Waupaca Foundry received a commendation from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program.
In this program, companies voluntarily make energy efficiency a business goal, establish energy management plans and commit to reduce the energy intensity of manufacturing operations by 25 percent over 10 years.
The letter of commendation Cites reports showing the foundry reduced energy intensity by 6.3 percent in 2011, giving the company a cumulative improvement of 16.5 percent against its baseline year of 2009.
According to Waupaca Foundry CEO Gary Gigante, sustainability is central to ductile and gray iron casting operations.
“You might call foundries the original recyclers,” Gigante said. “In addition to using scrap steel and iron in our product, we recycle the sand used in the iron casting process and have made significant investments in energy reduction.”
About 70 percent of byproducts generated by the foundry process are reused in local projects including road and general construction and agriculture .
Closed -loop cooling water systems have reduced plant water cooling demands by 80 percent or more. Non-contact cooling water discharges are reduced to near zero and daily water use is reduced by 225,000 gallons.
In 2009, Waupaca Foundry received the Wisconsin Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for a project that used waste heat from the cupola furnace to heat a foundry in Waupaca through the Wisconsin winters. The cupola furnace melts scrap iron.
Foundries are the ultimate recyclers. For generations, we have created new products out of recycled steel scrap and iron and we re-use many of the raw materials used in creating durable castings. However, foundries are also energy-intensive businesses and it is imperative we keep finding smarter ways to use our natural resources.
Waupaca Foundry has a 10-year vision for sustainability with achievable goals for reducing its environmental impact:
• Reduce energy use intensity by 25 percent.
• Promote alternative processes and maintain state of the air pollution control technologies.
• Reduce spent foundry sand generation by 30 percent while promoting offsiterecycling opportunities of remaining spent foundry materials to achieve zero landfill disposal.
• Reduce water use consumption by 80 percent.
Since 2004, the foundry has engaged in significant energy conservation programs including using foundry process waste heat for building/hot water heating, installing energy efficient lighting, and the widespread use of premium high efficiency motors.
Waupaca Foundry re-melts and re-uses more than 800,000 tons of metal annually. And materials used to process that metal, such as the sand required to make molds for casting production, are also recovered. Seventy percent, or more than 400,000 tons of this sand material is beneficially reused for road and general construction, agricultural use, and geotechnical fill each year.
In 2009, Waupaca Foundry received the Wisconsin Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence at our Plant 1 foundry in Waupaca, Wisconsin. In this project, the industry-leading heat recovery system used waste heat from melting scrap iron and used it for heating the facility through the Wisconsin winters. This project along with other efforts reduced energy use the equivalent of removing approximately 3,200 passenger vehicles from U.S. highways.
As the largest iron foundry company in the world, Waupaca Foundryproduces gray iron castings and ductile iron castings using state-of-the-art technology. Waupaca is North America’s leading supplier of iron castings to the automotive, commercial vehicle, agriculture, construction, and industrial markets. Headquartered in Waupaca, Wisconsin, the iron foundry operates six manufacturing facilities, located in Waupaca, Wisconsin (3), Marinette, Wisconsin, Tell City, Indiana, and Etowah, Tennessee.