Sustainability

Being sustainable in manufacturing means continuously improving your processes to reduce your impact on the environment and continuously improving your organization to create a sustainable business. Impact Washington helps you improve both through innovative training programs and consulting approaches.

  • Decagon Devices Changes to Lead-Free Soldering to meet RoHS Standards

    Company Profile
    Decagon Devices is a manufacturer of environmental instrumentation located in Pullman, Washington. They have been in business for over 20 years and currently employ 80 people. Decagon is a market and industry leader in this product niche and manufactures devices for three sectors: food, environmental research and commercial agriculture.

    Situation
    Around 50 percent of Decagon’s business is international. Prior to this project, Decagon was using traditional lead-based soldering for manufacturing circuit boards. Anticipating the expiration of their current exemption of lead-bearing exports to the European Union (EU) countries, Decagon took a proactive course to eliminate leaded products.

    Solution
    Decagon and Impact Washington partnered on Lean and environment efforts to work toward productivity improvements and to eliminate lead in their products. The focus on lead was important to meet the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) Standards and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive of the EU and minimizing hazardous waste and other environmental impacts of using lead. The focus on other Lean efforts helped Decagon achieve productivity goals as well.

    Impact Washington brought in a certified trainer to help Decagon begin the transition to lead-free solder. Because the Washington State Department of Ecology has a focus on eliminating the use of lead (a toxic element and an important environmental priority), the state agreed to provide supplemental funding to support the transition to lead-free solder training. (These funds were made available from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to Ecology for Lean and environment work.)

    Impact Washington brought in a specialized trainer to train and certify staff to an international certification standard for lead-free soldering, rework and inspection soldering methods. This certification of in-house staff allows those certified in the processes to train new staff in the methods. This training provided the information and skills for Decagon to begin the transition to meet the WEEE and RoHS standards and continue supplying international markets.

    Results
    Through past Lean efforts with Impact Washington, significant investment of about $300,000 in new equipment and the lead-free soldering certification training, the following results were realized:

    • Decagon planned to eliminate the use of lead consumption by 105 pounds per year by January 1, 2011. This also eliminated the generation of any associated lead-bearing hazardous wastes at the company and end-of-life, lead-bearing products disposed of by customers.
    • The change to lead-free soldering has allowed Decagon to maintain and improve markets, particularly international markets.
    • They have improved efficiency, quality and reduced environmental impacts and risks.
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  • Information and communications technology (ICT) has become a significant source of energy consumption. ICT equipment now makes up about 5.3 percent of global electricity use and more than 9 percent of total U.S. electricity demand. The International Energy Agency (a unit of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris) predicts that the energy consumed by ICT worldwide will double by 2022 and increase threefold by 2030 to 1,700 tera (trillion) watt hours. This will equal the current combined residential electricity use of the United States and Japan and will require the addition of nearly 280 giga (billion) watts of new generating capacity over the next twenty years, presenting a great challenge to electric utilities throughout the world.

    On the other hand, ICT also enables greater energy efficiency. It has played and will continue to play a critical role in reducing energy waste and increasing energy efficiency throughout the economy. U.S. businesses have realized that the rising cost of energy is a pressing issue and have begun to invest in Green ICT.

    The goal of Green ICT is to increase environmental sustainability tgroughout the entire ICT lifecycle along the following four complementary paths:

    Green use – reducing the energy consumption of computers and other information systems as well as using them in an environmentally sound manner

    Green disposal — refurbishing and reusing old computers and properly recycling unwanted computers and other electronic equipment

    Green design — designing energy-efficient and environmentally sound components, computers, servers, cooling equipment and data centers

    Green manufacturing — manufacturing electronic components, computers, and other associated subsystems with minimal impact on the environment

    The adoption of Green ICT principles and practices in industry can help U.S. manufacturers become more cost competitive and contribute to reducing our nation’s energy dependence. Energy-efficiency studies show that a combination of improved operations, best practices and state-of-the-art technologies can bring significant energy and electricity cost savings. For example, employing simple power management techniques, by adjusting settings to “standby or sleep” mode when personal computers or printers are inactive during business hours, can achieve at least a 20 percent reduction in electricity consumption and result in average savings of $50 per year for each PC. This means that power management of the 108 million desktop PCs in U.S. organizations could net around $5.4 billion.

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  • Get Lean and green

    We partner with the Washington State Department of Ecology to help you develop ongoing practices designed for continuous improvement around the environment and safety. The goal is increased process effectiveness, reduced toxic wastes and increased energy efficiencies.

    Learn more about our training programs, consulting solutions and resources to help you become more sustainable.

    Columbia Paint and Canyon Creek Cabinets learn how to get Lean and green

    Learn how Impact Washington’s clients have gotten Lean through our Lean Ecology program, helping them eliminate wastes and increase their energy efficiencies for greater sustainability and profits.
    View video

  • Reduce your environmental footprint

    With businesses facing increased government regulations and with consumers demanding green products, Impact Washington can help you be responsive to the environmental requirements you face to help you cut costs, improve efficiency and increase profitability.

    Learn more about our training programs, consulting solutions and resources to help you become more sustainable.

    Service Offering: ISO 14001 Environmental Management System

    ISO 14001 detects and reduces waste in resources and processes, and statistics show immediate return on investment and savings. With no previous knowledge of ISO 14001, Impact Washington can get you registered to the standard in less than one year with hands-on training and implementation assistance.

    Contact us to learn more.


Find out how Impact Washington can help you; contact us today.