In 2005, Recto Molded Products began to integrate a ‘green’ culture into our facility, finding practical and doable ways to reduce our energy consumption while improving the working conditions for our team. Some of these methods were simple–for instance, the City of Cincinnati Parks Development planted trees around our building, improving its appearance while also providing much-needed shade for the building and the parking lot.
We have also taken other steps as well. We obsoleted our old molding machines, which had high oil and electric consumption, in favor of newer, better performing technologies. We also replaced our air-cooled chillers with water-cooled chillers once our old cooling tower was replaced. These water chillers, alongside improved heat pumps, cool and heat the high population areas of our building.
While we were replacing our old roof, we chose to use white TPO as the new material. TPO is an excellent roofing material, being easy to maintain and repair, while also keeping the building cool in the summer. In addition it’s made entirely from recyclable materials and has a much lower environmental impact than traditional roofs.
Recto traded one of our old molding machines for a 2500 gallon water tank to collect rainwater. This provided us with free water, a cleaner cooling tower, and over the years, we’ve expanded this collection system to over 10,000 gallons.
To help reduce our electric and operating costs, we have strategically located smaller compressors around our building that add heat in the winter and send the heat of the building outside during the summer.
We reduced our air consumption, and reduced electrical costs by turning on our compressors on a quiet weekend and listening and eliminating air leaks. This simple task eliminated the parasitic air loss which was almost 30% of our usage.
Like most molders that work 24 hour weekdays, our peak electric demand is incredibly large on Monday morning startups. To assist our team, we have a device that monitors our energy consumption and power factor. We also have installed nearly 200 solar panels that absorb that peak electric demand, a project that was finished in 2009.
Since 2003, Recto has reduced the number of molding machines in our facility from 45 to 27, and all but two are either servo pump or servo electric. We also maintain two servo valve machines to help with long pack times.
These practical steps have proven incredibly beneficial, not just for the environment, but also for our employees. We’ve reduced our electric usage in half, and our gas usage by 90% since 2005. Our steps to naturally cool down the building have improved working conditions for our team at the same time. These simple, but quality steps have allowed us to improve our facility and our process, while supporting the environment in the little ways that we can.