Southco begins efforts to make production facilities more energy efficient

Southco's Concordville, PA, headquarters is the first of its facilities to receive upgrades which will make it more energy efficient.

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Engineered access hardware manufacturer Southco is making strides in becoming more environmentally friendly throughout its facilities worldwide. The company’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Concordville, PA, is helping to lead and advance the company’s global initiative in the United States by implementing environmentally friendly and energy-efficient programs.

Southco Concordville has taken steps to become a more energy-efficient facility by cutting down power usage. The site has converted all outdoor lighting to LED. Indoor lighting has been upgraded to include the use of occupancy sensors to supply on-demand lighting, and the facility has replaced metal halide bulbs with T8 fluorescents.

The facility has also partnered with its power supply company and participates in demand-response programs. During peak demand periods, the plant diverts power back to the grid and runs on generator power. Southco Concordville has also been converting hydraulic injection molding machines over to electric models that use 67% less energy.

These improvements have played a key role in reducing the facility’s electricity costs by 28% and power usage by 15%, while increasing output by 18% over the past year. Additionally, the facility has purchased and installed a smaller air compressor to run on weekends and off-peak hours to conserve pneumatic air use. The facility is considering energy-efficient upgrades to its compressed air network with the installation of new variable-speed air compressors and leak detection monitoring systems.

Additionally, Southco Concordville has made a conscious effort to conserve valuable resources related to its manufacturing processes. The facility has established a water conservation program that replaced site toilets, urinals and faucets with new water-efficient models. These upgrades have reduced water consumption by 25%, equivalent to 600,000 gallons annually. The facility is also considering the use of reclaim water technologies in its processes to further reduce water consumption.

The facility has also completed projects that address equipment noise reduction, pneumatic leaks and recycling of all manufacturing and non-manufacturing waste. These efforts have increased the facility recycling ratio to greater than 90 percent. Southco Concordville is certified to the ISO 14001 environmental standard.

A Global Initiative

The Concordville facility’s recent upgrades are representative of a greater shift to more sustainable practices in the manufacturing industry. Company-wide, Southco has committed to an effective environmental management system designed to support strategic business objectives while protecting the environment. Its global environmental policy helps ensure that all facilities remain committed to ecofriendly principles and processes.

Southco operates under a policy that requires environmental challenges to be managed as an integral part of current and changing business strategies, with the goal that all aspects of business are in full compliance with all applicable government requirements.

The company is also dedicated to the prevention of pollution and the continual improvement of the internal environmental management system. Further, Southco trains all employees to reflect these principles and perform their jobs in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

In an effort to uphold these principles and continue improving, Southco continues to implement changes in its plants worldwide that promote the conservation of energy and resources. Southco strives for continuous improvement in all its processes.