The current drought conditions in Australia and Al Gores film An Inconvenient Truth have forced everyone to look more closely at the environmental impact on the world.
B&R Enclosures, Australia’s large electrical enclosure manufacturer is no exception, with the first results of its green policy being a dramatic reduction in the water usage in their Brisbane factory.
B&R undertook a 6 month project to reduce water consumption almost a year ago, and after running with the results has found an overall reduction of over 50%.
Dan Bridges engineering manager at B&R said “To start the project we undertook an extensive survey of the water usage on the site. In our case the paint line was by far the biggest water user, so our initial work concentrated on this.”
“The major issue in the successful operation of a paint line is that clean water needs to be used in multiple steps. We identified areas where we absolutely needed to use potable water, and areas where we could potentially use water recycled from previous stages.”
To implement the changes the wash water system was completely re-piped to use the recycled water. This also helped to eliminated any joints which may have started to leak over time, and so gave an additional water saving.
The success of this operation has been such that we have seen no interruption to the line since the installation and the paint finish is of a high quality indistinguishable from our previous system.
On top of this B&R Enclosures has slashed the water usage in the plant by over 50%.
For Australian companies green credentials is now one of the major reasons to keep manufacturing here, rather than moving to countries with a cheaper cost base.
Ken Bridges, the managing director at B&R said “We are often in a position where we know that we can source a product from overseas very cheaply. To decide if we do this or manufacture in our plants in Australia, we take into account quality, stock availability, labour and increasingly environmental impact.”
“It is often difficult to assign a monetary value to environmental impact. However we assess not only the method of manufacturing, but also the carbon emissions produced by shipping the products from the country of manufacture, which can often be frighteningly large.”
For B&R, consideration of the environmental impact of their product manufacture has lead to the slashing of water consumption in their factory.
Further work is now planned to reduce the energy requirement of the site, ensuring that B&R’s products are not only the high quality you expect from an Australian manufacturer, but are also environmentally friendly.