[Green Earth Drawn by Hyosung] Episode 2. Eco-friendly Process매거진/Webzine(English) 2017.09.20 10:20
Hyosung’s green management is painting the earth with green. Here is Episode 2, ‘Eco-friendly Process’
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From textile and chemical to heavy industry, industrial materials, and construction, Hyosung is producing prerequisites of life at workplaces all over the country. Marketing any product inevitably requires detrimental influence on the environment. Reducing, and eliminating these influences is mandated to all industries, and is one of the key goals of Hyosung.
Here are the stories of Hyosung, prioritizing the environment over everything throughout the course of business to achieve an eco-friendly process.
1. Minimizing Hazardous Substances
Chemical substances are required to produce textile, industrial materials and chemical products. The chemicals used also impose harm to the environment and the human body. Minimizing chemical substances hazardous to the environment and the human body, and substituting substances with non-hazardous materials is evidently a main target for Hyosung, pursuing green management.
Each workplace of Hyosung is allotting its resources to eliminate the risk inherent to hazardous chemical substances, and to secure safety in all products.
(1) Eco-friendly adhesives for Tire Cords
As the demand on eco-friendly tires are rising, Hyosung’s Tire & Industrial Reinforcement Materials PU developed an eco-friendly dip recipe applicable to the production process of tire cords, a key component of tires. Previous adhesives contain Formalin and Resorcinol, both that are hazardous substances. Exposure of such substances to the air leads to environmental damage and damage to the human body.
As of today, these substances are not defined to be a hazardous material by REACH (Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), however once these materials are recognized as hazardous substances, it will lead to substantial blockage in production. Therefore, the eco-friendly dip recipe developed by Hyosung is deemed the best solution to lead the future of eco-friendly tires.
For eco-friendly tires, Hyosung provides eco-friendly tire-cords.
(2) Reduced Consumption of Hazardous Chemical Substances
Each workplace of Hyosung is implementing new measures to reduce the consumption of hazardous chemicals essential to production.
Changwon Plant substituted its cleansing formula from methanol to ethanol, a non-hazardous substance in 2015, and subsequently substituted 12 chemical materials including powder coating that contains the toxic TGIC, with non-toxic substances in 2016.
Gumi plant is urging to develop substitutive products free from any hazardous chemical substance, and is currently gradually reducing the consumption of hazardous chemicals by removing hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide from products to be sufficiently under the regulated content.
The optical film division of Yongyeon plant has replaced TPP (Triphenyl Phosphate, a plasticizer enhancing fabrication at high temperatures) used for the production of TAC films (an essential component for LCD TVs, monitors, laptops and cellphones) with polymeric plasticizers. TPP is a chemical substance suspected to be an endocrine disturbing chemical, i.e. an environmental hormone.
They may be cheap and convenient, but chemical substances is not good for the environment.
2. Power Saving and Greenhouse Gas Reduction
Have you ever been to a plant of Hyosung? The campuses, where a pedestrian may take hours and days to fully explore is the home of equipment and facilities operating 24/7. How much of power these plants consume cannot be measured in finite numbers. Considering the large volume of power consumed, a mere fraction of reduction brings upon a large amount of power saving, and, yes of course, reduction in greenhouse gas emission.
(1) Enhanced Facility Operation Efficiency
The easiest way to save power in your household is to turn off and unplug appliance that are not used. Replacing aged appliances with new products with better energy efficiency is also effective.
Ulsan Plant, does the same to save energy, only the scale is exponential than that from a single household. Ulsan Plant saved steam radiation losses by enhancing the overall operation efficiency by means of shutting down certain processes of the production line that do not necessarily have to be running. Furthermore, Ulsan plant replaced or substituted out-of-age equipment with highly-efficient new equipment to save electricity costs, and stabilized its productivity.
As you turn of the lights when you are not there, we turn of equipment when we don’t use them.
(2) Power Peak
Simply not using electricity by shutting off not necessary equipment has its own limits. Therefore a more smart and efficient power consumption is required. Gumi Plant incorporated “Power Peak”, suspending power consumption at the maximum load time block throughout the day.
Gumi Plant operates its Power Peak by differing operation of line change-over, packing, and unloading goods from warehouse according to the power cost by time block that varies from the season. Especially, an Energy TFT, consists of members of production support team and field workers, is organized to monitor the activities aimed to save energy consumption.
Power Peak not also helps energy saving, but also contributes to the company’s profits. It is difficult to reduce raw materials that are directly related to production, but wouldn’t reducing at least penny in electricity, that construes one third of production costs be a significant improvement? Power Peak, saving energy and enhancing productivity is a good example of green management.
(3) Alternating into Energy Saving Twisting Equipment
The next step forward from efficient energy consumption is evolving into an energy-saving equipment. Ulsan plant altered its yarn twisting equipment into an energy-saving equipment to materialize saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emission. This 2 billion KRW (approx. 1.8 million USD) project annually reduces 3,925 ton of greenhouse gas emission. Moreover, the spinner improved with this technology provides a productivity 12 times greater than before, that leads to energy saving.
Energy Saving Twister
(4) High Efficiency SF6 Gas Recovery Unit
Gas isolators, manufactured in Changwon Plant, isolates gases utilizing SF6 gas as an insulator. To confirm the quality, each product undergoes an insulation performance test.
The problem is that SF6 is a larger contributor to global warming, more than the usual suspect, carbon dioxide. SF6 is a large threat to global warming, and requires 3,200 years in the nature for decomposition, thus, recovering SF6 after performance test is required.
This is where SF6 gas recovery units chime in. To enhance the recovery rate, Changwon Plant invested 0.75 billion KRW (approx. 662 thousand USD) to replace recovery units to high efficient units. Accordingly, Changwon Plant is now reducing 200,721 tons of greenhouse gas emission every year.
High Efficiency SF6 Gas Recovery Unit
3. Efficient Use of Resources
Along with power, minimizing waste in resource is also important. Minimizing and reusing waste materials throughout production, and seeking more productive usage will protect our environment and contribute to profits through cost saving.
(1) Reusing Waste Heat and Steam
Hyosung is reusing waste heat generated from other companies and its own workplaces. Moreover, Hyosung is selling left over steam generated throughout its production to other entities to save energy and generate profits.
To reduce fuel consumption of steam boilers, Yongyeon, Changwon, Gumi, Daegu, and Oksan Plant uses waste heat left over from other adjacent entities, including those generated from waste incinerators, through steam piping. Yongyeon plant provides high pressure waste heat / steam generated from domestic waste incinerators to adjacent plants or sells such resources to other entities to save energy costs and generate profits at the same time.
Steam piping to reuse waste heat from other institutions
Aside from these efforts, all workplaces facilities their own systems to recover waste heat generated by themselves to reduce energy consumption, while Oksan Plant received an award from the governor of Choongcheongbuk-do in 2016 for its efforts to improve the environment by adopting steam and reusing condensed water.
(2) Reusing Raw Material
TAC films protect the polarizing plates for TVs, monitors of computers and laptops, and smartphones. The polarizing elements of polarizing plates is extremely thin, with poor strength. Transparent TAC films with excellent strength protect those polarizing elements. In other words, there is no such thing as a durable monitor without a TLC film.
The TAC business division of the Optical Film PU is where these TAC films are born. And it is the TAC business division that reuses raw materials. Any product determined to be not compliant is grinded and re-introduced as a raw material. Reusing bad products, rather than discarding, reduces pollution and moreover saves costs to enhance the competitiveness in business.
The TAC film protecting the monitor you are reading this article may be made from reused materials.
(3) Reducing Waste
What happens to raw material wasted during production or bad products that are not reused? Discarding such waste means waste of resource and causes expenses and pollution.
However, Hyosung is continuing its efforts to improve its disposal process and promote reuse of resources considering the compositions and properties of waste to limit the impact to the environment.
Jeonju Plant, that consumes organic solvents as a raw material, filters used organic solvents at a third party, and re-purchases the filters organic solvents and reuses the solvents throughout its process. This process is proven to be successful by reducing 178.63 tons of waste and 125 tons of raw material procurement in 2016.
In case of Oksan Plant, raw materials that can not be reused are provided, free of charge, to third party steam supply companies. Hyosung also allows recycling companies to use goods with defects rather than disposing such defected goods, and facilitates an overall recycling system throughout the entire workplace to minimize incinerated domestic waste.
(4) Waste water control
Waste water illegally discharged from companies is the main cause of water pollution. Thus, it is important to dispose waste water through a rigorous management system. Hyosung is investing its resource to eco-friendly process through waste water control.
Every workplace of Hyosung institutes a regular water analysis with a more severe standard than legal requirements to implement a systematic water pollutant disposal management. Aged water pollutant preventing facilities have been replaced and improved to remove highly concentrated water pollutants and discharge only low concentrated substances. Water consumption of each workplace is monitored and managed, and new facilities are introduced to maximize recycling and reusing used water.
Hyosung applies a disposal system with a standard more severe than legal requirements.
Yongyeon Plant, especially, has a waste water treatment facility that collects and filters waste water and dirty water from the entire plant, and reuses waste water treated with membrane filters. This system supplements water shortage in winter and for new processes added to the plant and improves the water quality. Moreover, Yongyeon Plant tracks each additive introduced in water and classifies the waste water according to such additives and reuses waste water with no additives to reduce water consumption. Yongyeon Plant also publishes a daily energy release promoting activities to reduce distilled water (DIW), filtered water (FW), drinking water (DW), and waste water (WW) throughout the entire process.
(5) Solar Photovoltaic Power Generation
Saving and reusing resources are not the only efforts that Hyosung put in to protect the Earth. Hyosung now creates new resources. Ulsan Plant and Yongyeon Plant installed solar panels around their campus and in their parking lot to produce hot water and heat required throughout the plant. Hyosung is also a player in new renewable energy.
Factories make people think about grey smoke, that are nothing close to an environmentally friendly image. But what about Hyosung’s Plants? Did your perspective change by witnessing the eco-friendly processes implemented by Hyosung? As a company representing the manufacturing industry that has a reputation for pollution, Hyosung fulfills its responsibilities and obligations, and will be a company that puts environment in front of anything.
* Hyosung’s efforts for a better world, [Green Earth Drawn by Hyosung] will return in next month’s edition with Episode 3, Eco-friendly Strategy.