LightManufacturing’s Solar Rotational Molding system, hard at work.
Boston (March 16, 2012)—Technomad recently teamed up with LightManufacturing in a new effort that will use solar technology to Vienna and Vernal loudspeakers. The move is expected to slice production costs up to 30 percent while reducing the company’s carbon footprint—and introduce a new production process to the professional audio and AV space.
LightManufacturing’s method is based around a patent-pending method of molding plastic with solar heat. The company’s unique Solar Rotational Molding systems reportedly eliminate greenhouse gasses associated with traditional rotational molding while reducing manufacturing costs
The SRM process uses computer-controlled mirrors to concentrate heat from the sun onto a mold and melt the plastic inside. The sun’s thermal energy is used directly, avoiding the costs of making electricity with photovoltaic panels. The process reportedly delivers higher quality parts at a lower cost than traditional rotational molding, and the companies estimate the resultant savings of 10 to 30 percent. The nearly silent SRM systems use no natural gas or external AC power, and the hardware costs less than traditional rotational molding systems. LightManufacturing now molds most of Technomad’s Vienna and Vernal loudspeakers at its California facility, with larger models to follow.
Technomad already knows something about sustainable manufacturing, having produced its weatherproof MilSpec loudspeakers using recycled plastic. As a result, the company’s speakers have been known to be specified into AV projects with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) requirements.
“Technomad is the first company in the professional audio industry to take advantage of solar thermal energy,” said Rodger von Kries, vice president of Technomad. “We’ve always worked on the cutting edge of green manufacturing, being the first company to use 100 percent recycled plastic to make loudspeaker cabinets. The LightManufacturing partnership brings new advantages by reducing our costs while benefiting the environment.”