In striving to conserve energy and reduce the environmental impact of its facilities, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC in 2011 reduced its energy rate consumption by 21% from the company’s 2009 baseline, surpassing the corporate goal of a 20% reduction by the year 2014.
Additionally, the company’s ongoing recycling efforts resulted in the diversion of 90% of its waste that once would have gone into landfills.
The North American leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety, energy management and braking system technologies, Bendix implemented ECCO2, a corporate energy-efficiency initiative, in 2009. To cut its energy rate consumption, Bendix studied the results of independent energy-usage audits conducted at its facilities in 2009 and 2010, and then implemented solutions designed for each location.
At the Bendix manufacturing facility in Huntington, IN, motion sensors were installed that automatically turn lights on and off as needed in particular areas of the plant. Also, Bendix fit air compressing equipment at the Huntington facility with ducts to capture the heat generated during normal operation. In summer, the ducts carry the air outside the plant, reducing the demand for air conditioning, while in winter the heat is used to help warm the facility.
The company installed a higher-efficiency air compressor at the Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake facility in Bowling Green, KY, and replaced the high-energy-usage (propane fueled) wastewater evaporators with a very low-energy-usage water-filtration system at the Bendix manufacturing campus in Acuña, Mexico. Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC (BSFB) is a joint venture between Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC.
Already a leader in diverting waste from landfills, Bendix – which had achieved a 71% diversion rate in 2010 – improved its effort with a continued focus on finding new ways to prevent plant waste from going into landfills. In 2011, Bendix diverted 5,482 tons of waste.
All Bendix plants have instituted recycling of waste such as paper, cardboard, wood and plastic. In 2011, the company recycled 5,290 tons of material.
Most of the waste diversion by Bendix is achieved through recycling, but the company has found other channels as well. Some waste from the Huntington plant goes to a power generation company that incinerates the waste and transforms it into an energy source. In Acuña, discarded desiccant from Bendix’s recycled air dryers is sent to a company that reclaims the waste material for use in producing cement.
In 2011, Bendix diverted 97 tons of waste to incineration for power generation, and 95 tons of waste was reclaimed for other purposes.
“While we are pleased to have reached our energy reduction goal and cut our landfill contributions to just one-tenth of our waste, our response is to redouble our commitment to conserving energy and reducing our environmental impact,” says Maria Gutierrez, Bendix health, safety and environmental manager. “We will continue to increase environmental awareness across our organization and our industry. It makes sense for the communities in which we operate, and for our company.”