Sustainable Engineering

Dec. 9, 2009
Companies interested in boosting their green credentials might take a lesson or two from NewAge Industries, a supplier to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and manufacturer of plastic tubing and rubber hose.

Alpha Wire, (908) 587-4020,

NewAge Industries Inc., (800) 506-3924,

Universal Air Filter Co., (800) 541-3478,

Edited by Leland Teschler

Tubing maker gives a lesson in going green
Companies interested in boosting their green credentials might take a lesson or two from NewAge Industries, a supplier to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and manufacturer of plastic tubing and rubber hose. The firm recently optimized its trash-disposal system for recycling and rearranged its physical facilities in novel ways to save energy.

At the behest of employees, the firm began sorting trash into two cans — recyclable and non. This simple measure cut trash hauling charges by 60% in the first five months. NewAge also encourages employees to bring in recyclable items, including plastics numbered 1 through 7, that their local municipalities do not accept.

Building upgrades at the company’s Southampton, Pa., facilities include swapping outdated light fixtures in its warehouse and manufacturing areas for energy-efficient alternatives. The new lighting is brighter to boot. Warehouse floors were sealed to eliminate concrete dust and dirt. The benefits are less pollution, cleaner packaging, and healthier breathing. NewAge also installed screens on its dock doors for ventilation while keeping out debris and insects. This saves energy because exhaust fans on the roof can run less often.

Green wiring
EcoWire uses a modified polyphenylene ether (mPPE) thermoplastic that is inherently lighter, tougher, and more flame resistance than PVC. The result is UL AWM hook-up wires that are smaller than their PVC-based counterparts. For example, a 20-awg PVC-insulated wire has a diameter of 0.101 in. (2.57 mm). The equivalent EcoWire has a diameter nearly 50% smaller at 0.055 in. (1.40 mm). The nonhalogenated insulation contains no heavy-metal pigments, letting it help manufacturers meet Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) requirements.

EcoWire also has 10 times the abrasion and pinch resistance of ordinary hook-up wire, says its manufacturer Alpha Wire, Elizabeth, N.J. Because mPPE contains no halogens, phthalates, or heavy metals, it meets RoHS requirements. The initial EcoWire offering is a UL AWM 11028 wire available in sizes from 28 (0.07 mm²) to 10 awg (5.37 mm²) with solid or stranded tinned-copper conductors. Rated for operating temperatures to 105°C, the wires meet UL VW-1 flammability requirements.

Tricks of making air filters green
Air filters with maximized surface areas reduce pressure drop and promote long service life. Low-pressure-drop filters also let in more air to dissipate heat, possibly allowing use of smaller cooling fans that consume less energy.

So says air-filter maker Universal Air Filter, Sauget, Ill. UAF filters also keep out dust that could otherwise accumulate on circuit cards so they can better dissipate heat. This lets the system run more efficiently. Filters made as frames with refillable filters are also “greener” than those demanding a swap of the entire filter assembly. Some filter material can be cleaned and reused to reduce waste. Filters also can be removed for service to reduce the risk of disturbing dust loaded on them.

Air filters can also be RoHS and UL 94 HF-1 compliant, as well as meet a variety of requirements such as UL 60950, EN 60950, ATCA, UL 900 Class 2, CE, UL 508A, Telcordia, NEBS GR-78-CORE and GR-63-CORE, micro TCA and ETSI.

These filter-frame designs are manufactured to fit spaces less than 6.35-mm (0.25-in.) thick and can be removed for service.

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