Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 13

injection moulding
micro-turbines that not only
generate electricity - needed
to power the company's injection-moulding
machines and
other equipment -- but also
capture heat to provide useful
thermal energy. Rather than
venting the exhaust heat resulting
from power generation into
lakes, rivers or the atmosphere
as commercial power plants do,
Harbec captures it, creating hot
water for radiant space heating.
Hot water is also used, with the
help of absorptive chillers, to
create 44-to-47-degree cold
water that is used to air condition
their facility. As a result,
there are no furnaces, boilers or
air conditioners at the company.
A 250-kW wind turbine was
installed a couple of years later
and energy conservation projects
such as a lighting upgrade
and barrel insulation followed.
By the end of the decade, the
CHP and wind turbine projects
were fully paid off. Next came
a new 850 kW wind turbine, a
switch to LED lighting and an
upgrade to Harbec CHP plant.
A 350-kW solar power plant
will soon be installed along
with 1MW of energy storage to
complete their state-of-the-art
microgrid energy management
system which will provide an
added advantage called resiliency
...no power outages for
storms or other grid failures.
What electricity they currently
buy from the grid is 100% derived
from green power sources
and they purchase carbon
offsets to compensate for any
other energy expenditures (for
vehicles and microturbines for
instance) that result in emissions.
Harbec is third-party
audited and certified to ISO
50001/SEP Platinum, the highest
rating for energy management
performance. In fact,
according to the Department
of Energy website, Harbec has
the 5th highest energy usage
reduction record of all companies
that are ISO 50001/SEP
in the world. The firm has also
begun working with bioplastics
and bio-identical polymers -
conventional resins derived not
from fossil material but from renewable
feedstocks.
There's no question Harbec is
doing right by the environment,
but the point, as far as Bob Bechtold
is concerned, is that all these
put it into the people who I believe
are real practitioners in the
sustainability we're committed
to. The majority of the world,
in my opinion, is just blowing
smoke. They're putting together
web pages and glossy booklets
next to their corporate annual
reports and all that, but it's all
goals and good intentions when
you read it. "
Arburg, on the other hand,
IHarbec moulds plano convex lenses made of optical-grade polycarbonate
for medical market customers.
efforts are also good for the company's
profitability. For instance,
energy use reduction saves Harbec
a minimum of $85,000 each
year, which goes directly to the
bottom line. Assuming the company
operates on a 5% to 10%
margin, which Bechtold says is
typical for his type of business,
and " at 5%, that $85,000 is the
equivalent of going out and getting
$1.7 million in new work, doing
all the work, and then having
the 5% margin at the end. "
Choosing moulding
machines wisely
Bechtold is a huge believer
in using electrically driven injection
moulding machines. He
started out 20 years ago buying
Milacron all-electric machines
because they were one of the
first companies to offer them.
" At that time, everybody was
arguing that there's no value
in an electric machine because
they cost 50% more and what
do you get? They do the same
job as hydraulic machines. But
when you're aware of energy,
you don't just look at sticker
price, you also look at the cost
of operation. Electric machines
can do the same job with as
much as 50% less energy, plus,
the largest cause of heat in
an injection moulding plant is
waste heat from the hydraulic
pumps, not from melting plastic.
And so with that mentality, we
were able to always justify the
electric machines. "
More recently, as Harbec
works toward its zero-waste goal,
he's been buying electric Arburg
machines. " Many companies talk
big, " Bechtold says, " but actually
do very little in the way of measurable
sustainability. Arburg is
a major exception here - both in
terms of production and products.
I saw this myself at their
Technology Days event in Lossburg
a few years ago, and that's
why I like to buy Allrounders.
" We aren't a conventional
commodity moulder, " he continues.
" The majority of our
business in high-end, precision
components, so we have to have
very robust, very accurate and
very usable, user-friendly machines. "
Every new purchase is
also evaluated according to its
expected energy consumption,
he explains, and the savings
are factored into the purchase
price. Energy-efficient Arburg
electric machines generate very
little waste heat.
All but one of Harbec's Arburg
machines are electric
Allrounder 370 E machines
and the single hydraulic Allrounder
520S machine is used
specifically because it has the
clamping power for the injection-compression
moulding of
plano convex lenses made of
optical-grade polycarbonate for
medical market customers.
Thinking alike
The other thing that Bechtold
says he likes about working
with Arburg is that " they
are practitioners of what we
believe in, and there is no more
powerful thing that I can do
with my business dollars than
published is first Sustainability
Report in February 2021, providing
a clear picture of corporate
behaviour that is concerned
both with environmental protection
and the conservation of
resources, as well as Arburg's
responsibility towards society,
the region and its people.
The 53-page report is modelled
on the German state of
Baden-W├╝rttemberg's " WIN
Charter " sustainability management
system, which contains
twelve guiding principles that
address, among other things,
human and labour rights, employee
well-being, resources,
energy and emissions, product
responsibility, and anti-corruption.
It also provides guidelines
for the data collection required
to document the company's efforts
toward sustainability.
Bob Bechtold recalls attending
Technology Days 2014 and
the fact that he and Harbec
colleagues were able to learn a
lot about Arburg's sustainability
activities. " We spent 2 or 3 hours
going over every aspect of Arburg's
programme and, when
an Arburg delegation from Lossburg
visited the United States a
short time later, we reciprocated
and shared the same kind of picture
of our organization. "
Bechtold says he can still
learn a lot from Arburg. " They've
helped improve our ability as
a production moulder, and I've
come to understand that if I
have a new requirement or I
need a new facet of moulding,
I'm going to check with Arburg
first because I bet they're doing
it or they have something in the
works. As long as I've known
Arburg, that's what I observed. "
" I need that kind of support, "
he concludes. " I need to work
with companies who demonstrate
the same kinds of values
that I think are important. I want
to support those companies
that demonstrate they care. "
August/September 2021
13

Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021

Contents
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - Cover1
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - Cover2
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - Contents
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 4
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 5
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 6
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 7
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 8
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 9
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 10
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 11
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 12
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 13
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 14
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 15
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 16
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 17
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 18
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 19
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 20
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 21
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 22
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 23
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 24
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 25
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 26
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 27
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 28
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 29
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 30
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 31
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 32
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 33
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - 34
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - Cover3
Sustainable Plastics - August/September 2021 - Cover4
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