Good practices and investments related to Cleaner Production
Example No. 4
Optimization of the washing process
FAMED Żywiec sp. z o.o.
Industry branch: electrical machinery industry (manufacture of medical equipment)
Resources in question:
- Electrical energy
- Waste (hazardous)
Cost (implementation of good practice): Low
In its manufacturing processes the company uses chemical and electrochemical baths, in which steel is prepared before being bended, cut, welded and covered with varnish and nickel-chromium coating. The short life of the washing bath is a major problem. Standard baths used in the steel washing and passivation lines can be used for about six months. To maintain the high quality of steel surfaces subjected to further processing, the company had to prepare a new washing bath every six months. This process generated high costs and resulted in a considerable consumption of water, applied chemical solutions and electricity. It was also necessary to periodically dispose of the used-up bath agents.
The solution consists in the application of an emulsion separating agent in the bath, which resulted in a longer bath life. The bath, with a relevant component, has been used continuously for 13 years, still maintaining the same quality. It is regularly replenished, based on the tests of the concentration of its substances. The emulsion separating agent is dosed at intervals of 3-6 months (depending on the amount and the level of soiling of the washed elements). The used-up emulsion is collected into a separator with a work tub and periodically handed over for utilization to external companies.
Obtained benefits and effects of the implementation:
- financial savings in the amount of PLN 4,494.41 per year
- reduction of the amount of hazardous waste (used-up bath) - 6,200 liters / year
- reduction of the amount of water needed to prepare a new bath - 6,200 liters / year
- reduction of the amount of chemicals needed to prepare a new bath - 220 kg / year
The washing hall after modernization
Photo by: FAMED Żywiec sp. z o.o.
This material has been subsidized by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. The Polish Cleaner Production Movement Association is solely responsible for its content