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In their commitment to environmental stewardship and financial efficiency, the team at Trane’s manufacturing site in Fort Smith, Arkansas, embarked on a transformative journey to revamp their production processes. Their focus was on the polyurethane foam, integral to the creation of their custom air handlers. If a company, like Trane, aims to produce a more eco-friendly foam, the first and most crucial step is to choose a sustainable foaming agent, a choice that can significantly impact both environmental footprint and operational efficiency.

As a leading innovator in technology, Ingersoll Rand, along with their family of brands, is dedicated to continuously exploring new methods to minimize the environmental footprint of their products. This commitment extends to addressing the impacts of their manufacturing processes, always with an eye towards sustainability and efficiency.

The mission at this facility was crystal clear: to significantly reduce the use of harmful chemicals in manufacturing, to cut down on material costs and waste disposal, and to decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Their solution? The adoption of a sustainable foaming agent, a game-changer in the industry, that not only meets these goals but also provides superior performance.

Like many other manufacturers in search of insulation for their HVAC products, they asked the question:

Is there an eco friendly foam?

Thankfully, they found Ecomate®, a foaming agent that meets Ingersoll Rand’s environmental targets and does not contribute to ozone depletion or global warming.

Embracing Sustainability: The shift to a greener, sustainable foaming agent

Recognizing the need for a more sustainable solution, a multidisciplinary team at Trane took on the challenge of addressing the environmental concerns associated with the foam product used in the assembly of their custom air handlers. The previously used F-Gas foam was not only a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, but its occasional shortages also led to delivery delays, disrupting their production schedule.

The urgency for change was underscored by the scale of their production – over 300 units annually, each varying in size from 20 to 200 feet and requiring a 4-inch thick layer of foam. The introduction of newer, more environmentally responsible blowing agent alternatives presented an opportunity for a significant shift. These sustainable foaming agents not only met the operational requirements but also aligned with the company’s budgetary needs, marking a crucial step in their journey towards greener manufacturing practices.

Implementing Change: The Transition to Ecomate

In a collaborative effort, employees from various departments embarked on a mission to find an alternative blowing agent.

They knew they needed a foam solution that was:

1. Sustainable
2. Cost-Effective
3. High-performing

Their search led them to Ecomate from FSI, a solution that checks all the boxes. The transition to Ecomate was initiated in 2010 and successfully completed by April 2012.

This period was marked by meticulous planning and execution. Teams from both Trane and FSI worked together to identify and fine-tune the specific requirements for the foam, scrutinize its adhesion and chemical properties, and test the application system to ensure it met all regulatory and compliance standards.

One of the standout benefits of transitioning to Ecomate is the ease of integration into existing manufacturing processes. Remarkably, this significant change required no alterations to the existing equipment or the factory floor layout. This means that businesses can seamlessly adopt Ecomate as their blowing agent without experiencing significant downtime or disruptions to their production schedule.

To ensure a smooth transition, Ecomate specialists provided comprehensive, hands-on training to the manufacturing employees, equipping them with the necessary skills to work with the new sustainable foaming agent.

FSI Tech specialists help train and equip a team switching to Ecomate foaming agent

Transformative Impact: The Sustainable and Financial benefits of Ecomate blowing agent technology

Choosing Ecomate as your sustainable foaming agent is more than a business decision; it’s a commitment to a greener future. Ingersoll Rand’s journey with Ecomate showcases the remarkable strides your company can make towards your sustainability, waste reduction, and cost-saving goals.

For them, the tangible benefits were seen within months of the change and help underscore the value of this strategic shift:

  1. Significant Cost Savings: In just the first year of their transition, Ingersoll Rand saved $80,000 in material costs and an additional $10,000 in disposal costs. This demonstrates the financial viability of choosing a sustainable foaming agent, making it a win-win solution for both the environment and the bottom line.
  2. Positive Environmental Impact: The use of Ecomate led to a remarkable 100% reduction in greenhouse gases for this process, equivalent to saving about 3000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year. Furthermore, Ecomate contributes no ozone depletion, has no global warming potential, and emits no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As you search for a truly sustainable foaming agent, know that choosing Ecomate is a powerful step towards environmental stewardship.
  3. Efficient and Responsible Operations: Ecomate’s innovative packaging uses returnable totes, replacing the need for 55-gallon drums. This not only simplifies handling and disposal but also significantly reduces waste. Additionally, the switch to Ecomate can cut down your shipping costs and fuel usage, with a transit time reduced to just two days compared to the nine days required for traditional foam.

When you choose Ecomate, you’re not just selecting a product; you’re partnering with a team committed to your success. You’re embracing a sustainable future, unlocking significant cost savings, and making a meaningful contribution to the global effort to reduce environmental impact. We’re here to support you every step of the way on this transformative journey.

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