Melfred Borzall’s Red Tools Going Green

October 2008 Vol. 63 No. 10

By 2006, Melfred Borzall added more tool production equipment, increasing its electrical needs. Around this time, management installed over 450 new, larger solar panels to the existing system. The upgrade was completed in January 2007 and brought the total solar electric production to 135kW, making it the largest system in Santa Barbara County.

“We are very excited about the upgrade to our system. The new system is even more efficient and we anticipate meeting over 90 percent of our power requirements through solar energy,” Melsheimer said.

According to Melsheimer, as of October 2007, the plant has not used any net grid supplied power since February 2007. Sept. 1, 2007, marked a milestone for MB solar power with the accumulated production of 500,000 kW hours of solar electricity; enough energy to power 30 homes for a year and reduce the production of 620,000 pounds of green house gases that a fossil fuel power plant would have produced.

Melfred Borzall doesn’t stop at solar power. Recently, they replaced the metal halide plant lighting with high efficiency T5 fluorescent lights. This reduced electrical use for lighting by half. Skylights provide free natural lighting in offices and production spaces. MB also provides flexible scheduling to employees who leave their cars at home and use public transportation. Several MB employees now regularly commute by bicycle to work.

“We try by example and incentives to encourage our employees to look at the ways they use energy,” Melsheimer said.

Right stuff

In addition to solar power and energy efficiency, Melfred Borzall has a commitment to “doing business the right way.”

“As an independent, family run business, we have the opportunity to choose to do business in a responsible manner,” Melsheimer stressed. “Our employees are essential partners in the business and it shows in their commitment to make quality tools.”

Melsheimer went on to say, “We try to make sure our suppliers are also concerned about their impact on the environment. We don’t import parts, castings or materials from outside the United States as some other tooling companies have started to do. Not only are there quality and safety concerns, often the materials are made in factories that pollute the environment. All MB tools are manufactured in California, using steel from American mills and castings from American foundries. Since 1999, we have purchased only U.S. made CNC machine tools and welding equipment. Our major partners, DCD, Geological Boring and Premier Drill Pipe all produce their products in North America.”