Fisher Controls International
Fisher had already reduced VOC emissions from its painting operation by finding a water based paint (see previous case study). Water based formulations are not completely VOC free, and the aluminum parts needed to be pretreated with a chrome based process for paint adhesion. This chrome based process generated hazardous waste (recycled), used high volumes of water, and exposed our employees to hazardous chemicals.
The new powder paint operation will impact every area of environmental concern. It will reduce solid waste generation, reduce water discharges, reduce energy usage, significantly improve employee safety, eliminate hazardous waste generation, and eliminate VOC emissions.
The powder paint system is nearly 100% efficient. The surface preparation wash tank in the system was designed so that water makeup for each chemical tank, due to evaporation, is drawn from the following rinse process (counter current process). Only the rinse process is replenished with fresh water. Oil skimmers and filtration keep contaminates at a minimum. This system allows for the process to be operated with at most four bath dumps per year. Fisher also installed natural gas fired ovens to replace electric ovens to reduce energy consumption.
This process eliminated the generation of 4 tons per year of hazardous chrome sludge, and also eliminated 18,000 pounds of VOC emissions. Non-hazardous solid waste was decreased by 220,000 pounds and water use was reduced in excess of 2,000,000 per year.
Details of Reductions
Additional Information :
The $1.2 million project is expected to have a favorable pay back period of 3.0-3.5 years. The change in process also eliminated employee exposure to hazardous chemicals.