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SMART Green Program Helps Concord Manufacturer Improve Processes, Decrease Costs and Reduce Carbon F

With funding from SMART Green, Acrylic Fabricators Limited is installing central dust collection system which will reduce motor electricity consumption and result in lower GHG emissions.

Funded by the Government of Ontario and administered by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, the SMART Green program is a $25-million initiative to assist manufacturers reduce GHG emissions and improve energy efficiency while supporting the province’s 2020 targets for GHG reductions. The program offers three different funding streams: Walk-through Assessment Funding for Companies that do not have a project in mind; Detailed Assessment Funding for Companies that do have a project in mind but have not done an engineering assessment or for Companies that identify a project through a Walk-through; and Project Funding to implement a capital investment project.

Acrylic Fabricators Limited, based in Concord, Ontario, manufactures industrial displays and furniture from plastic, metal, and wood raw materials. Various manufacturing methods and processes are utilized, including screen printing, thermoforming or vacuum-forming, thermal bending, shearing, sawing, CNC and manual cutting and shaping, spray and manual painting, laminating, cementing and gluing, design and development, assembling, and shipping of products.

Acrylic Fabricators wanted to take advantage of the SMART Green program to improve their manufacturing process while reducing their carbon footprint, but needed help to identify potential opportunities. They started by contacting a Qualified Technical Service Provider (QTSP) listed on the SMART Green website and obtained a proposal for a walk-through assessment. That proposal was approved by the SMART Green program which covered 50% of the walk-through assessment cost. The walk-through assessment conducted at their facility identified three possible projects that could reduce GHG emissions; two of the projects were ultimately eliminated because the GHG reductions would be very small relative to the cost. The project selected for further evaluation consisted of a central dust collection system that could eliminate 14 existing systems. The central system would allow for reduced motor electricity consumption while increasing the amount of dust collected; it was determined that this initiative would have the greatest GHG reduction potential relative to the capital cost input, so the Company decided to retain the services of the QTSP to complete a detailed assessment that would calculate the potential savings from the project (GHG reduction and dollar savings). Acrylic Fabricators obtained a second proposal from their QTSP, this time for a detailed assessment. The submission was approved by the SMART Green program, and Acrylic Fabricators proceeded with the detailed assessment with 50% of the costs covered by SMART Green. This report would eventually support a project application and provide information required to secure internal funding for the project.

The detailed assessment determined that by switching to a larger central dust collection system, Acrylic Fabricators would reduce the electricity consumption of the current dust collection system by approximately 50%, reducing lifetime GHG emissions by 115 tonnes. Furthermore, the newer system would improve the efficiency of dust collection thereby improving conditions within the facility. The capital cost of the new dust collection system was estimated at approximately $94,000. Based on these projected results, Acrylic Fabricators submitted the detailed assessment report along with a SMART Green project funding application. The parameters of the project met the requirements of the SMART Green program and the funding was approved for 50% of the project cost. With a forecasted payback of less than 2 years, Acrylic Fabricators will achieve their objectives of not only reducing their GHG emissions, but also improving their processes while decreasing long-term costs and allowing them to remain competitive.

"We have grown and prospered for one simple reason – at AFL Display Group we understand that nothing is more important than our customers. We focus on providing them with the personal touch of a small firm with all the capabilities of the largest companies in the industry." - Brian Mandelker, Company Founder & President

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