Dec. 18, 2012—Officials at Waupaca Foundry, Inc., have received a commendation from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program. In this program, companies voluntarily make energy efficiency a business goal, establish energy management plans and commit to reduce the energy intensity of manufacturing operations by 25% over 10 years.
The letter of commendation sites reports showing the foundry reduced energy intensity by 6.3% in 2011, giving the company a cumulative improvement of 16.5% against its baseline year of 2009. Waupaca Foundry is one of only 19 firms with operations in Wisconsin participating in the program; there are 100 industrial companies participating.
According to Waupaca Foundry CEO Gary Gigante, sustainability is central to ductile and gray iron casting operations. “You might call foundries the original recyclers,” Gigante said. “In addition to using scrap steel and iron in our product, we recycle the sand used in the iron casting process and have made significant investments in energy reduction.” Specific sustainability initiatives include:
- About 70 percent of byproducts generated by the foundry process are reused in local projects including road and general construction, agriculture and geotechnical fill.
- Closed -loop cooling water systems have reduced plant water cooling demands by 80 percent or more. Non-contact cooling water discharges are reduced to near zero and daily water use is reduced by 225,000 gallons.
In 2009, Waupaca Foundry received the Wisconsin Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence for a project that used waste heat from the cupola furnace to heat a foundry in Waupaca through the Wisconsin winters. The cupola furnace melts scrap iron.