Garlock honored for environmental leadership
The Rochester Business Journal honored Garlock Sealing Technologies last Tuesday during its Environmental Leadership Awards as one of three honorees in the category of environmental innovation. Garlock was recognized for its conversion to a more environmentally friendly material for gasket production at its Palmyra, N.Y. facility.
“The Environmental Leadership Awards were created to honor area companies making great strides to become environmentally sound and helping make our community a healthier place to live,” said Susan R. Holliday, president and publisher of the Rochester Business Journal. “Garlock was selected this year because of its demonstrated commitment to having a positive impact on environmental issues.”
Garlock invested more than $3 million to replace a volatile organic compound used in its production of gasket material with a more environmentally friendly substance, eliminating annual air emissions of 120 tons in the process. Use of the new material also resulted in improved process yields, products that seal 20% better and a healthier work environment.
The change in process material is just one part of a five-year, $30 million plant modernization project Garlock began 2005. Now at its mid-point, the project involves construction of two new production plants. The first phase, a plant that manufactures dynamic seals, was completed in 2006. A second plant for production of PTFE-based gaskets is scheduled to open this summer.
Particularly notable is Garlock’s use of water piped from nearby Canandaigua Lake for comfort and process cooling, producing significant annual savings with no adverse impact on the environment, Garlock said. Among other conservation-minded features of the project are closed-loop process equipment that is reported to save up to 20,000 gallons of water per day, use of non-treated water for production processes, separation of the storm water system and creation of green spaces to reduce runoff.
The new production facilities also feature high-efficiency, water-cooled chillers with ultrasonic humidification, reflective roofs to reduce heat loading and highly insulative exterior panels. On-demand water heaters serve isolated areas, and waste heat is recovered from exhaust ventilation systems and air compressors. Where possible, materials resulting from the demolition of old structures have been recycled or reused on-site to minimize waste.