Advanced Rubber Products Going Green
May 12, 2011 -- Advanced Rubber Products, a division of TMP Technologies, Inc., has recently made tremendous strides in their efforts to “go green”. Located in Wyoming, a small, rural town in Western New York, ARP is a manufacturing plant that specializes in custom rubber molding for the electrical, safety, and business machine markets. Originally a foam fabricator, ARP realized the potential for the rubber market and started the transition in 1997. Since then, they have been utilizing injection molding to meet customer needs.
Bob Flowers, Vice President and General Manager, was instrumental in the formation of the recycling program at ARP. In the past, ARP recycled toner cartridges, wood pallets, and scrap metal; but Bob encouraged his staff to go beyond the convenient items and develop a program that included their main sources of waste – rubber, cardboard, and paper. Due to ARP’s rural location and increasing gas prices, locating a rubber recycle dealer was no easy task. There were no local recycling companies that would handle the types of rubber materials that ARP had. Eventually, a company was located in North Carolina that would take the materials, but they would only be picked up by the truckload. Through the many efforts of the employees at ARP, a system was established for collecting and storing the many types of rubber until a truckload could be picked up. ARP also partnered with a local recycling dealer to station a trailer at ARP that would collect all the facility’s cardboard and plastic bags. In addition, all ARP paper was donated to the local elementary school where they are reimbursed for their paper collection bin. Printer and copier cartridges are also donated to this school for financial credit as well. The combination of all these changes allowed ARP to cut its waste pick-up services in half resulting in approximate annual savings of $13,000.
The employees at ARP did not stop there. The engineering department recommended installing a waste oil furnace in the warehouse that uses recycled oil from the preventative maintenance program on the presses. The furnace was installed last spring and the maintenance staff collected the oil throughout the year. This resulted in immediate savings as it eliminated the pick up services of the waste oil company. In addition, when the winter cold arrived, ARP was ready to capitalize even further with a reduced heating bill. ARP anticipates the financial payback of the furnace to be realized in 18 months.
Another idea that has been implemented recently was a returnable packaging program established with one of ARP’s customers, Cooper Power Systems in Olean, NY. With a little coordination and communication, returnable cartons were purchased and new parts were gradually added every month to this program. Within a year’s time, 95% of Cooper’s product line was converted to this packaging. It was estimated to save Cooper Power Systems money in packaging costs as well as contribute to ARP’s efforts to “go green”. This was an example of ARP’s value-added customer service through continuous improvement opportunities.
Advanced Rubber Products has made significant progress in its endeavor to reduce waste and help preserve our environment. This was a total team effort and all the employees at ARP should be commended for their success.