Matrex Case Study

Matrex – Greensboro, NC

Matrex is located in Greensboro, North Carolina, and has been a registered member of the EFEC program since 2011. The facility manufactures a wide variety of sheet and strip webbing. These are used by manufacturers to provide internal support for seating systems. The main processes consist of knitting and assembly, shipping and receiving, and office staff. The facility also buys and re-sells a number of components that are used in finished furniture manufacturing; some examples are webbing, legs, and imported fabrics.

2015 Accomplishments:

  • Conducted a thorough review of unused equipment and assets and repurposed or recycled all possible with an added benefit of reducing rental storage costs – as measured by:
    • Reduction in total number of unused assets
      • Branch 0009 sold the remaining unused braided cord equipment
      • Branch 0340 sold foam bundling equipment
  • Search for ways to divert shrink wrap and yarn bags from the landfill.
    • All plastic shrink wrap is separated and taken to Triad Paper for recycling. While the volume is insufficient for Triad Paper to track and compensate us for these shipments, they are no longer being diverted to the landfill.
  • Both facilities switched to a new filtered water supplier. Using this new supplier, branch 0340 no longer generates the empty 5-gallon water bottles that fed their previous system and they are no longer being landfilled.

The EFEC team set appropriate written goals for 2016:

  1. Eliminate the thin plastic waste from the landfill: knitting production uses thousands of spools of yarn and every spool of yarn is covered by a thin, flexible plastic bag. These bags are not accepted by the municipality’s recycling program as they tangle in the recycling equipment. The goal is to eliminate all of the thin plastic bags from yarn spools from our landfill.
  2. Reduce wood scraps from landfill: Seek to eliminate all scrap wood produced from the landfill by converting it into a useful byproduct. The seat board portion of the operation is a source of wood board scrap. Facility has not been able to identify an outlet for the wood scrap, but does know that sawdust can be used to fuel boilers, as this was a facility practice many years ago.
    • The facility purchased a new grinder and will convert the scrap wood to dust and determine outlets who can accept the dust as fuel, thereby keeping the scrap wood out of landfill.
  3. Reduce scrap cost per part produced. Controlling the amount of scrap generated is a key component of controlling costs and maintaining a competitive position in the market. And further, controlling the amount of scrap keeps material and electricity use and water generated lower as well.
    • Reduce the 2016 cost of scrap per part produced by 20% from 2015. Scrap was $0.90 per part in 2015. The goal for 2016 is $0.74 per part.

The two facilities organized a cleanup event in November 2015 for the streets adjacent to Branch 0009. During this event, crews picked up litter for a half-mile in every direction of the plant. Additionally, both facilities collect and donate denim to Blue Jeans Go Green. All denim collected through the Blue Jeans Go Green denim recycling program is recycled into UltraTouch Denim Insulation, and a portion of it, up to 250,000 square feet, will be distributed to help communities in need.