Green Goals and Practices
Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
Reduce, reuse, and recycle are essential elements of Hitchiner's manufacturing planning and engineering process, not afterthoughts.
Hitchiner is dedicated to finding new ways to reduce our carbon footprint. n 2009, Hitchiner shrank carbon emissions generated from our US Operations electrical use by over 14%, or 2,847 metric tons of carbon emissions for the year, the equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 72,999 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. That same year, Hitchiner installed a waste heat recovery system at its Mexico Operations HITSA plant. This system recaptures 150,000 BTUs per hour, 24 hours per day, 6 days per week, year round, to eliminate over 56 metric tons of carbon emissions per year, equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 1,439 tree seedlings grown for 10 years (equivalents based on US EPA data).
Hitchiner's own countergravity investment casting process itself has a smaller carbon footprint per part than traditional investment casting. Process improvements and innovations such as Hitchiner's exclusive SLIC (several layer investment casting) process have the potential to slash mold-heating energy use over 87% and cut shell material use 70%.
Companywide, Hitchiner also employs a rigorous and comprehensive recycling program for other process materials.
Enacting Green Practices
Conservation efforts such as the preservation of Savage Farm in Milford, NH and the donation of the Hitchiner Town Forest to the Town of Milford have always been important to us. We've made green goals key for well over a decade, far predating current trends.
To achieve our green goals, the Company employs a continuous improvement strategy. Finding continuous energy conservation, operations efficiencies and process improvements at all operations sites have dramatically reduced pollutant emissions and energy and material usage. The Company implements this strategy using lean manufacturing, Kaizen, 5S, and other work management techniques. Formalizing its commitment, Hitchiner's Mexico Operations has for many years upheld the international ISO 14000 family of standards for continuous improvement of environmental performance. This dedicated commitment to the environment enables the Hitchiner to achieve steady and dramatic environmental gains.
Continuous Improvement IRL
Starting in 1998, Hitchiner began shifting production from its old Plant 2 to the newly built Automated Casting Facility, a clean, water-based, fully automated manufacturing plant. In 2001, the company installed a closed-loop, non-contact process cooling water system in Plant 2, eliminating the use and discharge of over 200,000 gallons of water per day while that plant retired operations. In 2006, the company demolished Plant 2, restoring many acres of green space to its Milford campus. It also sold tons of metal and other materials from the plant for reuse and recycling. That same year, another plant on the Milford campus eliminated about 68 tons of VOC emissions and switched over to a closed-loop cooling system to conserve over 50,000 gallons of clean water per day.
In 2007, Hitchiner completed a seven-year initiative to eliminate thousands of tons of volatile organic compound emissions (VOC), industrial wastewater, and hazardous waste.
These are just a few examples of how Hitchiner's green strategy integrates product direction, energy conservation, operations efficiencies, and process improvements. As they show, the company is committed to striving toward ever-higher environmental standards in its own operations and supply chains.