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PCB | October 20, 2006

Exception PCB hires environmental officer

UK-based Exception PCB, has confirmed its commitment to responsible manufacturing with the appointment of Roger Smith as environmental officer.

Previously at heat treatments specialist Bodycote, Smith has recently adopted the day to day management of Exception's ISO14001 (2004), generally regarded as the most stringent environmental standard for engineering businesses. The appointment marks a serious commitment on the part of the printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturer, which has adopted several "green" initiatives over the last 18 months to lessen its impact on the environment. Gordon Holden, managing director at Exception PCB, said: "With water a precious and evermore expensive commodity, we recycle all our waste water back into the manufacturing process, reclaim precious metals and are planning to recycle compacted cardboard as well as plastic drinks cups and ink cartridges to lessen the impact our business has on the environment. Roger's appointment will bring new focus to that good work and ensure our approach to this key business issue is fully co-ordinated and documented." Exception undertakes the following activities to address environmental issues and re-use scarce resources wherever possible: Exception has established an in-house effluent plant to extract copper, which is deposited and recycled. This process effectively "regenerates" water, enabling clean H2O to be put back into the manufacturing process, thus also cutting down Exception's water bills. Wherever possible, Exception re-uses or recycle plastics via an approved recycling contractor - although cost neutral this initiative boosts Exception's environmental credentials and frees up valuable storage space at the Tewkesbury plant. The use of an in-house compacter dramatically reduces the number of skips required to dispose of waste. Bailing recyclables such as cardboard also ensures that it does not feed the landfill stream. Exception has also signed up with specialist recycling contractors to handle its waste boards and other finished materials left over from the manufacturing process. With precious metals becoming more of a commodity, this part of the company's environmental programme is becoming more important, as the company receives modest income from this activity. A reputable reprocessor is vital in the area, as good quality data on the volume and type of waste is an important first step in the pro-active management of manufacturing by-products. Any waste chemistry that cannot be recycled or treated in-house is funneled into IBCs (International Bulk Container - reusable plastic barrels) and dispatched to an approved contractor for treatment.
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