Is Your Plastic Injection Molding Company Sustainable?

In today’s world, the green movement is more important than ever. No matter what the industry, it’s a company’s duty to make changes and choices that support the environment.

When you’re looking for a plastic injection molding company, there are several things you can check for to be sure you’ll be working with an environmentally responsible business.

ISO 9001 Certification is a way for companies to keep a close eye on their production processes. Meeting the International Standards for Quality Management ensures the company has been thoroughly audited and is fully in control of its’ procedures so that no part of the production process “slips through the cracks.”

Waste Reduction
Make sure the company you work with is minimizing waste. During the molding process, excess plastic is generated. What does the company you work with do with it? Look for a company that has a system to recycle all excess plastic.

What about boxes? The efforts of cardboard recycling make a huge difference. For example, 300 cubic yards of cardboard waste (approximately 3 football fields) were saved through recycling initiatives at The Rodon Group, a plastic injection molding company in Pennsylvania.

How is the virgin resin delivered? Ideally, it should be delivered in bulk and loaded into silos, minimizing the need for packaging. Find out how your plastic injection molding company has its’ raw materials delivered.

"Landfill-Free" Facilities and Energy from Waste
Did you know that waste could generate energy? Energy-from-waste technology is now available through companies like Specialty Waste Solutions, LLC, (SWS). In fact, The Rodon Group was one of the first molding facilities to be designated as a "Landfill-Free Facility" by SWS. This means all of The Rodon Group's waste gets processed into electricity. SWS generates enough electricity from waste to power tens of thousands of homes per day! See if you are working with a "landfill-free" facility.

Local Vs. Overseas Shipping
Questions to ask are, is the company importing materials or shipping production overseas? Or, is all work done here in the U.S.A.? Where do they get their colorant and other supplies? The more businesses can keep things local, the better.

Waste Minimizing Technology
The most eco-friendly plastic injection molding companies employ state-of-the-art machinery to assist them in minimizing waste, transportation, and packaging. The Rodon Group was able to go from packing 750 parts to 4500 parts per box by implementing a robotic packing system. Now, 15,700 fewer boxes are being used and 13 less trailers are on the road. Additionally, plastic waste is eliminated from the molding process through the use of high-tech equipment that transports it to a grinder so that it can be re-used.

A plastic injection molding company that thinks green is "landfill-free," and has the right certification, waste reduction, transportation and technology in place to minimize the impact on our planet. As a business owner, it’s your job to ask the right questions and make sure the company you work with is sustainable.


Live Chat: Rodon talks energy efficient injection molding

How many changes to light bulbs does it take to save $5000/month? Just one for injection molding and moldmaking company, The Rodon Group (Hatfield, PA). Rodon, which has examined the power-usage footprint of its entire 125,000-sq-ft facility, will share its energy-saving insights with attendees to the upcoming Continuous Improvement in Injection Molding virtual event during a live chat session.

Rodon's operations run 24/7, creating billions of parts annually, including its work for the K'NEX brand of building toys. With 106 injection molding machines in its stable plus all their assorted auxiliary equipment, it might seem difficult to know where to start on the quest to energy efficiency, but the answer is pretty straightforward, according to Lowell Allen, Rodon's senior VP of manufacturing.

"In order to identify where money can be saved in your molding operation from an energy standpoint, one must first identify what processes are continuously running," Allen explains. "If you are a 24/7 molder, it's best to prioritize each continuously running process. Of course, none of us has an unlimited budget, so it's important to investigate those areas that can be addressed that cost the least first, with the shortest payback time."

Allen, who will take part in a live chat session during the virtual event, has been with Rodon for nearly 40 years and brings a shop-floor perspective to the energy efficiency discussion. One of the areas Allen and Rodon immediately addressed at their plant was lighting.