Manufacturing plastic consumables and specialised moulding
Techno Plas is an Australian owned plastics and specialist moulding manufacturer. Based in South Australia, the company runs a unique and highly automated plant. Techno Plas incorporates laser-guided vehicles capable of running the entire production facility unmanned: from granulated plastic resin in silos, to fully packed and labeled products on a warehouse grid. Highly skilled technical and project management teams have enabled the development of most automation in-house.
The manufacturer has earned a reputation for successful product project management, from tooling design to production parts, supplying blue chip companies throughout Australia. Production efficiencies are so finely tuned that Techno Plas exports commodity plastic productions into China.
Awards for excellence
Techno Plas was the 2001 Telstra SA Small Business of the Year. The manufacturer was also National Runner Up in the Telstra Innovation Awards.
Drivers for sustainability
Techno Plas management undertook Pangolin’s Energy Audit in 2011 to understand the organisation’s power consumption. With the rising costs of electricity and an energy intensive business, power was the main driver for sustainability. Techno Plas needed to identify:
- Where energy was used most in the business
- The costs involved
- Opportunities available to them to reduce consumption and cost.
Sustainability actions and energy efficiency funding
Equipment and grant funding: With reference to their Energy Audit conducted by Pangolin Associates, Techno Plas successfully obtained a grant for $212,740 from the Clean Technology Investment Program. Grant funds assisted in the purchase and replacement of 20 percent of key equipment. Techno Plas now processes over 50 percent of raw material with a power usage savings on average of 60 percent.
Carbon footprint: Techno Plas has also engaged Pangolin for Greenhouse Gas Assessments annually since FY 2009/2010. They are measuring and reducing their footprint year on year.
Sustainability awareness: The organisation has developed a workplace culture focused on sustainability. There is a measurable awareness from the board level on the impact of energy efficiencies, and it extends to all staff. Joint CEO Stefan Billing comments, “The factory floor is seeing a physical commitment to sustainability, not just talk. It creates pride for all of us.”
Sustainable decision-making: Sustainability is incorporated into many aspects of the business. This includes changes in capital buying processes.
Achievements to date
Through efficiency recommendations and actions taken, it has become clear that the bundle of equipment is key for Techno Plas, not just individual elements. To date the manufacturer has realised savings of 50 to 60 percent per Kg, as processed on specific machines, and associated equipment spend.
Overall, Techno Plas has seen an 18 percent reduction in their carbon footprint per Kg processed over the last 3 years. This result is not machine specific. It applies to the whole factory. With these achievements, the company continues to dig deeper, discovering new efficiencies and new drivers for action.
Pangolin Associates has been an invaluable element of our move to a more sustainable business. They provide legitimacy and accuracy to what we are doing, which has huge value in the internal business decision making and cultural change processes. We have also found the formal and certified process/reporting Pangolin provides is of great benefit in the external arena, from tender document support, grant applications and promotional materials.
The staff at Pangolin has proved to be very knowledgeable in their area of expertise and passionate about passing that knowledge to the companies they assist. They have also streamlined and made easy what seems an initially daunting task of data accumulation, and been more than happy to get involved themselves. Final reports are aimed at a broad audience from executive, to those who want the detail and are presented in a professional manner.
Stefan Billing, Joint CEO
Business Sustainability Alliance (BSA) Energy Efficiency Funding
Techno Plas and several other Pangolin clients in South Australia have received BSA Energy Efficiency funding. This assisted them in undertaking energy audits and training. BSA is an initiative of the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources & Energy, SA Water, Zero Waste SA, and The Environment Protection Authority.