A more environmentally friendly manufacturing process combined with an advanced wastewater recovery system in and around the Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems manufacturing operation in Huntington, Indiana has earned recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Bendix Huntington has received a 2023 Better Project award from the department’s Better Plants program for its efforts in reducing the environmental impact of its engine vibration damper production. This award acknowledges partners for implementing industrial energy, water, and waste projects at individual facilities. According to the company’s recent press release, the DOE formally recognized Bendix and other Better Project honorees at this year’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit.
According to Bendix, this year marks the third consecutive year that the Better Plants program has recognized Bendix. The company earned a Better Project award in 2022 for its 1.168-megawatt solar installation, and again in 2021 when the company earned a Better Practice award for its “Zero Waste to Landfill” self-certification process.
Cleanliness of the raw materials and parts used in these dampers is a main factor in their quality and performance, so it’s a crucial production step. After switching from chemical cleaners to a more sustainable water-based cleaning solution, however, Bendix found itself facing much higher water usage to meet the cleanliness quality standards. Bendix’s solution, according to the company, was to use a high-vacuum evaporator that boils the wastewater from the cleaning process at a lower temperature, then cleans and condenses the steam to create a high-quality distillate that can be reused in the washing system. The company notes that this process allows for the recovery of 90% of the water that comes into the evaporator, with the remaining 10% becoming a nonhazardous concentrate liquid waste.