Electrical-connector maker AMP Inc. earned the 1998 corporate environmental progress award from the Electronic Industries Association for recycling plastics and other materials and resources.
During three years, AMP reused about 750,000 pounds of plastics, cut use of corrugated cardboard by 830,000 pounds, reduced waste water by 12.5 million gallons and decreased solid waste by 3 million pounds. The amounts were calculated for entering EIA's awards program and do not reflect all AMP production.
The polymers included nylon and polybutylene terephthalate, according to Katherine Shank, molding director for U.S. manufacturing.
Harrisburg, Pa.-based AMP uses primarily injection molding, and some insert molding and extrusion to process resins in making electronic, electrical and electro-optic connection devices, interconnection systems and connector-intensive assemblies, Shank said in a telephone interview.
In addition, AMP reuses PVC from packaging materials that the company takes back from customers. In some cases, AMP switched from PVC packaging to corrugated materials.
In 1993, AMP created a Design for Environment program that, in part, now takes a hierarchical approach to reusing plastics.
``We have a number of programs at each level,'' Shank said.
Here are five levels: design-out scrap upfront, consume regrind within plant of origin, look more broadly to use regrind within the company, sell or broker excess regrind or, at the bottom of the chain, use landfill disposal or incinerate.
The AMP program focuses on environmental solutions, involves a training initiative to reach about 2,000 engineers worldwide and encourages best-practice sharing.
AMP employs 46,500 and has 160 manufacturing and warehousing sites out of 331 facilities in 53 countries. AMP reported profit of $473 million on 1997 sales of $5.75 billion.
Arlington, Va.-based EIA presented the award March 17 during the association's annual conference in Washington.