Plenty of Green (Initiatives) on NAB Show Floor

Las Vegas may be known for taking your green, but, at this year’s NAB Show, green is everywhere. From batteries to mobile-production trailers to LED lights, environmentally friendly initiatives are being undertaken by multiple exhibitors.

Anton/Bauer, a Vitec Group brand, has been trumpeting its green initiatives for several years, not necessarily because of the company’s environmental responsibility but because those products serve a purpose for the industry.

“Last year, we launched 60-watt solar chargers that you can bring in a backpack,” says Shie Nakano, product manager for Anton/Bauer. “You can put the sheet outside and use solar power to charge the battery. Of course, these are not produced for the purpose of being green; it’s for the people who go into the field and have no power.”

Instead of using generators, which require diesel fuel and cause emissions, the solar chargers take just 4.5 hours to charge a 90–watt-hour lithium-ion battery and are much lighter to carry than a generator and fuel.

Many of Anton/Bauer’s batteries are designed to last two to three years, so the cells do not need to be recycled as often as most batteries. And when they do need recycling, customers are asked to send them back so that the company can collect and recycle them properly.

“We suggest to every single distributor that they do the disposal of the batteries free of charge as well,” Nakano says. “We are very environmentally concerned as a company.”

Frontline Communications, part of Oshkosh Corp., is also environmentally minded.

“We have green initiatives from top to bottom, down to the spray-in foam insulation that can’t emit any gas,” says Bob King, international sales manager for Frontline Communications. “In our factory, all of our labor practices also have to be green.”

Frontline uses a computer-controlled machine to cut the parts for its trucks out of aluminum, and, although the scraps and shavings fly all over the room, the company sweeps up those shavings and turns in the aluminum for credit.

“When we cut wire for a patch bay, now the excess goes to a company that buys it from us, recycles it, and pulls out the copper that’s inside of it. We don’t pitch anything anymore. Even the cardboard boxes that the equipment comes in get folded up and compressed.”

The Frontline factory has switched from mercury-vapor lights to CFL bulbs, and  power consumption has dropped dramatically throughout the building.

LED lights are another green lighting option, and Litepanels, also a Vitec Group brand, has incorporated LEDs throughout its offerings.

“Power consumption of LED is so extremely low that, on a one-by-one, the output is 500 watts but it’s consuming only 45 watts of power,” explains Michele Bailey, sales manager for Litepanels. “If we had standard HMI lighting, you would need a big generator for power. Now we have one plug for 16 units, and you can plug it into a regular home outlet.”

In addition, every Litepanels product is compliant with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive.

“Everything that puts these lights together is recyclable, even the solder,” Bailey says. “We even changed the packaging of the one-by-one to be all-recyclable materials.”