Incorporating Environmental Awareness in Die Casting Operations

  • Die Casting

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL, July 11, 2024

At Shibaura Machine, our commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship is unwavering. In die casting operations, maintaining stringent environmental controls is crucial for both efficiency and safety. 

This article explores key environmental concerns in die casting, the measures factories can implement, and how we can develop a robust environmental control plan together.

Key Environmental Concerns in Die Casting

Effective environmental controls are critical in die casting to ensure safety, efficiency, and sustainability. Addressing issues like the ones noted below can significantly enhance operational performance and employee well-being.

  • Die Lube and Tip Lube: Spraying releases particles, compromising air quality. Implementing a filter system mitigates these effects and maintains a safe environment.
  • Water Usage and Leaks: Even minor leaks can lead to significant costs and environmental impact. A gallon-a-day leak can accumulate substantial wastage and financial losses. Regular inspections and prompt repairs are critical.
  • Shot Lube Over-Application: This leads to buildup, increasing fire hazards and operational costs. Precise application techniques and regular maintenance prevent excessive use and ensure safety.
  • Furnace Operations: Running rich consumes more fuel and produces harmful smoke. Optimizing furnace settings and regular maintenance balance fuel efficiency and minimize smoke production.
  • Noise and Air Efficiency: Minimizing noise and improving air efficiency through better design and maintenance enhances the work environment. For example, Shibaura Machine replaces traditional AC hydraulic motors with servo motors. This shift significantly reduces noise and energy consumption as servo motors only move when needed, unlike continuously running hydraulic motors. 
  • Fire Hazards: Often due to oil and grease accumulations. Preventive measures like regular cleaning and proper storage, along with comprehensive fire safety protocols and employee training, mitigate these risks.

Internal Environmental Control Measures

Implementing effective internal environmental control measures is essential for optimizing workplace conditions and ensuring employee safety. These measures focus on ways to enhance operational efficiency and well-being.

1. Workplace Adaptability 

Modifying and adapting the physical workplace to enhance work and business effectiveness is crucial. This involves creating environments that can be easily adjusted to meet operational needs, promoting efficiency, and improving employee satisfaction.

2. Air Quality and Ventilation 

Improving air quality through natural and mechanical ventilation, filtration, and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation can significantly reduce contamination risks. Implementing these measures ensures a healthier work environment and reduces the likelihood of airborne pollutants affecting workers.

3. Controlled Environments 

A controlled environment, or critical environment, is one where air temperature, humidity, and other factors are precisely regulated. Isolating these areas from other operations ensures that environmental conditions meet specific operational needs, improving both safety and efficiency.

Developing an Environmental Awareness Plan

An effective environmental control plan outlines specific procedures for ensuring that environmental factors are consistently regulated. Key components include detailing the location of equipment, defining operational procedures, and establishing maintenance schedules. These elements work together to create a framework that supports continuous performance improvement and compliance with environmental standards.

Establishing internal control standards is another crucial aspect of the plan. A robust risk assessment process is integral to this framework, helping to identify, assess, and manage potential risks. This proactive approach ensures that objectives are met efficiently and that the workplace remains safe and compliant with regulatory requirements.

An Environmental Management Plan (EMP) goes a step further by incorporating mitigation, monitoring, and institutional measures to address both environmental and social impacts. By implementing an EMP, organizations can ensure that they are not only compliant with environmental regulations but also committed to long-term sustainability and corporate responsibility.

Assessing and Improving Internal Controls

Effective internal controls are crucial for maintaining a safe and compliant work environment. Regularly assessing and updating these controls ensures ongoing operational excellence and risk management.

  • Culture of Compliance: Assessing the attitudes of employees and the organization toward controls and compliance helps identify areas for improvement and ensures successful implementation.
  • Risk Exposure Analysis: Regularly assessing and updating the risk landscape ensures that controls remain relevant and effective.
  • Control Review and Communication: Evaluating existing controls and support structures, such as processes and training, is vital. Clear communication between audit teams, boards, and employees ensures that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in maintaining controls.
  • Monitoring Systems: Regular assessments and updates to monitoring systems help identify and address any deficiencies promptly. For example, Shibaura Machine has developed the advanced control systems TOSCAST and machiNetCloud to help optimize the die casting process by providing precise control over speed, position, and torque, leading to higher quality products with less waste. 
  • Reporting and Evaluation: Regular reports on control assessments highlight any issues and outline measures for improvement, fostering accountability, transparency, and continuous improvement.

Ensuring a Sustainable Future in Die Casting Operations

Keeping environmental controls in the die casting process is essential for ensuring efficiency, safety, and sustainability. By addressing key environmental concerns, implementing internal control measures, and developing a robust environmental control plan, Shibaura Machine can continue to lead the industry while protecting employees and the environment. Together, we can achieve a sustainable and prosperous future in die casting operations.

Sustainability at SHIBAURA MACHINE

SHIBAURA MACHINE will help to create a sustainable society through its corporate activities.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

For more information contact the Shibaura Machine Die Casting Team.

Achieving manufacturing excellence has never been easier. 

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