Custom injection molder Plastikos Inc. of Erie, Pa., has set green as a standard and received recognition for its efforts.
The Young Erie Professionals selected Plastikos as Green Company of the Year in the for-profit category. The Erie group recognized the company at an April 24 event.
Plastikos has been identifying green opportunities and improving ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials and energy, said engineering manager Ryan Katen.
The leadership of Plastikos remains firmly committed and passionate to further reduce our impact on our local environment and the planet, Katen said in the entry form. Each of these initiatives has taken time, energy and financial commitments. However, we know that the positive impact on both the planet and our bottom line are well worth the effort.
Plastikos reduced its annual need for raw virgin material by 65,000 pounds out of an average consumption of 433,000 pounds and increased its materials recycling to 50,000 pounds of regrind per year. The company conforms with Underwriters Laboratories Inc. regrind-content limits.
Historically, Plastikos threw out the majority of excess grind, Katen said. Now the company sells extra regrind to recyclers.
In targeting energy consumption, Plastikos said it has saved 275,000 kilowatt-hours per year by replacing metal halide lighting with T12 and T8 fluorescent bulbs, installing motion detectors, educating staff on conservation and recycling hundreds of batteries and fluorescent bulbs. Plastikos consumed nearly 3.2 million kwh during 2008.
Also, the company invested in seven all-electric presses to replace hydraulic presses. The all-electric presses consume about 20 percent less energy, Katen said.
In addition, Plastikos transitioned from paper records to electronic documentation, annually saving 575 reams of paper and about 50 toner cartridges.
The firm recycles about 10,000 pounds per year of other paper, plastic, cardboard and aluminum.
Other initiatives are in the works. Plastikos is installing compressed-air material dryers to replace desiccant-bed dryers. The company is projecting annual energy savings of 25,000 kwh.
Plastikos operates around the clock on a five-day work schedule. The company employs 87 and operates 27 injection molding machines with clamping forces of 25-130 tons.
The firm said it had sales of about $16 million for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31.
Plastikos continues to pursue additional ways to improve efficiency and increase environmental awareness, Katen said. He has participated in the community's energy roundtables and is involved in organizing an energy and environmental conference.
Katen is a junior partner in Plastikos, along with his brother, Philip, who is general manager. The senior partners are their father, President Timothy Katen, and David Mead, who is treasurer and vice president.