Entech began the process of achieving their ISO 9001: 2008 certification for Micronized Rubber Powder (MRP) thermoplastics in July 2016. The need arose in the early stages of testing MRP in automotive applications where there is a strong demand for recycled content. Entech’s vertical operations of tire recycling, MRP production, tooling, compounding and injection molding was ideally suited to advance the technology and set the bar of excellence by becoming ISO certified.
Why ISO Certification for MRP Thermoplastics Was So Important
The environmental impact of tire recycling is significant. In 1990 there were over one billion used tires stockpiled in the United States alone. With advances in technology and the desire to find economically viable applications, that number was reduced by 92 percent by 2013.1 This same report shows that, as of 2013, automotive and molded/extruded markets accounted for 39 percent of recycled tire rubber utilization. Knowing this, Entech’s CEO Lavon Detweiler and Business Development Manager Neal Frey made ISO certification a priority.
Michigan Tire Stockpile 2008
Entech reached out to Randy Bender of Bender Consulting to help with the process. “It’s rare for companies to achieve ISO certification in this niche. Tire recycling presents many challenges in producing consistent raw materials. Until now, MRP was typically only used for imprecise applications such as infill, turf and track surfaces. Entech’s achievement sets them apart as the leader in MRP formulation and processing of finished parts,” says Bender.
The automotive market and other applications for molded/extruded products require sustainable sources of raw materials and finished parts. The need for consistency alone drives the need for ISO Certification, but it’s much more that. “It’s about raising the bar. When we first started molding parts with MRP, we didn’t think ultra precise surface finishes were possible. Now we’re producing incredible surface finishes,” says Detweiler.
Impact of the ISO Certification Process on the Company
“The value of ISO certification goes beyond producing a consistent level of raw material and finished parts. It creates a systems-oriented and continuous-improvement culture. We’ve become systems thinkers,” says Lavon.
“The process of becoming ISO certified ties our purpose together. We see the environmental impact and how we can help advance resin formulation and thermoplastics processing technology as a purposeful endeavor. We want to see these technologies take off and believe it will be good for everyone.” says Neal.
Bender summarizes his engagement with Entech by saying “It was a very rewarding experience to see a lot of great people learning and developing skills that will lead to ongoing success. They are a great company.”
1 “2013 U.S. Scrap Tire Management Summary” Rubber Manufacturers Association, 2014