Today we continue our series on what YKK's North and Central America companies are doing to be more environmentally conscious.
YKK’s architectural products company, YKK AP America Inc. is another YKK company that is dedicated to developing sustainable manufacturing practices to help preserve the environment. The company has a manufacturing center located on 204 acres of land in Dublin, Georgia. One hundred and twenty acres of this land is still maintained as a natural habitat, where turkey and deer can thrive and are regularly seen on the grounds. In 2000, when the company built its fabrication plant, there was a need to utilize a section of identified wetland area for the plant. YKK AP worked with the Army Corps of Engineers to develop and maintain an even larger wetland area then was needed for the expansion.
YKK AP America Inc. also has a wastewater treatment (wwt) plant that was designed in 1992 to exceed the strictest water quality standards existed in the U.S. at the time (California), and it still meets them to this day. There are no raw materials used in the WWT pH balancing process. Waste Alkali from the Die Cleaning and Caustic Etch Regeneration (CER) processes along with waste Acid from the Acid Purification Unit (APU) associated with the reconditioning of the Anodizing Tank process solution are used in place of virgin chemicals.
Throughout the Anodizing Process, recycling and minimization of chemical and resource usage is at the forefront. The Etching solution is regenerated and returned to the process through the CER. The Anodizing solution is run through the APU. The electro deposition paint is routed to an Ion Regeneration Unit to recondition the paint and return it to the process. In the Paint Line, Xylene is used to flush the paint lines and is recovered and reused through the use of a Solvent Recovery Still. In all of these processes, chemicals are only added to replace dragout. Dragout is the solution that is carried over from one process tank to the next. Some of the solution in the former tank is dragged into the next.