Carrier has gone from solvent based paint to precoated wire in order to reduce wastes associated with painting. Carrier used over twelve different colors, six different gauges and four insulation thicknesses of wire in electrical harnesses in its air conditioning units. Prior to this project, Carrier bought just plain white wire and colored them to meet the demands of production.
To reduce the variety of wire and colors used, Product Engineering redesigned the wires to reduce the number of colors to seven. The precoated wire required Carrier to purchase and inventory many colors of wire. This required a system to insure purchases were made in time to insure the line wasn't shut down due to no wire of the required color.
Cleaning out the system after each color change produced waste solvents, hazardous rag & absorbents, waste paint and VOC emissions. Hazardous wastes were reduced by 550 gallons of paint waste and 1100 pounds of paint contaminated rags and gloves per year, workers were no longer exposed to the VOCs and the risk due to flammability of the solvent was eliminated.
Details of Reductions
Additional Information :
The colored wire does not cost anymore to purchase than the plain white wire. However, the system saves $40,000 per year in labor for cleaning, solvent/paint purchases and waste disposal.