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Wildeck Goes ‘Green’ – Installs 100% Phosphate-Free Paint Pre-treatment Process

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WAUKESHA, WI — As part of its ongoing commitment to environmentally responsible operations and products, Wildeck, Inc. – the largest manufacturer of structural steel mezzanines, material lifts (VRCs), and safety guarding products – has announced the installation of an eco-friendly 100% phosphate-free metal pre-treatment process for its high quality paint line. All Wildeck products are painted to customer specifications utilizing an electrostatically applied 2-part polyurethane coating that ensures superior results similar to an automotive clear coat finish. The new metal pre-treatment system maintains the company’s uniform high quality finish while improving paint line productivity, reducing emissions and waste, and lowering energy consumption.

Wildeck’s new paint pre-treatment process incorporates a heavy-duty non-toxic alkaline powder that is not only biodegradable, but virtually eliminates the introduction of VOC (volatile organic compounds) into the atmosphere during metal cleaning. According to Wildeck, the new low-heat process requires less energy, provides substantial savings in water consumption, eliminates potentially hazardous wastewater discharge, requires less system maintenance and provides a safer paint line environment for workers.

“Many distribution centers, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities have ‘green’ initiatives underway,” states Hubert A. Schlegel, Director of Marketing for Wildeck, Inc., “and they have expressed a desire to work with suppliers who demonstrate that same commitment. Installing a 100% phosphate-free paint pre-treatment system has been a significant step that speaks volumes to our dealers and customers. Combined with the other initiatives underway, Wildeck’s reputation as a ‘green’ supplier is clearly gaining momentum throughout the industry.”

Additional steps already implemented at Wildeck include the installation of energy-efficient lighting in the office and throughout manufacturing; which has enhanced the working environment, reduced accidents and mistakes, and improved product quality. A new robotic welding workcell has increased welding efficiency and consistency, and all palletized product is shrink-wrapped for shipment versus more time-consuming and hazardous metal banding. Cardboard and paper is recycled throughout the company and electronic communication is the norm. A company-wide intra-Net provides a paperless repository for reports, company policies, documents, and other internal business information. Dealer communication has also moved towards paperless with multiple e-newsletters; a secure on-line Dealer Portal; electronic sales literature, quotations and documents; an inter-active electronic Dealer Training CD tool; and numerous other environmentally-friendly initiatives.

The mezzanines, material lifts (VRCs), and safety guarding products designed and produced at Wildeck’s environmentally-friendly facility play a critical role in protecting and improving our environment as customers adapt to changing business conditions. When businesses grow, facilities must expand to meet the needs for increased production, warehousing, and distribution. How to expand or optimize existing operations without impacting the environment in a negative way is a key consideration that many business owners are addressing. Instead of clearing land to build out and add space, companies are realizing the benefits of building up and maximizing the available space they already have within existing structures. They are looking to companies like Wildeck to assist them with eco-friendly products that contribute to ‘green’ building design. Designs that require equipment and structures not only incorporating recycled materials, but designed from the start to improve the operational and energy efficiency of the facilities where they will be installed.

100% of Wildeck’s products have some recycled content because they are primarily made from steel, and Steel is the world’s – as well as North America’s – most recycled material. It is typically produced in mills using the basic oxygen furnace (BOF) process that uses 25 to 35% old steel to make new; or in mini-mills utilizing an electric arc furnace (EAF) process that recycles 95 to 100% old steel (or scrap) to make new. Steel from the EAF process is primarily used to manufacture products such as structural beams, steel plates, and reinforcement bars where the major required characteristic is strength; and it’s that strength that customers expect when they specify a Wildeck® mezzanine to support conveyor systems, in-plant offices, or additional manufacturing or storage space. Wildeck® vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) also provide the strength and reliability to safely and efficiently move materials between levels and they reduce the usage of potentially hazardous and air-polluting fork trucks. The company’s new MezzCrane™ system adds a rugged and reliable 3-axis Gorbel® crane to Wildeck’s mezzanine structure for additional space utilization, manufacturing flexibility, and enhanced material flow.

Additionally, the high recycled content of Wildeck components – including moisture-resistant resin board mezzanine decking – can play an important role in attaining the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for a facility. A Wildeck mezzanine, for example, can contribute up to 4-points for “Recycled Content” and “Regionally Sourced Materials” depending on the specific project and location. Note: the highest concentration of steel mills is in the Great Lakes Region (approximately 80% of U.S. steelmaking capacity) where Wildeck operates. An additional 1 to 4 LEED certification points may be earned in the “Innovation & Design Process” section (reference: www.leedbuilding.org).

“Going ‘Green’ is all about getting more out of less,” states Schlegel. “Increasing efficiency and optimizing space throughout a facility saves energy and lowers costs, which not only helps the environment, but can add ‘green’ to a company’s bottom line.”

Wildeck, Inc. – based in Waukesha, WI – is the largest manufacturer of mezzanines, vertical lifts and safety guarding products in North America. Wildeck products are used for the safe and efficient handling, storage, and protection of materials. For more than 30 years, the company has grown through a dedicated and experienced network of customer-service-oriented dealers and systems integrators, nationwide.

For more information on the complete line of Wildeck® products and services, visit www.wildeck.com or e-mail info@wildeck.com.

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