Massload Technologies’ Journey Towards Environmental Sustainability
Massload Technologies is committed to good stewardship of our environment. This means making the most of our resources while taking care of our planet. Our environmentalsustainability journey, which started in 2008, involves activities in three main areas: Reducingcarbon footprint through minimizing energy consumption and reducing waste, and reducing environmental contamination. The below activities outline the progress Massload has made in our sustainability journey, which at the same time, improve workplace safety.
Massload uses high quality USA or European manufactured and melted alloy steel and stainless steel for the manufacture of its standard and custom load cells. These steel alloys are made with a significantly lower carbon footprint than Chinese steels.
Massload developed a new alcohol washing system for its load cells which significantly reduced the volume of isopropyl alcohol consumed. This substantially reduced environmental emissions and reduced the volume of waste fluid for disposal.
Massload outsourced the heat-treating of its load cells. The existing in-house method used two dedicated gas-fired furnaces and an oil tank for quenching. This internal process consumed a lot of natural gas and with resulting carbon emissions. After an extensive analysis, Massload switched to heat-treating our load cells at a 3rd party ISO9001 certified facility. Taking advantage of the increase in scale reduces the carbon footprint and reduces other environmental contaminants.
Massload outsourced the sandblasting of its heat-treated load cells. This process was moved to an ISO9001 certified facility, thereby reducing environmental contaminants.
After adopting 5S and Lean manufacturing in 2007, Massload intensified its efforts and implemented company-wide training for its production and engineering staff to Yellow Belt, Green Belt and Black Belt competency levels. Implementation of Lean initiatives have resulted in reduced waste and therefore improved environmental sustainability.
Massload conducted in-process research with the aim of eliminating a toluene/alcohol wash cycle. After considerable research and experimentation, it was successful in eliminating this process step. This substantially reduced environmental emissions and further reduced the volume of toxic waste for disposal.
Massload completed the transition 100% of its manufacturing to non-leaded soldering process, thereby reducing our environmental foot print of toxic heavy metals.
Massload implemented an environmentally friendly electro-polishing solution for heat-treated stainless steel. This eliminates the use of and need to dispose of highly toxic chemicals normally required for surface finishing.
In contrast to many of its competitors, Massload made the strategic decision to re-shore the manufacture of its weigh scale platforms from China to Canada. This decision resulted in the platforms being constructed from local Canadian made steel and which is deemed to have a lower carbon footprint compared to Chinese manufactured steel. This reduces the carbon footprint of these products at the global level.
Massload commenced the design and build of our new production 12,500ft facility which incorporates significantly improved insulation properties thereby further reducing its carbon footprint and supporting environmental sustainability. Our new facility was completed and Massload moved in March 2019.
Massload investigated the economic feasibility of using renewable energy in the form of a rooftop solar power system to drive its operational requirements. After extensive analysis, it was decided that the cost had not reduced sufficiently to provide an economic return on investment. However, it is planned to review this option again in the future.
Massload investigated how it could eliminate the production and use of plastics in its packaging process. Previously, a chemical spray foam cast process was used to support packaging around load cells. The process consumed chemical reagents as well as plastic film. These products ultimately end in a land fill.
We researched alternatives that created recyclable materials and implemented a state-of-artpaper wrapping machine that produces shock absorbing compacted paper packing. This is then used to encase the packaged product. This new process uses brown paper with up to 50% of recycled content. All materials produced are 100% recyclable. The process eliminates the use of chemicals, the production of plastic foam ad film, and the need for environmental disposal of waste chemical drums. It also enhances workplace safety and environment. It also reduces the need for disposing of plastic foam waste product at the customer side and enables recycling of paper-based packaging content.
Massload investigated how it could potentially reduce supply chain carbon emissions by using pre-hardened alloy steels in its load cell manufacturing. Traditionally, load cells are machined from annealed 4340/4140 alloy steel, then heat treated after machining by an ISO9001 certified facility. We estimated that the energy and resulting carbon emissions from the large batch heat treating at the foundry would be less than that of the custom single batch treatment in specialized facilities. To implement this, we selected a load cell product and machined it from pre-hardened steel and then subjected it to load testing. The resulting product meet or exceeded the strength requirement so we migrated the product to the prehardened material. We then repeated the process for a second product line.
The above activities represent a sample of what Massload has achieved in its environmental sustainability journey to reduce our carbon footprint, reduce waste and reduce environmental contamination.
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