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Environment & Sustainability

Maze Eco-Nails: Resilience and Environmental Responsibility

  • November 6, 2013

In the riverfront city of Peru, Illinois, they have been manufacturing nails and spikes since the 1890s. That’s when the owners of a local lumber yard, the Maze family, discovered that adding zinc to roofing nails made them long-lasting and rust-proof.

Today, Maze Eco-Nails is one of the few manufacturers of nails in the U.S. Their story of success is built around innovation and environmental stewardship. They pioneered the automated hot-dip galvanization process for their Storm-Guard nails; developed spiral-shank and ring-shank threading to improve the holding power of nails; and introduced new nails designed for siding and fencing.

Maze manufactures its nails using 100% recycled steel, requiring no additional mining. They convert harmful, spent acids into useful raw materials.  Waste zinc is recycled into materials that go into products like tires and paint pigments. And all of the company’s nails come in cardboard boxes made from recycled paper. Their nails are an environmentally preferred product as defined by the US Green Building Council.

So the next time you pick up a box of Maze Eco-Nails in the hardware store, remember that it’s a Great Manufacturing Story, too.

Procter & Gamble: How They Achieved Zero Waste at 45 Manufacturing Plants

  • October 1, 2013

Zero waste to landfill. Think about that for a moment. Cincinnati-based P&G, one of the world’s largest manufacturers, is now using, recycling or repurposing 100 percent of the materials that enter 45 of its manufacturing facilities.

The examples of creative uses are many: In Mexico, sludge from a toilet paper factory is used to make roof tiles. In Budapest, rejected feminine care products go into the production of cement, instead of being deposited in landfills. Scraps from feminine care products now go into the soles of low-cost shoes. Waste left over from the manufacturing of shampoo is now used to make fertilizer. Wood scraps go into particle board.

Back in 2007, the company formed a Global Assets Recovery Purchasing (GARP) team with the mission of looking at waste as something that can be used for a different purpose. The team members are, for the most part, procurement specialists who see waste minimization as a business opportunity. Company-wide, only 1 percent of materials entering plants end up in landfills. In March 2013, P&G was able to make the zero-waste announcement about 45 of its plants.    

Globally, 4.6 billion people – more than half of the world’s population -- use P&G products. P&G is making amazing strides in waste reduction in their plants, and now has its eyes set on helping its customers reduce waste as well. By any definition, that is a Great Manufacturing Story. 

Cummins: World’s Most Powerful Diesel Engine

  • November 6, 2011

Cummins Inc. has been manufacturing engines in Seymour, Indiana, since 1976. This past week, the company announced that it will begin production of the world’s most powerful, high-speed diesel engine starting in 2013. More than 150 engineers are developing the new WSK95 engine in Seymour.

This next-generation engine will be suited for high-hour, high-load applications in passenger and freight locomotives, marine vessels and haul trucks in the mining industry. Benefits, according to Cummins, will include higher levels of equipment uptime, a longer life-to-overhaul cycle, and more cost-effectiveness than larger medium-speed engines.  Adding further to this Great Manufacturing Story, the engine will comply with EPA’s final Tier 4 emissions standards, which take effect in 2015.

The United States is a global leader in the design and production of high-power engines.  The WSK95 will help strengthen that status for years to come.