Thermal processing products firm Harper International has launched Beacon, a program allowing carbon fiber manufacturers to evaluate the carbon footprint of their manufacturing process and identify opportunities for improvement.
Beacon can analyze various plant configurations and capacities, precursors, and energy recovery options, and uses them to rank the environmental impact of a manufacturing line. Through this process Beacon develops a baseline and a facility-specific metric that can be used to develop improvement plans to drive energy efficiency and lower costs, Harper says.
Seeking out such energy efficiency and increasing environmental responsibility is key to the carbon fiber industry gaining business in major industries such as the automotive sector, Harper says.
Visitors to harperbeacon.com can use a preview survey that evaluates the carbon footprint in a short example, using design parameters such as tow size, tow spacing, line size and production rate. Results are given in both chart form and a graphical representation (pictured). The complete Beacon model analyzes over 100 design parameters, Harper says.