Sustainability begins at home

DISA - your sustainable foundry equipment manufacture

Sustainability! In the foundry equipment industry, there are as many needs, views, aims, approaches and drivers around this idea as there are foundries. For us here at DISA this means we always look beyond our own understanding of the issue and learn from each and every one of our customers. It’s why today, our concept of sustainability is as comprehensive, varied and evolutionary as the foundry community we serve. It stretches across the sand casting processes we design and deliver, the foundry equipment we make (and how we make it), and our own ways of working. Let me give you a quick tour.

By Ulla Tønnesen, Senior Vice President at DISA

For us, a sustainable casting process is one that cuts out waste (in the many senses of the word), is energy efficient, minimises scrap and finishing work, and enables greater casting precision for an optimum use of resources. But it is also one that creates a modern, clean, ergonomical and rewarding working environment. All of these aspects address environmental, commercial and social dimensions of sustainability – and all of them are about a direction of travel, rather than a finishing line.

Every foundry’s journey is different, but what we are trying to do with the foundry equipment and solutions we offer, is to enable any foundry to become more sustainable. To move from older technologies to newer automated vertical, match or horizontal moulding solutions; to move from repetitive to value-added work for its workforce; to upgrade and retrofit to bring down energy consumption and reduce waste. 

A lot of the values that have always guided us in making foundry equipment are also connected to sustainability. Building castings machines that lasts, but that can be upgraded with latest technology, ensures the best use of resources (including transport). Reliable foundry equipment makes it easier to plan, which tends to allow for a more efficient use of energy, manpower and material. 

New features and technologies we develop are designed to continuously perfect the sand casting process, delivering cost, energy and materials savings that add up. Making these new features available for retrofit means foundries can keep improving, always.

In our introduction, we highlighted the fact that long-term commercial viability is also a facet of sustainability – and it’s certainly the one all foundries naturally subscribe to. That’s why coupling commercial benefits with environmental and social ones is something we believe in firmly. As a foundry equipment manufacturer, we can make being good easy, balancing short-term commercial pay-offs and longer-term, softer benefits.

A big part of this is making state-of-the-art technology available to all types of foundries, in all regions. We’ve focused specific efforts on this area in recent years, with new moulding lines like the DISAMATIC® C3, which offers entry-level vertical moulding, and by increasing local manufacturing and design capability across the globe. With these developments, we hope to already have improved the ease of adoption of better, more sustainable sand casting processes and we are determined to continue on this path.

Finally, we believe that sustainability begins at home. And the home of our headquarters in Taastrup, Denmark, embodies the comprehensive, holistic understanding of sustainability that I have outlined above.  The building itself requires only a sixth of the heating energy of the old facility; solar panels on the roof reduce our reliance on external electricity supplies; all-LED lighting uses a fraction of the energy of conventional light sources. The layout of our assembly workshop has been completely rethought for short distances and better energy consumption – a key learning: what’s lean is often also green! For example, we have introduced a highly efficient centralised, low-energy cooling system for our CNC machines, and have installed automatic switch-offs for workshop lighting and air compression systems.
 
But most importantly, we are committed to continually improving our environmental credentials. We forensically monitor our energy consumption across 12 areas of the company, so we can see where we can improve. We are working towards sorting and recycling 90% of our waste – from steel, cables and cardboard in the workshop through to paper and packaging in the office part of the building. And avoiding the creation of waste is just as important, even in the most unexpected places: after lunch in our canteen, we can get left-over food packed up to take home for dinner, cutting down on food waste and making our lives easier.
 
In conclusion, I guess my message in all of this is that the foundry industry is a big global industry in which sustainability is playing an increasingly important role. But we all approach it differently. At DISA, we try to understand, collect and serve all these different takes on sustainability. The ultimate goal: securing the economic future of foundries in a way that reduces their environmental impact and ensures they happily evolve along with the societies they are embedded in.

 

From individual machines to the largest moulding line, we design safety and sustainability into every DISA solution.

Nina Rasmussen, Vice President Product Portfolio Development

Designing safety into all we do

 

Smarter thinking, safer solutions

Customer and employee safety is the first priority at DISA. That’s why protection is built into our equipment’s DNA. Failsafe control and hydraulic systems, light curtains and protective covers – all there to safeguard operators.

Customers can trust in our complete compliance with CE regulations for product safety and environmental standards. ISO 9001 and 14001 accreditations guide our safe and sustainable working practices. We innovate too, taking part in the ISO working groups that set product safety standards.

Whether at our factory or on customer sites, safe working is job number one at DISA.

ISO 9001

Sustainability runs through everything we do

Continued success demands original thinking and we apply our LEAN, waste-free principles to make every aspect of DISA’s business sustainable. From reducing energy consumption, recycling and re-using to investing in the latest technology and designing safer, higher performing products, we strive to find fresh ways to work sustainably.

Turning waste into value

We recycle to save energy, reduce pollution and stop valuable resources ending up as rubbish. In our machine shop, we recycle or reuse almost all its water, oil, scrap metal, wood and cardboard.

A light touch with a big energy impact

When moving to Taastrup, one goal was paramount. Use less energy. And we have, 60% less in fact. Introducing more natural light through greater use of glass – even in our workshop – helped reduce power consumption and created a more unified workspace. At this facility, we have pioneered use of LEDs, motion-triggered lighting, and solar power. Our administration office, for example, is entirely powered by sunshine.

Taking the lead on responsible purchasing brings value to our organisation, to the rest of society and the environment too.

A material world that we love

Sustainable materials, minimal impact
Every single purchase has health, environmental, and social impacts. DISA’s policy of sustainable procurement helps to minimise them. Choosing recycled materials and sustainably-produced products lowers emissions and energy consumption – 60% less in the case of recycled paper.

Our machines travel on pallets sourced from sustainably managed forests when they are shipped – rather than flown – to our customers. We prioritise suppliers that comply with the ISO 14001 sustainable standard.

Thinking hard about what we buy. That’s how we keep our footprint on this planet as small as possible.

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