Carthage Spring – Carthage, MO

Carthage Spring has implemented many environmental sustainability projects, including:

  • Air compressor optimization – department expansions increased compressed air needs to the point that the previous system was not keeping up. The optimization project corrected inefficiencies in the system. In addition, the facility added a 2,000 scfm dryer and float switches to match the facility's drying capacity with its compressed air needs. The project created a reliable compressed air system that reduced energy usage by 650,000 KwH and approximately $40,000 annually. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 420 tons per year.
  • Baling and recycling all scrap wire, metal, and corrugated cardboard, as well as recycling aluminum cans, plastic bottles, waste ink, and toner cartridges.
  • Collecting all used oil for reclamation.
  • Replacing all lights in its warehouse with energy-efficient lighting.
  • Where feasible, replaced standard chemicals with “environmentally friendly” chemicals.
  • The facility received an employee suggestion to install autotimers on light switches in the bathrooms, break rooms, and a conference room to save energy. The autotimers were installed and energy usage was reduced.
  • Investigated ways to reduce scrap metal production in two departments.
  • A team was formed to look at reducing clip usage. Problems were identified and corrective measures implemented to reduce clip usage and realize a savings of $54,556.
  • By implementing multiple plant process changes, paper usage has been reduced significantly.
  • Another project was to look at ways to increase the life cycle of MO1 and MO2 electrodes to decrease parts usage and downtime. Through design changes, the facility was able to develop an electrode with a longer lifecycle that can be milled/reused several times during its life. The project realized a savings of $27,001.
  • The facility worked to reduce parts usage at the rotary arm station of the 220 LFK machines by updating the entire PM, installing split conduit around lines to protect from hot coils, training employees, and other corrective actions. Parts usage was reduced with a cost savings of $14,444.
  • 95% of machines had been converted from an oil lubricant to a dry lubricant. In 2011, 95% of Branch 0001’s machines had been converted from oil to dry lubricant. This has allowed the facility to reduce oil used by approximately 7,800 gallons per year. This also helps reduce the opacity reading from oven exhaust stacks, which were as high as 70%, down to 0%.
  • Reduce dust emissions from lubricating soap by 100% in Building One. This goal was achieved by eliminating soap lubricants from coil spring production. It was discovered that the machines can operate adequately without the lubricant.

Goals for 2015 Include:

  • Reduce landfill contribution.
    • Reduce landfill contribution by 20% in 2015, to be measured by actual contribution.
    • Increase plastic bottle and aluminum can recycling in each building.
      • Increased 369% from 2014.
    • Increase yield of scrap wire in Building Three through implementation of a burn oven.
  • Reduce raw material usage.
    • Reduce parts usage at least 5% from 2014 in each department, to be evidenced by actual parts usage for the year.
      • 1% reduction realized in 2015.
    • Increase parts rebuilds by 1% from 2014, to be evidenced by the added rebuild-parts numbers.
    • Reduce scrap in all departments so as not to exceed standard in 2015, to be evidenced by monthly/yearly scrap rates.
      • 5% reduction in scrap yield realized in 2015.
  • Replace 10% of current chemicals and/or lubricants with “green” selections in 2015.
    • Replace chemicals in janitorial chemical stations with “green seal certified” chemicals.
      • All chemical are now “green seal certified” through Grainger.
    • Investigate changing from aerosol items to pump sprays.
      • Window cleaner is now a pump spray.
    • Replace petroleum-based lubricants with plant-based.

Other notable projects for 2015:

  • The facility has been working with the Carthage Wire Mill and Closed Loop Recycling to switch to recycled oil-absorbent mats.
  • Carthage Spring is a member of the Eco Initiative Technical Team and participates in monthly updates and information sharing throughout the company.
  • Switching from Fastenal brand gloves to Grainger for crating personnel is expected to show a 33% decrease in glove usage and therefore reduce landfill waste.