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Morgan Thermal Ceramics recently announced that its Elkhart, Ind., manufacturing site found a way to expand its facility by 8,000 sq ft to accommodate a planned doubling of its output without hammering a single nail or spending a single dollar on disposal. The facility, which manufactures high-temperature insulation and fire protection materials, reclaimed the space by clearing out a huge production tooling storage area that had accumulated piles of obsolete equipment over the last 20 years. Not only did the company avoid indirect labor and waste disposal costs, but the outside contractor who did the work paid for the recycled waste metals.
Tom Rebernak, general manager of the Elkhart facility, reportedly challenged employees to find a cost-effective way to clean out the area without a labor-intensive effort that would affect the site’s profitability. “We are doubling our output to accommodate expanded opportunities in the aerospace and industrial sectors,” Rebernak said. “We wanted to take advantage of new capital advancements in our process by reclaiming useful floor space within our existing footprint, rather than adding to our facility.”
The multi-departmental team charged to meet the challenge was composed of operations, maintenance, commercial, and engineering personnel. Led by Marcia Stewart, manager of Human Resources, the team located an outside contractor who specializes in salvaging, repairing and reselling older industrial equipment.
After the team conducted a careful review to ensure that useful equipment was retained, the contractor staged a three-day event, during which the material was sorted and cleared. Usable industrial equipment will be repaired and resold. Most of the equipment and supplies that could not be reused was recycled. Facility managers estimate that about 175 tons of waste was recycled, including metals, plastic, wood, and cardboard.
The team calculates that the approach saved about $10,500 in waste disposal costs, as well as more than $3,000 in indirect labor savings. What’s more, the site received a rebate of $5,500 for metals recycled during the event.
For additional information, visit www.morganthermalceramics.com.