As a manufacturer, we're lucky to be able to make a product which is expected to last longer than a teenager's tee shirt! We're also fortunate to be able to make our machines from materials which are 99% recyclable… or already recycled.
Aeronaut started manufacturing plotters in the early '90s and automated cutters a few years later and the vast majority are still working somewhere in the world. Many machines have had their electronics upgraded and many new cutters have been fitted to existing vacuum tables.
Because our machines are made mainly from aluminium, they can be easily and economically recycled. Aluminium is infinitely recyclable. Recycling uses 5% of the energy required to make the metal in the first place. Aluminium does not rust or corrode during normal use. So all ways up, it's a first class material in environmental terms.
Most Aeronaut vacuum tables have a sacrificial cutting surface made from recycled plastic board. Once the cutting surface is no longer suitable, it can also be recycled, back into the same material.
The drive systems on Aeronaut cutters draw very little power and the iMac computers we mainly use are industry leaders in low energy consumption. In fact the biggest electricity user on an Aeronaut cutting system is the vacuum pump and typically, Aeronaut vacuum tables are market leaders in terms of efficiency and low energy use.
At Aeronaut we're always looking for ways to improve our environmental performance and have recently installed a solar cell array on the factory roof, so we now make a significant part of our annual energy use.
Measures we have taken to reduce our carbon footprint:
- Switched to LED lighting throughout the facility - annual energy saving estimated at 17,309 KWh per annum.
- Installed solar panels on factory to supply 40-50% of annual electricity use.
- Aeronaut are participants in the BINTRIM Program run by the Environment Protection Authority NSW. This Recycling program has reduced our land fill waste to 18%. Future plans are to reduce to 9% by 2017.
Recycled items includes:
- Aluminium and other metals
- Machine oils and coolants
- Paper and cardboard
- Plastic wrap
- Reduce power use where possible by turning off lights, computers, factory machinery etc when not in use.
- Installed a filtered drinking water system, need of water bottle deliveries.
- Use mostly rechargeable batteries.
- Purchased only low emission vehicles.
- All landscaping using only arid plants that don’t require watering under normal conditions.
- Won a Highly Commended award for Outstanding Environmental Sustainability in the Northern Beaches Local Business Awards 2016.