Handling hazardous waste safely: More transparency in green production - Case Study
Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) processes and tasks are becoming increasingly complex. With the changes to the German energy law taking effect, companies are facing increased obligations to produce evidence and documentation. ARBURG, a mechanical engineering company, was looking for a solution to allow it to process the rising volume of data more quickly, as well as to consistently document all actions and audits. The company has been using Quentic software to manage all its EHS processes since 2012.
About ARBURG GmbH + Co KG
ARBURG is one of the leading manufacturers of high-end injection molding machines for plastics processing. The family-run business was founded in 1923 and employs today around 2,000 people. At its sole production site in Loßburg, Germany, the company manufactures electric, hybrid and hydraulic injection molding machines and additive manufacturing systems.
Resource-friendly and energy-efficient production is part of everyday business for the mechanical engineering company. As early as 1998 they had their combined quality and environmental management system certified according to the international standards ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. In addition, the certification according to ISO 50001, which confirms the company’s efficient use of energy, was acquired in 2012.
Modular system instead of isolated solutions
While preparing for the energy audits, the company noticed that many processes were not efficient enough. For example, various isolated solutions were used in the EHS area: Access databases and Word files, lists for tracking actions, as well as specific software programs for hazardous chemicals and waste. All told, things were not exactly working well. Thus the machine builder looked around for a better system. The results of the search on the German market were, however, nothing but further isolated solutions. “Our key requirement for the new system was that we would be able to centrally manage our waste and hazardous chemicals, but at the same time be able to better control internal audits and actions. As an integrated solution for all these key areas, Quentic really suited our needs,” says Walter Däumler, Head of Quality and Environmental Management at ARBURG. Since then, roughly 50 audits and on-site inspections, as well as numerous technical inspections are planned, documented and assessed using the software every year.
Protection from dangers
Currently, the company maintains more than 1,000 working and hazardous chemicals in the Hazardous Chemicals module: lubricating coolants, varnishes, adhesives, and various oils. Each chemical in this central database is labeled according to GHS/CLP and linked to the corresponding safety data sheet. Using a filter makes it possible to instantly identify chemicals and their properties. Moreover, the system automatically checks whether the chemicals can be stored together. In the past, the company was unable to systematically maintain safety data sheets. Today, the sheets are regularly updated thanks to automatic reminders sent by the software. Requests to suppliers are likewise automatically generated.
Transparent waste management
All waste that is accumulated during production is recorded in the Environmental Management module. The waste register at ARBURG contains more than 60 different waste types (mainly steel scrap, cardboard packaging, and scrap paper) including more than 20 that are hazardous. In order to ensure that all chemicals are correctly disposed of, certain wastes, such as used oil, can be directly classified as a hazardous good. Some features, such as the automatic calculation of indicators on the basis of recorded data, are particularly helpful for the environmental officer. Additional resources, such as electricity and water, can also be monitored and evaluated with the software. To this end, the electricity and water meters are recorded step-by-step and all tariffs and consumption rates are saved within the system.
Since 2012 ARBURG is using the following Quentic modules:
- Quentic Core
- Health & Safety
- Hazardous Chemicals
- Risks & Audits
- Legal Compliance
- Environmental Management