Replex Plastics Implements Energy Program, Reducing Natural Gas Use 90% and Electrical Consumption 33%
Replex Plastics manufactures high-impact, high-performance optical domes, mirrors, and custom thermo-formed plastic parts that are used for safety and security applications, transportation, and playground equipment. When it moved into a larger, 100,000 sq. ft. facility, they realized they had a challenge – a rundown industrial building near the downtown area of a small Midwest town that had deteriorated due to neglect by the previous owner and had almost no insulation.
The building had really good infrastructure, including its foundation, structural steel, electrical power supply and distribution systems, natural gas and compressed air distribution piping that were critical to Replex’s manufacturing operation. Over time, with the assistance of PolymerOhio Manufacturing Solutions, Replex was able to address the cosmetic problems and at the same time fix the energy problems.
PolymerOhio was able to arrange for local engineering college interns who designed a production layout for the new building. A mechanical engineering student studied Replex’s electrical usage and helped the company prioritize further improvements which eventually cut electricity consumption by one-third. PolymerOhio staff provided lots of advice and good connections across the regional value chain of vendors and suppliers and was able to offer an Energy Program to conduct a plant-wide energy assessment and make improvement recommendations.
Through these efforts, Replex has cut its natural gas use by 90 percent (used for space heating), and cut its overall electrical consumption by 33 percent.
“We are now looking at longer-term energy upgrades, moving towards a sustainable long-term future in manufacturing,” said Mark Schuetz, President.