The term sustainability seems to be used in many places, and sometimes what others term is sustainable really isn’t. At SEA-LECT Plastics we classify our business practices as sustainable, and every day we act as a highly regarded green manufacturing company. Our daily goal is to reduce our impact on the environment as we manufacture world-class products. These are just a few of the ways we walk the walk of sustainable green manufacturing and are leading others to do the same:
SEA-LECT Plastics currently use resins that are classified in the Resin Identification Code (RIC Code) system, which makes some of the resins we use easily recyclable through established methods. The standard defines the RIC Codes as “a molded, imprinted or raised symbol or wording that consists of an equilateral triangle, a Resin Identification Number, and an Abbreviated Term for polymeric material.”
RIC Codes are currently used to identify seven different types of plastic resins, which are numbered 1-7. These resins are (1) polyethylene terephthalate, (2) high-density polyethylene, (3) polyvinyl chloride, (4) low-density polyethylene, (5) polypropylene, (6) polystyrene, and (7) other plastics.
Some of the resins we currently injection mold and assemble can be ground into small pellets and combined with virgin resin for new product injection molding. Sprues, gates, and other byproducts from the molding process are ground and reused as much as possible to reduce manufacturing cost and process waste. If we can’t reuse a processed resin byproduct SEA-LECT Plastics sells the injection molded waste to approved plastic suppliers that can utilize the processed resin. The goal on every design and product made is to utilize resins that can be reintegrated at SEA-LECT Plastics or through another partner to eliminate plastic waste entirely.
Injection molding machines use a significant amount of power to heat material to a molten condition and inject it into water-cooled molding dies. We employ molding machines that reduce the power consumption by 20-50% compared to equivalent machines from a decade ago. In addition to the injection molding machines, we also utilize automation to efficiently remove molded parts from the dies, assembly equipment to create new products, as well as computer systems to design the next product in demand. SEA-LECT Plastics uses a power utilization strategy to reduce demand when machines are initially started up and continuously monitors the overall usage as part of a maintenance program to keep our manufacturing systems green. Beyond the molding and assembly machines, we have efficient lighting throughout our facility, and utilize low-watt fixtures in as many places as possible.
Minimizing Packaging Waste in Logistics
Shipping and logistics are a growing part of our overall business and with shipping comes packaging. Products coming in require boxes, bags, and containers. Assembled products require similar packaging leaving our facility. Our first goal with packaging materials is to reduce their necessity as best as possible. We utilize reusable containers and shipping materials when available to reduce the waste, and choose options that do not require extra handling or recycling by our customers. When new technology is available to increase our sustainability in logistics, we incorporate that technology throughout our processes immediately.
Non-Toxic Materials and Recycled Byproducts
Injection molding and assembly requires lubricants, adhesives, and specialized coatings to protect some of our products and our manufacturing equipment. We specifically utilize non-toxic materials in our manufacturing practices that won’t affect the environment. When new products are being designed, we also specify similar non-toxic materials for the new product.
We recycle process waste either in-house or locally with partners that can keep our process waste from entering the landfill. With new materials coming into SEA-LECT Plastics, we prefer to utilize materials that have already been recycled also. This keep additional materials from entering the landfill from other partner or industries. This can be as simple as petroleum products for maintenance on equipment, or just napkins in our employee dining areas. Small changes in business can have a great effect in the surrounding environment.
SEA-LECT Plastics is a leader in plastic injection molding with options for assembly and logistics. We strive to be a model for sustainable green manufacturing in our local community and in injection molding around the world. We have experts that can aid with resin selection on a new product to increase recyclability and reduce waste, offer turn-key assembly options that reduce power requirements, and program management to see the complete development cycle through with success. Give us a call at (425) 339-0288 or email us at email@example.com. At SEA-LECT Plastics, we specialize in military product applications, outdoor adventure gear, musical instruments, supporting the medical and consumer product industries. Our goal is to make your project efficient and cost-effective to manufacture, assemble, and ship no matter how complicated your concept is.
Matthias Poischbeg was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. Matt moved to Everett, Wash., after finishing his bachelor’s degree in business in 1995 to work for Sea-Dog Corporation, a manufacturer, and distributor of marine and rigging hardware established in 1923.
In 1999, Matt took over the reins at Sea-Lect Plastics Corporation, a sister company of Sea-Dog and a manufacturer of plastic injection molded products with an in-house tool & die shop. Matthias Poischbeg is also a contributor to Grit Daily.