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E3: Economy, Energy and Environment

E3 Success Story - Teaming with the Green Suppliers Network: Har-Conn Chrome Company

Company Basics

  • Headquarters: West Hartford, Connecticut

Assessment Details

  • Year: 2004
  • Team: CONNSTEP, Inc., a NIST MEP

Har-Conn Chrome Company (Har-Conn) is an independently owned metal-finishing company specializing in aerospace and high-technology applications of electroplating and related coatings. Like any company competing in today's low-cost world, Har-Conn looks for cost savings wherever it can find them—which is why Har-Conn's president, Tim Backus, has teamed with the Green Suppliers Network. CONNSTEP, the Connecticut MEP center, worked with Har-Conn to conduct a top-level assessment of the company. From this analysis, CONNSTEP identified on-time delivery, lead times, energy usage, and external and internal rework as well as areas where Har-Conn can make significant improvements that can save the company up to $424,500 annually. To date, the Har-Conn/CONNSTEP team has completed training in lean/green awareness and value stream mapping and has begun working on the following improvement opportunities:

  • Improve management of boiler fuel (annual cost savings of $36,008) and recover compressor waste heat (annual savings of $2,601). Since undergoing a Green Suppliers Network review, Har-Conn has also completed an energy audit that identified a 16-percent reduction in energy bills.
  • Install rinse water flow controls (annual cost savings of $13,353) and determine optimal water setting on rinse tanks to promote cleanliness and ensure the continued integrity of the plating.
  • Track internal rework with immediate feedback to the floor.
  • Develop a process to encourage staff to readily impart existing knowledge and cross-train on the best practices and standard work procedures.

"By helping us to set and achieve these targets, the Green Suppliers Network is helping our company to increase productivity and customer satisfaction while, at the same time, reducing wastes and environmental impact. It's very gratifying to prove that companies like ours can become greener and increase profitability at the same time!"

— Tim Backus, President, Har-Conn