Last summer, 50 college students were disseminated throughout the Daikin Texas Technology Park. Each intern was charged with seeking process improvements that would eliminate waste, improve efficiency and realize cost savings to the organization. The interns were placed in groups and projects were assigned by commodity. "It was impressive to see the various ideas, high level of enthusiasm and tenacity the interns showed when attacking recycling issues." During the final presentations, every group offered innovative and viable solutions for continual improvement; and, I am pleased to announce that the work the interns started continues today.
Intern Nicholas Trevino and the Metals group worked with Meredith LaBarge in Production Engineering and our assembly team to eliminate scrap wire from broken bundles. This team also worked with the wiring department, procurement, environmental team and our metals recycler to establish a recycling program for intact wires and negotiated a $1/pound rebate. Courtney Nordgran and the General Waste team coordinated waste assessments and sought recycling opportunity with third parties. When this team completed their co-op, they passed the baton to the environmental team and purchasing. Our first 20 pallet load of plastics will be sent out next Wednesday! Next stop stretch wrap. Raymond Lau and the Wood team wanted to find a way to eliminate wood waste from landfill and landfill charges. They sought to separate heat treated pallets from those chemically treated. Once the pallets were segregated the heat treated pallets could be processed and reuse as mulch. This team worked with Operations, Facilities, Environmental and Purchasing. Today, we have three wood recyclers and continue to eliminated this recyclable stream from going to landfill. These are just a few examples of how the projects started or investigated by our interns not only produced great ideas but have been brought to fruition.
A special thanks to Sean Smith, Maria Veracierto, Angie McDonald, and Mike Howell for overseeing the interns on this project!