A LETTER FROM THE
PRESIDENT OF ALLIANCE RUBBER CO.
As traditional work methods give way to more customized solutions, the need to keep our individual lives more organized is growing. Alliance Rubber Company manufactures more than 2,400 products each year and markets them in 60+ countries all to help individuals and workplaces with their projects. The need for organization was something our Dad, William Spencer, understood. It fueled his vision for the company, founded in 1923 in Alliance, Ohio.
We are now celebrating the fourth generation of family ownership, with more than 155 team members— who are an integral part of our continuing success. Their attitude toward quality and the passion they bring in producing a quality product distinguish the brand. 62% of the Alliance Rubber Company team has been with the company for over five years and they help us make some of the world’s best rubber band products at our manufacturing facility in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
For nearly a century, Alliance Rubber Company has been organizing the world in fun, affordable ways. Dedicated to “Holding Your World Together” by providing the best organizational tools at the best value, all the reasons Alliance Rubber Company remains a respected leader in manufacturing.
For the Alliance family, sustainability is a forward-thinking concept based on a strategy that incorporates environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic prosperity…
ALLIANCE: WHO WE ARE
Alliance Rubber Company is a family-owned, highly specialized manufacturer of rubber band products and distributor of related products to the global market. Since 1923, our team members have been our most valuable asset in growing our core business and pursuing market-driven opportunities for the diversification of product lines. In return for their support, Alliance Rubber Company promotes its long-term responsibility to its customers, team members, suppliers, community, and shareholders.
We provide innovative products and services of exceptional quality and value for our customers. We provide opportunities for empowerment, self-improvement, and competitive compensation in a safe working environment for our team members. We provide the opportunity for a mutually beneficial relationship for our suppliers. We provide human, economic, and responsible environmental support for the local and U.S. community. We provide a fair return on investment for our shareholders.
Alliance quality is not an end; it is a continual process. It is the never-ceasing quest for superior products at increased efficiency. It is the ability of any individual in any area of our organization to be securely aware that our customers throughout the world are receiving Alliance products on time and free of concern or defect.
The Alliance product in the consumer’s hand represents our talent and dedication as individuals and our collective awareness that we are judged not by our best performance, but by the performance of each of the millions of items we produce and market daily. Alliance quality is the product of our preparation, education, and consistency.
The raw materials that comprise our natural rubber product formulas (in both product form and, ultimately, in product degradation) are environmentally friendly and are made from rapidly renewable resources. Rubber bands are manufactured from materials derived from natural sources without damaging those sources for use by future generations and are therefore a sustainable product by definition.
Alliance rubber bands comply with the specifications of FDA21CFR part 177.2600 for food contact of rubber articles and are also compliant with European Union Directive 2002/95/EC on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and subsequent amended directives.
Inks used to imprint our rubber bands are compliant with:
- 16CFR 1303 Lead Contents
- ASTM F963 Heavy Metals Contents (US)
- EN 71 Pt 3 Heavy Metals Contents (Europe)
Alliance poly bags are recyclable and certified compliant with the applicable restrictions on the presence of certain heavy metals as stipulated by the Coalition of Northeast Governors’ (CONEG) model legislation. Additionally, the polyethylene film employed to produce the bags is compliant with 21 CFR, 16 CFR, and the State of CA Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 – Proposition 65 as well as meeting the requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for material to be used in contact with meat and poultry prepared under federal inspection.
Alliance retail boxes – 1 pound & ¼ pound – are made from 100% recycled material with a minimum of 35% post-consumer content. Additionally, the inks and coatings used to print the boxes are 16CFR and CONEG compliant.
Alliance master cases contain, on average, 36% recycled fiber (6% post-industrial and 30% post-consumer) and are 100% recyclable. The inks used to print the master cases are compliant with CONEG and conform to 16CFR1303.
ALLIANCE RUBBER CO.
OUR MANUFACTURING PROCESS
Since 1996 Alliance Rubber Company has operated an in-house wastewater treatment center under the direction of our on-staff operator (licensed by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality). Discharge of industrial wastewater is monitored, sampled, and analyzed to remain compliant with city code 4577 as well as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regulation 40 CFR 403 and any applicable provisions of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.
In November 2009 Alliance added a new Nitrogen System which serves as our internal support for pushing air into rubber band tubing as it is extruded. Our Nitrogen Generators produce up to 99.95% pure, compressed nitrogen from nearly any compressed air supply. The generators are designed to continually transform standard compressed air into nitrogen at safe, regulated pressures without operator attention. One of the reasons for adding this system was to prevent the tubing from sticking together in the absence of talc when Alliance converted to a talc-free process. At the time of its inception, the estimated annual savings expectation was set at $60,682 and we have met or exceeded this estimate.
As we upgrade or replace any equipment, one of our primary goals is to be energy efficient. Entergy Arkansas works with us on large projects to ensure a positive impact from the result. Working with Entergy Arkansas through their Entergy Solutions Program, Alliance embarked on an energy-saving lighting retrofit in 2010 that has reduced annual consumption by an estimated 259,751 kWh. Further reductions will be realized through regular review and replacement of existing electric motors, lighting innovations, and HVAC systems with more efficient alternatives as opportunity dictates.
In addition, in 2010, Alliance replaced our existing HVAC-based air-cooled primary chiller with a Smardt Turbocor chiller system with a water cooling tower. Chilled water is an integral part of our manufacturing process to keep our production machinery cooled to offset the heat caused by friction build-up in normal operation. The oil-free Turbocor technology achieves the highest efficiencies for chillers and chilled water systems including water, air, and evaporatively-cooled applications. Combined with a plate and frame heat exchanger we can meet our chilled water needs without the compressor ever engaging when ambient temperatures are below 40 degrees yielding a reduction of up to 130 kW per hour. Ours was the first chiller of this caliber to be installed in the State of Arkansas and is still considered
“the” state-of-the-art chilling equipment available in the market. Based on conservative estimates supplied to Alliance by Clear Results Consulting Engineers, annual savings were expected to be $24,183. Coupled with an Entergy Arkansas incentive payment of $21,131, the Chilled Water Project will pay for itself by the end of 2017 and provide reliable chilled water for many years.
In September 2013 we put our Minor Batch Ingredient System into full production. This automated system measures and ensures that the proper amounts of additional ingredients are added to raw rubber to result in accurate band grade formulas and batch consistency. An equally important benefit of this equipment is that it improves the air quality for personnel working in this area.
In May 2016 we added a GS-160 VSD Atlas Copco compressor to our air system. This increased the overall supply-side efficiency by 28 percent. Entergy Solutions audit estimated that this would reduce our electric usage by 243,761 kWh annually at an energy cost savings over the previous compressor of $18,484.66.
Hover over each box to learn more about our improvements:
Other improvements we have made or are making include:
The installation of 2 new packaging machines and scale systems have improved efficiency in weighing poly bags and reducing waste of poly bags.
We are in the process of installing an extrusion line upgrade that will improve the process and product quality, as well as reduce water, air, and electricity usage while improving air quality in this area.
Wherever we make equipment upgrades or changes we also make every attempt to replace propane gas with electricity as a power source which reduces our carbon footprint. For example, to date, we have replaced 4 gas-powered forklifts with electric forklifts and will continue this process as our remaining forklifts are replaced.