Manufacturing Savvy

It's Been 100 Years and They are Still Updating

James Hardie Building Products, Inc. has been manufacturing building products for more than 100 years. And they are still improving their processes.

In November the company received money from the stimulus package, Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), in order to update its fiber cement recycling operations at its trim manufacturing plant in Peru, Ill.

The $756,000 investment will be used for new hi-tech equipment that will collect and reclaim off-specification HardieTrim XLD boards and fiber cement dust for use in their new line of crown mouldings.

"It's a great example of how sustainability can be good for business," said Tom Jagiella, trim engineering manager at James Hardie. "Sometimes errors occur during the manufacturing process, which result in boards that don't measure up to James Hardie's quality standards. The standard practice within the industry is that off-spec boards are sent to a landfill. With this equipment we're able to convert them into high-quality marketable products."

The project qualified for DCEO/ARRA funding in the category of "Recycled Content Products," which is considered part of "Green Industry."

The Illinois State Energy Plan is providing more than $100 million in grants statewide, resulting in more than 12,000 green sector jobs being created over the next two years and leveraging almost $1 billion in investment.

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