As part of its ongoing commitment to environmentally responsible operations and products, Wildeck Inc. has announced the installation of an eco-friendly 100 percent phosphate-free metal pre-treatment process for its high quality paint line. All Wildeck products are painted to customer specifications utilizing an electrostatically applied 2-part polyurethane coating that ensures superior results similar to an automotive clear coat finish. The new metal pre-treatment system maintains the company’s uniform high quality finish while improving paint line productivity, reducing emissions and waste, and lowering energy consumption.
Wildeck’s new paint pre-treatment process incorporates a heavy-duty non-toxic alkaline powder that is not only biodegradable, but virtually eliminates the introduction of volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere during metal cleaning. According to Wildeck, the new low-heat process requires less energy, provides substantial savings in water consumption, eliminates potentially hazardous wastewater discharge, requires less system maintenance and provides a safer paint line environment for workers.
“Many distribution centers, warehouses and manufacturing facilities have ‘green’ initiatives underway,” states Hubert A. Schlegel, Director of Marketing for Wildeck, Inc., “and they have expressed a desire to work with suppliers who demonstrate that same commitment. Installing a 100 percent phosphate-free paint pre-treatment system has been a significant step that speaks volumes to our dealers and customers. Combined with the other initiatives underway, Wildeck’s reputation as a ‘green’ supplier is clearly gaining momentum throughout the industry.”
Additional steps already implemented at Wildeck include the installation of energy-efficient lighting in the office and throughout manufacturing; which has enhanced the working environment, reduced accidents and mistakes, and improved product quality. A new robotic welding workcell has increased welding efficiency and consistency, and all palletized product is shrink-wrapped for shipment versus more time-consuming and hazardous metal banding. Cardboard and paper is recycled throughout the company and electronic communication is the norm. A company-wide intra-Net provides a paperless repository for reports, company policies, documents and other internal business information. Dealer communication has also moved towards paperless with multiple e-newsletters; a secure on-line Dealer Portal; electronic sales literature, quotations and documents; an inter-active electronic Dealer Training CD tool; and numerous other environmentally-friendly initiatives.
100 percent of Wildeck’s products have some recycled content because they are primarily made from steel, and Steel is the world’s, as well as North America’s, most recycled material. It is typically produced in mills using the basic oxygen furnace (BOF) process that uses 25 to 35 percent old steel to make new; or in mini-mills utilizing an electric arc furnace (EAF) process that recycles 95 to 100 percent old steel (or scrap) to make new. Steel from the EAF process is primarily used to manufacture products such as structural beams, steel plates and reinforcement bars where the major required characteristic is strength; and it’s that strength that customers expect when they specify a Wildeck mezzanine to support conveyor systems, in-plant offices, or additional manufacturing or storage space. Wildeck vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) also provide the strength and reliability to safely and efficiently move materials between levels and they reduce the usage of potentially hazardous and air-polluting fork trucks. The company’s new MezzCrane system adds a rugged and reliable 3-axis Gorbel crane to Wildeck’s mezzanine structure for additional space utilization, manufacturing flexibility and enhanced material flow.
Additionally, the high recycled content of Wildeck components, including moisture-resistant resin board mezzanine decking, can play an important role in attaining the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for a facility. A Wildeck mezzanine, for example, can contribute up to 4-points for “Recycled Content” and “Regionally Sourced Materials” depending on the specific project and location. Note: the highest concentration of steel mills is in the Great Lakes Region (approximately 80 percent of U.S. steelmaking capacity) where Wildeck operates. An additional 1 to 4 LEED certification points may be earned in the “Innovation & Design Process” section.
“Going ‘Green’ is all about getting more out of less,” states Schlegel. “Increasing efficiency and optimizing space throughout a facility saves energy and lowers costs, which not only helps the environment, but can add ‘green’ to a company’s bottom line.”