Saint-Gobain, a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of materials and services for the construction and industrial markets, has installed upgraded equipment and a smart water submetering system through its building products subsidiary CertainTeed at its Jackson, Michigan, siding plant.
CertainTeed uses process water in Jackson to cool vinyl siding products manufactured on-site, and recycled water is used in vacuum pumps, which is key to certain steps in the manufacturing process.
Early career participants in Saint-Gobain’s Essentials of Manufacturing Development Program have developed an alert system that helps notify the Jackson team of leaks and accidental overuse so that these issues can be identified and fixed quickly. The plant has also invested in a closed loop system for its vacuum pumps, allowing the facility to reuse the water needed for its production process.
The system captures nearly 100% of all water flowing through the site and works by allowing the plant to closely manage how much water is being used during each step of the manufacturing process. The installation reduces the site’s consumption of water by over 9 million gallons per year, making it a reduction of over 50% compared to 2019 levels.
Joe Bondi, vice president and general manager of CertainTeed Sidings Product Group, said the smart water submetering system at the Jackson plant has shown how enhanced technology and optimization of equipment can have a large impact.
This new technology follows the company’s announcement in 2022 of an investment of $72 million in funding to upgrade equipment in Canada, creating the first zero-carbon drywall plant in North America. Last year the company also installed recycling technology at its gypsum plant in Florida, increasing the recycled content in its wallboard products.
Saint-Gobain continues to implement its Grow and Impact strategy, which includes reducing the company’s industrial water withdrawal by 50% by 2030, becoming net zero by 2050, and other environmental sustainability goals. The investment in water-saving technology represents another step the company is taking to solidify its commitment to sustainability.