Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
Reduce, reuse, and recycle are essential elements of Hitchiner's® manufacturing planning and engineering process, not afterthoughts.
Growing results. In 2009 alone, Hitchiner® shrank carbon emissions generated by US Operations electrical use by over 14%, or 2847 metric tons of carbon emissions for the year, equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 72,999 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. (US Environmental Protection Agency Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.)
Also in 2009, the Company installed a waste heat recovery system at its Mexico Operations HITSA plant. This system recaptures 150,000 BTUs per hour, 24 hours per day, 6 days per week, year round, to eliminate over 56 metric tons of carbon emissions per year, equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 1439 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. (US EPA.)
Companywide, Hitchiner® employs a rigorous and comprehensive recycling program for other process materials.
And Hitchiner's® exclusive countergravity investment casting process itself has a smaller carbon footprint per part than traditional investment casting. Process improvements and innovations such as Hitchiner's® exclusive SLIC (several layer investment casting) process have the potential to slash mold-heating energy use over 87% and cut shell material use 70%.
Green goals predate trends. Hitchiner's® first principle embodies the company's approach to process and operations as well as product strategy. Conservation efforts such as the preservation of Savage Farm in Milford, NH and the donation of the Hitchiner Town Forest to the Town of Milford have always been an important Company interest. And so it is no surprise that Hitchiner's® corporate strategy has made green goals key for well over a decade, far predating current trends.
To achieve its green goals, the Company employs a continuous improvement strategy. Continuous energy conservation, operations efficiencies, and process improvements at all operations sites have dramatically reduced pollutant emissions and energy and material usage. The Company implements this strategy using lean manufacturing, Kaizen, 5S, and other work management techniques. Formalizing its commitment, Hitchiner's® Mexico Operations has for many years upheld the international ISO 14000 family of standards for continuous improvement of environmental performance. This dedicated commitment to the environment enables the Company to achieve steady and dramatic environmental gains.
Continuous improvement IRL. In 2007, for example, the Company completed a seven-year initiative to eliminate thousands of tons of volatile organic compound emissions (VOC), industrial wastewater, and hazardous waste.
Starting in 1998, it began shifting production from its old Plant 2 to the newly built Automated Casting Facility, a clean, water-based, fully automated manufacturing plant. In 2001, the Company installed a closed-loop, non-contact process cooling water system in Plant 2, eliminating the use and discharge of over 200,000 gallons of water per day while that plant retired operations. In 2006, the Company demolished Plant 2, restoring many acres of green space to its Milford campus. It also sold tons of metal and other materials from the plant for reuse and recycling. That same year, another plant on the Milford campus eliminated about 68 tons of VOC emissions and switched over to a closed-loop cooling system to conserve over 50,000 gallons of clean water per day.
These are just a few examples of how Hitchiner's® green strategy integrates product direction, energy conservation, operations efficiencies, and process improvements. As they show, the Company is committed to striving toward ever-higher environmental standards in its own operations and supply chains.