Protolabs

(SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Protolabs, a digital manufacturing service, recently installed 1,900 solar panels at its manufacturing facility at 2600 Niagara Ln., Plymouth.

To celebrate Earth Day, Protolabs, a digital manufacturing service, unveiled a new solar array at its manufacturing facility at 2600 Niagara Lane in Plymouth. Nearly 1,900 solar panels were installed on the roof of the building, covering 20% of its future energy use, according to a press release.

More than 700 kilowatts of solar-powered manufacturing comes with environmental benefits. The new solar power system will offset 1.3 million pounds of CO2, which is equivalent to carbon sequestered by 775 acres of U.S. forest annually.

The company worked with Roseville-based Impact Power Solutions to install the solar panels, which occupy all usable space on the roof. The Plymouth facility is home to 330 workers and machines tools and samples parts for its injection molding service.

A Green Team, comprised of employees, was recently established to create a sustainability charter that identifies opportunities like installing solar panels. The team is also leading efforts to improve energy efficiencies, which includes everything from switching to LED light fixtures to installing high-efficiency resin dryers on the production floor.

In addition, the company is also helping companies reduce waste throughout its supply chain with digital manufacturing. By embracing a digital process, companies are able to cut down on design changes that need to be made after parts are manufactured, as well as reduce reliance on large warehouses through on-demand manufacturing.

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Kristen Miller is the community editor for the Sun Sailor, covering the communities of Plymouth, Hopkins and Minnetonka. Email story ideas to kristen.miller@apgecm.com

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