Corp. works with YUSA to decrease VOC emissions and improve employees'
In today’s global
marketplace, industries are becoming more aware of the impact solvents and the
use of heavy metals have on the health of employees, the environment, and the
cost of waste disposal. With governing bodies like the Ozone Transport
Commission (OTC) and the new United States National Emission Standards
regulating hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), keeping up with the changing regulations
can be a full-time job. That is why YUSA Corp., an industry leader in the
manufacture of automotive rubber components, turned to LORD Corp. for help.
According to Terry Krebs, LORD Corp. Field Technical Service engineer, YUSA
sought a way to lower its emissions while also improving its employees’ working
environment. As both a manufacturer and user of a line of solvent-based,
industrial adhesives used to bond rubber to metal, LORD Corp. has provided its
line of products to YUSA since 1990.
Krebs said YUSA is not alone
in their quest. According to a survey conducted by LORD Corp. at the American
Chemical Society (ACS) Conference in November 2005, companies are feeling the
pressure to respond to changing regulations. Survey respondents - 23% of whom
are in the auto industry, 5% in aerospace and 72% in other industries - cited
price pressure due to global competition and environmental regulations (40% and
26%, respectively) as the key issues significantly affecting strategic
decisions in today’s rubber industry, followed by employee health and safety
(20%), and consolidation within the rubber industry (14%).
The survey confirms that businesses are faced with the decision to install an
incineration methodology or convert to products that do not contain solvents
known to harm the environment. Based on the survey, regarding compliance with
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) January 2007 National Emission
Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the surface coating of
miscellaneous metal parts and products, one can see the range of approaches
companies are pursuing to meet or exceed the regulations.
“It does not appear as though there is an overwhelming trend among companies
toward a common solution,” said Andrew Kintz, LORD Corp. Global Market
manager-Automotive Components. “If companies currently have an incineration
system, they are not motivated to change. Those wanting to change to
aqueous-based adhesives believe them to be the long-term solution for a variety
of reasons. Combining employee health with concerns for the environment
illustrates why there is increasing interest in controlling the use of
VOC-based solvents in the rubber industry.”
Answers for YUSA
Capitalizing on their
experience, LORD began a series of audits of the YUSA facility in Washington
Courthouse, OH, in 2003. The audits entailed all application areas of the
facility in a joint effort to improve application techniques and the adhesive
transfer efficiencies, as well as to improve the overall working environment
for the employees.
Krebs said the audits pinpointed several areas where application efficiencies
needed improvement or equipment was in need of minor repair. Further, LORD
recommended switching to Environmentally Preferred Chemlok®
Adhesives (EPCA) to improve the working environment for employees and to reduce
emissions. As a result of the findings, LORD provided training for all three
shifts of employees with regard to the upcoming changes.
“Although many employees were nervous that the changes would result in a slower
production cycle, they quickly recognized this was not the case and there was
tremendous benefit to switching to more environmentally friendly products and
processes,” said Krebs.
With the cooperation of management, line supervisors and employees, YUSA had a
very successful transition to the new processing parameters established through
LORD Corp.’s Process Review. YUSA and LORD will continue to make improvements
in the processes as they are identified.
The result is a win for both the environment and YUSA employees. YUSA can now
burn off their VOCs easier, and employees benefit with a cleaner working
atmosphere. Transfer efficiencies of the adhesive to the coated parts also improved,
resulting in less wasted product while maintaining the proper adhesive coverage
on the coated parts.
“As the rubber-to-substrate adhesive industry works to control their level of
volatile organic chemical emissions and to balance the increasing cost of raw
materials with the pressure to reduce total costs in a struggling automotive
industry, the options to make significant improvements in our business become
very limited,” said Kintz. “LORD and YUSA have teamed to approach these
problems in a unique manner. It requires a team approach, both supplier
and manufacturer, to create value in systems that are already very lean. When
LORD Corp.’s experienced field technical service people joined forces with
YUSA’s excellent manufacturing personnel, the sum of the combined knowledge made
this project a success.”
About YUSA Corp.YUSA Corp. serves many automotive leaders in North
America, including Honda of America Manufacturing, Honda of Canada
Manufacturing, Mitsubishi Motors North America, General Motors Corp. and Ford
Motor Co. When the company was founded in 1987, YUSA was a product of a joint
venture agreement between the Yamashita Rubber Co. of Iruma-gun, Saitama Prefecture, Japan, and LORD Corp. The
venture enabled YUSA to take advantage of Yamashita Rubber Co.’s technical
expertise and gain the recognition and endorsement of LORD Corp.’s reputation
in the international automotive and aerospace markets. In 1997, the
Yamashita Rubber Co. acquired full interest of YUSA Corp. by purchasing
the outstanding shares held by its venture partner, LORD Corp. For more
information, visit yusa-oh.com.
About LORD Corp.With headquarters in Cary, NC, LORD Corp. is a privately held company
that designs, manufactures and markets devices and systems to manage mechanical
motion and control noise and vibration; formulates, produces and sells
general-purpose and specialty adhesives and coatings; and develops products and
systems using magnetically responsive technologies. With manufacturing in nine
countries and offices in more than 15 major business centers, LORD Corp.
employs more than 2,400 worldwide.
For more information, visit www.lord.com.