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TRIMMING THE CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS: LIKE GOING ON A DIET, IT'S NO EASY TASK BUT AT&T'S MANUFACTURING PLANTS ARE DOING IT

 TRIMMING THE CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS: LIKE GOING ON A DIET, IT'S NO
 EASY TASK BUT AT&T'S MANUFACTURING PLANTS ARE DOING IT
 BASKING RIDGE, N.J., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- You might think that "weight loss" is probably something that happens after you've been watching what you eat and exercising for a few weeks. And you might also think that "gap analysis" is something that you might do after you've shed a few pounds and your clothes begin to get a bit looser.
 But when the AT&T group that's responsible for the company's environmental programs uses those buzzwords, they're usually talking about ozone-damaging chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) -- not calories.
 "'Weight loss' as it relates to CFCs means the pounds of emissions we've cut from our manufacturing locations," explained Dave Chittick, environment and safety engineering vice president, AT&T. "And 'gap analysis' is a management tool that many of our facilities used -- and are still using -- to cut CFCs, measuring where they are and where they want to be, and then closing that gap."
 All told, AT&T's manufacturing locations around the world cut nearly two million pounds of CFCs used as solvents from their operations -- a 76 percent reduction over the base year of 1986. Thirteen of AT&T's manufacturing locations have, in fact, completely eliminated CFC emissions from their manufacturing operations, and the rest are well on the way to meeting the company's goal to completely eliminate CFC emissions by the end of 1994.
 "Finding ways to clean flux from many different kinds of circuit boards is no easy task," Chittick said. Flux is the material applied to circuit boards before soldering electronic components onto the boards. If the flux isn't removed, it interferes with the circuit boards' performance.
 "CFCs -- a class of man-made compounds that have been linked to the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer -- are widely used as cleaners and degreasers throughout the electronics industry. At AT&T, CFCs were used in hundreds of different electronics manufacturing processes, and different kinds of circuit boards require different kinds of processes. There's no single, across-the-board answer," Chittick said.
 So scientists at AT&T Bell Laboratories set out to develop an array of CFC alternatives, which include a technology to clean electronic circuit boards with water instead of CFCs, a biodegradable cleaning solution derived from oranges, and patented flux application system that eliminates the need to clean altogether.
 At AT&T's manufacturing plant in Dallas, a group of employees -- the self-named "Toxic Avengers Team" -- recommended converting a water-based cleaner to reach its objective to become CFC emission-free. Dallas produces power supplies, which are the parts of a phone system or a computer that convert the energy from AC power lines to AC and DC power at the various voltages and frequencies required by a system's components and circuits.
 Using quality methodology (including "gap analysis"), the team found 97 percent of its CFCs was used to clean a certain kind of device on its circuit boards because of the type of flux that was being applied. Changing to a flux that could be rinsed off with water proved to be the answer to the problem.
 AT&T's plant in Singapore -- which manufactures telephones for consumers -- was the company's first location to declare itself CFC- free, going from more than 80,000 pounds of CFCs in 1988 to zero pounds in 1990. AT&T's patented no-clean technology figured largely in the plant's ability to eliminate CFCs.
 "Our Singapore staff attacked its CFC use head-on and solved it," Chittick said. "Their example helped spur the rest of us on, as we attack this important environmental issue process by process, plant by plant."
 These AT&T manufacturing facilities have completely eliminated CFC emissions from manufacturing operations:
 Dallas
 Denver
 Bangkok, Thailand (AT&T Consumer Products(1)
 and AT&T Microelectronics)
 Guadalajara, Mexico(1)
 Largo, Fla.
 Little Rock, Ark.
 Madrid, Spain(1)
 Marietta, Ga.
 Matamoros, Mexico
 Monterrey, Mexico
 Montgomery, Ill.
 Richmond, Va.
 Shreveport, La.
 Singapore
 (1) CFC-free from start-up
 -0- 3/24/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs are available. David R. Chittick is available for interviews./
 /CONTACT: Barbara Baklarz of AT&T, 908-204-8264/ CO: AT&T ST: New Jersey IN: SU:


SM -- NYEFNS4 -- 0839 03/24/92 06:54 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 24, 1992
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