BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – December 16, 2021 – While many companies in the waterworks industry have moved their manufacturing operations overseas at the expense of American jobs – aiming to avoid the environmental and workplace health and safety standards required in the U.S. – McWane Inc. has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to modernize its plants and become an industry leader in cutting-edge technology. Marking 2021 as its centennial year of operations, McWane recently joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program and set a goal to reduce energy intensity by 20% over a 10-year period across all its U.S. operations.
The company’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond using post-consumer materials to produce its ductile iron products, which are recyclable at the end of their useful life. While McWane recycles than 750,000 tons of scrap iron each year — the equivalent of 800,000 cars – given ductile iron’s energy intensive production process, McWane began to consider the possibilities of blending technology-based businesses into its foundry operations.
“We’ve been utilizing reclaimed iron products in our processes for years, but we knew we could do more to meet our sustainability objectives than rely on these recycled materials,” stated Keith Mallett, General Manager, McWane Ductile New Jersey, “Our facility-management team knew there were opportunities for energy-conserving process improvements. The problem was we didn’t know where those opportunities were hiding.”
Through the acquisition of Internet of Things (IoT) technology companies such as Synapse, McWane has carried its sustainability journey into unchartered territory in the waterworks manufacturing industry. Synapse’s Energy Management System, SimplySnap, provides the tools for facility managers to have a holistic view of where, how, and when energy is being used across the facility – by department and even within individual pieces of equipment. With this data, McWane’s plant managers are now using SimplySnap to identify opportunities for energy-conserving process improvements.
According to McWane AVP, Director of Innovation & IoT Programs, Rod Reisner, when discussing the SimplySnap implementation at the McWane Ductile New Jersey facility, “Once the team could see what was driving their utility bills – once they could see how energy use by equipment and by department rolled up to the facility’s monthly power consumption – I knew we were well on our way to identifying more ways to save energy without having to modify our proven processes. The changes implemented resulted in savings that went straight to the bottom line – improving profitability while also achieving a more sustainable operation.”
Click here to learn more about McWane’s installation of SimplySnap at its McWane Ductile New Jersey plant and how it solved for both profitability and sustainability.
About McWane Inc.
McWane, Inc. is a family-owned business based in Birmingham, Alabama, with companies across the U.S. and around the world. The McWane Family of Companies casts ductile iron products, including pipe, valves, hydrants, fittings and plumbing products; manufactures fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems and steel pressure vessels; and builds network switches and monitoring equipment. McWane is the leader in delivering clean, safe drinking water around the world while focusing on the safe, environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. With more than 6,000 team members, McWane has a longstanding commitment of support to the communities where our team members live and work. For more information, visit mcwane.com.