “He defined what our targets would be and formed how we look at sustainability. The good thing is, it makes financial sense in the end.”

Although Gigante retired in 2016, his legacy lives on at Waupaca Foundry, which has accumulated a long list of sustainability accomplishments as it nears 2020 and the end of its first 10-year sustainability initiative.foundry

From 2009-2016, Waupaca Foundry reduced its cumulative energy intensity by 18.9% as a voluntary charter member of the U.S. Department of Energy Better Plants program. Landfill waste has been reduced significantly, with 71.3% of all byproducts now avoiding the landfill altogether.
From 2015-2016 alone, Waupaca Foundry reduced its water use by 22%.

In 2017, its Plant 1 in Waupaca, Wisconsin, became the first U.S. metalcasting facility to receive the accredited ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification. Plant 2/3, also in Waupaca, has made significant reductions in energy by improving the yield of its highest volume parts. Additionally, installation of a mechanical and thermal sand reclamation has reduced that waste stream and closed loops in compressor and heat recovery systems have reduced energy and water use.

For the significant sustainability efforts and accomplishments, Waupaca Foundry plants in Waupaca, Wisconsin, have been named the 2018 Modern Casting Metalcaster of the Year.

Reducing Energy Through Management

Plant 1’s ISO 50001 certification is one of the pinnacles of achieving a management approach to reducing energy use at Waupaca Foundry.

“It’s basically showing that as with environmental and quality systems, we have the equivalent level of focus and available metrics to monitor energy and have the procedures in place to affect continuous improvement,” said Bryant Esch, environmental coordinator, Waupaca Foundry. “We are not chasing projects anymore. Plant 1 dove in and did a fantastic job being enthusiastic and ultimately successful.”

At Plant 1 focused on making equipment upgrades to its compressor systems. It installed a new air-cooled two-stage rotary screw air compressor, replacing a water-cooled reciprocating air compressor unit that was more than 30 years old. The $124,000 investment yielded not just compressed air and energy reduction. The plant reduced its water use by 7 million gallons for a $70,000 annual savings. It also saves $6,500 in maintenance costs annually “We were also able to reuse the waste heat to heat portions of the building with the compressed air system,” said Dale Hardel, engineering manger. “This project proved that like anything else, if you put a team together, focus on a problem and attach it in a methodical manner, you can make improvements.”

The Waupaca Way

The focus on sustainability is built into the culture of Waupaca Foundry, according to several members of its managing team. This is reflected in the major categories outlined in the corporation’s Waupaca Way production management system approach to safety, environmental, people, quality, responsiveness, cost.

“We are talking environmental at the corporate level, plant management level, down to the shop floor level,” Pagel said. “It is integrated in everything we do and it is supported and built into the management system.”

Waupaca Foundry holds monthly operations reviews where each plant reports to the corporate management team its performance on various aspects of the plant including sustainability. At the plant level, sustainability is addressed in monthly meetings, and appointed energy teams meet e    very month to discuss ongoing projects and opportunities. Esch and Gonzalez, as the corporate environmental coordinator and energy manager, supports the plants by providing information and data on where reductions could be made.

 

For full article and credit: https://www.moderncasting.com/