Landscape Forms, Fabri-Kal come on board WMU green manufacturing initiative

Two Kalamazoo-area businesses will receive assessments designed to help them develop greener business practices now that they have joined Western Michigan University's green manufacturing initiative.

Landscape Forms and Fabri-Kal, both of Kalamazoo, committed to the Green Manufacturing Industrial Consortium, a partnership between faculty and students to assist West Michigan businesses identify ways to become more green. As  initiative members, Landscape Forms and Fabri-Kal have the opportunity to have their energy and material operations fully assessed by the WMU teams to determine what issues need to be addressed.

The process for each company is expected to take up to a year to conduct on-site assessments and identify one opportunity for investigation and development of an engineered solution. Projects are typically led by a faculty member, with the students conducting the bulk of the analysis and engineering.

An assessment of energy and material operations at Landscape Forms is already under way by a team from WMU. The group is expected to have its recommendations ready for the company by mid-January.

When those are in, the the process will begin for Fabri-Kal.

Many companies already have contacted WMU with specific environmental issues, green projects have been completed and many more are under way.

The green manufacturing initiative funded in fall 2009 with a close to $1 million federal award to Dr. John Patten, chair of manufacturing engineering and director of the WMU Center for Manufacturing Research.

The award was intended to assist businesses throughout West Michigan in creating more energy efficient and environmentally benign processes and products. It also is sustained through the dues, $25,000 per year, paid by member organizations.

Writer: Kathy Jennings
Source: Deanne Puca, WMU
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