||With the objective of making research immediately applicable to Massachusetts businesses, TURI has developed research partnerships with more than 39 firms through its industry matching grants program. For FY 2000, TURI awarded grants totaling $60,000 to four manufacturing firms to develop or pilot new toxics use reduction or pollution prevention technologies, or implement environmental management systems. To promote adoption of cleaner technologies by Massachusetts manufacturers, the companies, in partnership with the Institute, showcased their innovations through site visits and technology demonstrations for industry and government professionals in the spring of 2000. The companies and their projects are:
- Riverdale Mills, Northbridge, manufactures galvanized and plastic coated ferrous wire mesh products. The company was awarded a grant for the development and installation of an innovative wire annealing process. By modification of the atmosphere and temperature profile of the annealing process, Riverdale will be able to eliminate the use of tens of thousands of pounds per year of hydrochloric acid and ammonium chloride. Additionally, the use of lead as a heat sink will be eliminated, thus eliminating the byproduct of lead and lead chloride from this operation as well. There is an associated energy savings of over one million-kilowatt hours per year.
- Barry Controls, Brighton, manufactures shock and vibration control technologies. In the manufacturing process, adhesives must be applied to metal substrates to provide a quality rubber-to-metal bond. Barry Controls is investigating a spray-tumbling application process to replace the current spray application process. The use of the spray-tumble applicator will reduce the use of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) by 30 percent, with an associated savings of close to $300,000.
- Circuit Fabrication Co., Waltham, is engaged in development of a novel method to plate the insides of printed wiring board through-holes with electroless copper. This process replaces the traditional method of plating the entire board. Substantial reductions in process chemical use, waste treatment resources, and cycle time will be achieved through this new system.
- Photofabrication Engineering, Inc. (PEI), Milford, an ISO 9000 registered company that manufactures chemically machined and photo-etched precision and decorative metal parts, is developing and implementing an ISO14001 compliant Environmental Management System (EMS). In addition, PEI has been hosting and training a work group of 12 Massachusetts manufacturing companies in the systems, methods, and real-world lessons of EMS development.
Four Massachusetts manufacturers were designated 1999 Cleaner Technology Demonstration Sites by the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI). The companies received a total of $60,000 in matching grants from TURI for their projects. The firms and the technologies they will be demonstrating include:
- Allegro Microsystems Inc., Worcester, will be testing a system that recycles spent process water by using new technology in concert with existing equipment to produce ultra pure water that meets their specifications. The semiconductor manufacturer's membrane and ion exchange-based system is applicable to a variety of manufacturing processes.
- Lab Medical Engineering & Manufacturing Inc., North Billerica, which manufacturers stainless steel products for the medical industry will demonstrate stainless steel passivation via plasma. Lab Medical worked with OTA to develop this innovative TUR technique. TURI's Surface Cleaning Laboratory also helped them to replace a toxic organic removal chemistry with a cleaning system that is more environmentally and occupationally safe.
- Textron Systems Inc., Wilmington, a defense systems contractor, will be testing a two-stage process that includes recovery of machining fluids and reuse of water from that process, in addition to reuse of the machining fluids.
- Milestone Inc., Springfield, will be demonstrating organic coating removal via sodium bicarbonate crystal blasting. This process replaces solvents traditionally used to clean tank interiors and other surfaces.
"These companies represent a wide range of industrial operations that should be of great interest to industries, consultants, and technical assistance agencies," said Christopher Ford, manager of TURI's Demonstration Sites program. Site visits were held at the companies throughout March 1999. OTA, DEP, Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, EPA Region 1, and the MA Manufacturing Partnership are associate sponsors of the program.