Over the years we’ve heard a lot about sustainability, carbon footprints, and being ‘green.’ You might not think that a manufacturing company would consider being environmentally friendly an asset. But, as members of the high-tech industry as well as a member of the Elk River, MN community, we are always considering our impact in the world.
A prime example of our commitment to the environment began with our expansion plans in 2007. As we were planning our new shop, we focused on three core values: quality, efficiency, and environmental impact. We wanted to build a shop that maintained high industry standards and quality requirements but was as energy efficient as possible. The 83,000 sq. ft. shop opened in 2009 and features an energy efficient design and systems that reduce energy use and resources.
Since quality is what we have built our reputation on, we designed the new production floor with this in mind. By placing the quality department in the middle of the shop floor we have improved the flow and the time it takes to reach it from any part of the building. Shop floor layout was made to accommodate easier flow of products and people. Better flow creates less confusion and congestion and improves efficiency.
A major concern in any production environment is lighting. Our new building has a production floor surrounded by windows with white walls and floors to increase brightness and visibility. During the day this natural light allows the shop to rely less on its energy efficient T5 fluorescent lighting. Although the windows provided light and heat in the winter, the summer required an energy efficient HVAC system to maintain comfortable temperatures. The system pushes cool air up from the shop floor during the summer and pulls warm air down from the ceiling in the winter reducing heating and cooling costs all year. Switching to a white vinyl roof on the building also lowered the temperature within the building during the summer months.
In addition to energy efficient windows, HVAC, and roofing, we installed a reverse osmosis system for filtered water to cut down on disposable bottles, a carpet made from recycled, a dedicated recycling and scrap area outside the building, and a runoff pond to allow rainwater from the building to safely re-enter the water table.
This building serves as a new standard for production facilities and we are extremely proud of our accomplishments. Employees reported higher levels of motivation and happiness in the new space. We have reduced costs and become energy efficient all the while continuing to provide the highest levels of quality and service to every one of our customers. To learn more about Metal Craft’s commitment to quality and the environment, contact us today!