(WAUPACA, WI) Jan. 28, 2017 — Waupaca Foundry Inc., a Hitachi Metals Group company, announces its Waupaca-based gray iron foundry is the first United States metalcaster to receive the accredited ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification. The certification was a result of energy conservation initiatives at Waupaca Foundry's plant located at 406 N. Division St., Waupaca, one of three gray iron foundries the company operates in Waupaca, Wisconsin. As a result of this and other energy conservation initiatives, the firm also received a $100,000 incentive from Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program.
The accredited ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification is an international standard confirming the gray and ductile iron casting supplier has created a system of continual improvement in energy use, efficiency and consumption. To gain this certification, teams created and implemented a pilot program in energy management, then reviewed and checked data to ensure consistent results. After twelve months of preparation and completing a verification audit by an independent registrar, the certification was granted.
Mike Hoecker, Waupaca Foundry's energy manager, said ISO 50001 certification is a milestone in the company's sustainability program. "With the energy management structure developed, as well as lessons learned during the process, obtaining certification at our other facilities will be much easier and efficient, thereby accelerating our sustainability progress and competitiveness." In addition to foundries, the company owns and operates machining and assembly operations in Effingham, Ill. and Wellsboro, Penn.
According to Waupaca Foundry President, COO and CEO Mike Nikolai, energy is one of the largest costs of manufacturing with an annual price tag of about $180,000,000, across all Waupaca Foundry locations. "We are setting the pace in our industry by committing to continuous improvement in environmental sustainability by reducing our energy use," Nikolai said. "Our efforts not only reduce our impact on the environment but make us a more competitive iron castings supplier in the global marketplace."
The Wisconsin-based Focus on Energy program recognizes projects at the gray iron foundry that were designed to conserve energy used plant-wide. Some of the more significant, recent initiatives include:
- Converting LED lighting throughout the plant's manufacturing, office, and employee areas. The retrofit effort has replaced inefficient lighting with LED technology, with over 800 energy efficient LED fixtures installed within the past two years
- Replacing outdated compressors with new, more efficient models throughout the plant. At the same time, ductwork and additional equipment has been installed to capture the waste heat and use it to heat buildings during the colder months.
- Expanding and networking electric and natural gas metering to the newly installed energy management system. The system allows monitoring of real time energy use at departmental levels and archives historic data to allow analysis and comparison of current versus past data, in order to measure effectiveness of projects and programs.
The energy conservation initiatives are part of Waupaca Foundry's vision for sustainability with achievable goals for reducing its environmental impact by 2020. Those goals include:
- Reduce energy intensity by 25%,
- Promote state-of-the-art pollution control technologies,
- Reduce spent foundry sand generation by 30% and to reuse/recycle spent sand used in the metalcasting process to achieve zero landfill disposal,
- Reduce water consumption by 80%.
In addition to these most recent projects Waupaca Foundry has completed a variety of energy conservation projects and achievements over the past years including:
- In 2015, plants in Waupaca, Wis., Marinette, Wis., Etowah, Tenn., and Tell City, Ind. all conducted lighting upgrade programs to convert more than 2,500 existing lights to LED lights. These projects also qualified for energy rebates.
- Waste heat recovery programs were implemented at all three plants located in Waupaca. These heat recovery systems convert waste heat from the cupola to supply the majority of the winter space heating and hot water requirements without using additional fuel.
- In 2015, Waupaca Foundry was admitted to Wisconsin's Green Tier program. The program recognizes businesses with a good environmental record, a willingness to exceed regulatory requirements, and an environmental management system that facilitates superior environmental performance and continuous improvements.
- In 2014, Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp. awarded Waupaca Foundry its environmental stewardship award at its annual supplier conference.
- In 2010, Waupaca Foundry was one of the first 32 charter companies voluntarily cutting energy consumption through 2020 in the Better Plants program, a U.S. Department of Energy initiative designed to foster energy efficiency and long-term sustainability. Since the program's baseline year of 2009 to 2015, Waupaca Foundry realized a cumulative energy intensity improvement of 16.3 percent.