Bo-Mer, which started researching the switch about two years ago, said there are economic benefits with incentives from both the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and from federal tax savings, as well as an environmental boost.
"After reviewing proposals from multiple vendors, we accepted a proposal to install a roof-mount solar array, which would maximize the available square footage of our two buildings," Colella said.
The declining cost of solar panels was not a big factor for Bo-Mer when it started researching the idea, but Colella said "we were pleasantly surprised with the results of the payback analysis."
Besides thermoforming, Bo-Mer does plastic and metal fabrication and rotational molding.
The company, which started in 1946, has worked with a wide variety of customers, including Coca-Cola and Hershey, as well as supplying sectors like mass transit and automation.
"We feel confident about how Bo-Mer Plastics is positioned within our industry today," Colella said. "We will continue to diversify our processes and the industries we serve. Our strengths are our expertise, quality, customer service and our 'can-do' attitude."
Over the past 10 years, Bo-Mer has made other energy-saving moves like switching to LED lights and altering the speed and run time of equipment.
"We have been in the mode of energy-saving investments for several years now, and that will continue to be the case moving forward," Colella said. "We understand that utility costs are a major driver in our cost structure, one that we need to monitor and always attempt to improve on, in order to remain competitive in the marketplace."
Bo-Mer had an estimated $10 million in annual thermoforming sales last year and ranked 101st in the Plastics News North American thermoformers ranking. The company has 55 thermoforming employees.