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Plastic Manufacturers Implement New Energy Efficient Technologies Into Practice in Wisconsin

Apr 06, 2011 12:53 AM est    Location: Madison, Wisconsin United States

MADISON, Wis., April 4, 2011 -- With the help of Focus on Energy, Wisconsin utilities’ statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, in partnership with We Energies and Xcel Energy, Xten Industries (Xten) and Pactiv Corporation (Pactiv) have implemented energy efficient emerging technologies into practice. These efforts have improved core manufacturing processes without compromising product quality and Xten and Pactiv expect to save a combined 500,000 kWh annually thanks to these efforts -- that's enough energy to power 50 homes for a year.


Newly designed radiant heater bands were installed on plastic injection machines at Xten and on a large plastic sheet extrusion machine at Pactiv. The innovative radiant heater band design addresses traditional barrel heating and cooling inefficiencies. It hastens warm-up times and can make cool-down systems more effective—saving time, energy, and money.


"We were skeptical at first that something this simple could have the projected impact. After testing and measuring the results, we hope to install them on the rest of our extruders," said Mike Arrigoni, engineer, Pactiv.


The energy efficiency efforts of implementing this technology are expected to save Pactiv and Xten more than $10,000 in energy costs each year and is equivalent to offsetting more than 197 barrels of oil from being burned—eliminating more than 169,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) from being released into the atmosphere.


In addition, variable-frequency drive hydraulic control systems were installed on eight hydraulic presses at Xten. Instantaneously Xten saw reduced energy consumption. This technology allows pump motors to run only when there is demand for hydraulic fluid instead of running at full throttle all the time.


"In the past, the motors ran flat out all the time," says Mark Dirr, director of engineering at Xten. "Now with the retrofit controls, they run just enough to get the job done. This saves a lot of electricity."


The energy efficiency efforts of implementing this technology are expected to save more than $40,000 in energy costs each year and is equivalent to offsetting more than 785 barrels of oil from being burned—eliminating more than 675,000 pounds of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.


"We're proud of Pactiv and Xten for implementing these innovative emerging technologies into practice," said Ken Williams, Focus on Energy's business programs director. "These businesses continue to investigate new technologies and find more ways to save energy; they are positive examples for other businesses to follow."


Since 2001, Focus on Energy has delivered cost-effective energy solutions to Wisconsin residents and businesses. Focus can help businesses identify and evaluate energy saving opportunities, develop energy management plans, and arrange technical training opportunities about energy conservation -- helping improve bottom lines and lower operating cost. For more information on Focus on Energy, call 800.762.7077 or visit

Pactiv logo

About Pactiv Corporation


Pactiv Corporation with a facility in Chippewa Falls, Wis. was founded in 1999. It produces plastic products for the U.S. foodservice and food packaging markets. Its Hefty® brand is one of the nation's most widely recognized brands. For more information, visit .


About Xten Industries


Xten Industries based in Kenosha, Wis. was founded in 1940. It develops plastic parts, assembled components, and subassemblies for small- and medium-sized manufacturers. For more information, visit .


About Focus on Energy


Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus information, resources, and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed, or to complete projects sooner than scheduled. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment, and control the state's growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information, call 800.762.7077 or visit .