Benton Foundry was presented the 2022 Green Foundry “Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement” Award at the American Foundry Society’s Environmental, Health and Safety Division’s 34th EHS Conference, in October, in recognition of the multi-stage modernization program to the foundry’s dust-collection systems.
The Pennsylvania foundry melts gray iron, ductile iron, and austempered ductile iron castings of varying complexities, from non-cored parts to multiple cored assemblies, ranging from one pound up to 250 lbs. End markets include pumps, compressors, valves, and motors, and other components for power-gen, oil-and-gas, heavy-duty and off-road machinery.
The 300,000 cfm dust-collection system upgrades include “super-efficient” motors and variable-frequency drives that control the blower by adjusting motor power to maintain a constant airflow setpoint. During the summer months, warm air is directed outside the plant; in the winter months, the system recirculates tempered, clean air back into the foundry through prefilters and HEPA filters.
Recirculated air is used for heating, as well as to reduce the negative pressure inside the plant, and recirculated tempered air provides a clean working environment. According to Benton Foundry president Jeff Hall, the “six-figure heating-cost reduction …, in effect, pays for the system.”
The decrease in power plant emissions from the project is estimated at 700 tons annually, and the amount of energy conserved has been estimated to be roughly 1.5 million kWh annually.
AFS Green Foundry Awards honor companies that have “taken significant and novel approaches to improve sustainability, reduce energy and resource use, decrease or eliminate waste generation, reduce toxicity, identify beneficial re-use options for spent materials, and generally reduce their environmental footprint.”