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Annual honor recognizes National Association of Trailer Manufacturers member with the year’s best solution or innovation that positively affects the environment.
PPG Commercial Coatings and the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) have named Load Trail, a Sumner, Texas-based manufacturer of custom-built trailers, as the recipient of the 2015 Green Manufacturing Award. The award presentation took place Feb. 13 at the NATM’s 27th annual convention and trade show in New Orleans. Corney Thiessen, Load Trail CEO, accepted the award.
The Green Manufacturing Award recognizes the NATM member with the year’s best solution or innovation that positively affects the environment. Award contenders are judged on case studies that demonstrate improved, ecologically conscious performance in their operations. Companies must provide documentation of the green initiatives or improvements they have implemented. Load Trail made its case for the award in the area of pretreatment chemistry.
Established in 1996 in a 38,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, Load Trail has grown to encompass more than 420,000 square feet, with manufacturing facilities that include 14 mechanized production lines and a fully equipped fabrication shop. The company’s vision is to become the premier trailer manufacturer in North America. Recognizing the environmental responsibility such an objective requires, Load Trail evaluated options in pretreatment chemistry prior to powder coating that would achieve:
- Overall environmentally friendly chemistry
- Enhanced adhesion and corrosion protection
- Reduction in chemical heat requirements
- Reduction in water consumption
- Reduction in chemical concentration requirements
After extensive testing with its powder supplier, the company changed its pretreatment chemistry from iron phosphate to an advanced, nonregulated zirconium pretreatment specifically formulated for Load Trail and named “Load Trail Green Z.” The modification resulted in:
- A safer work environment for pretreatment employees
- A chemistry health rating of one (improved from two)
- Increased corrosion protection
- Reduction of chemical concentration from 3-4 percent to 0.5 percent
- Reduced water requirements – zirconium pretreatment at the use concentration of 0.5 percent requires no post-rinse
- Marked reduction in propane use, with chemical heat requirement reduced from 150f to 80-90f.
The Green Manufacturing Award includes a cash gift that the winner may direct to a charitable organization of its choice. Load Trail selected Roots & Wings International Ministries, a nonprofit group based in Honey Grove, Texas. Roots & Wings works with impoverished families in Mazatlán, Mexico, to provide a safe and nurturing setting for children who have no one to care for them while their parents are at work.
According to Ron Yarnell, PPG OEM sales manager, the Green Manufacturing Award was established to encourage NATM members to initiate environmentally responsible programs.
“We at PPG are firm advocates of environmental protection,” said Yarnell. “As the founding sponsor of the Green Manufacturing Award, we teamed with the NATM as part of our dedication to ecological accountability and to promote green improvements in the activities of our members. PPG’s financial support reflects this commitment to improving the environment.”
Yarnell added that the Green Manufacturing Award is growing in visibility and is establishing itself as the premier charitable event in the trailer industry.