Metals Industry - Case Studies
This information was compiled by PPRC and Oregon DEQ.
TitleBusinessKeywordsProducts & ProcessesSummaryWater /Sewer / Wastewater SavingsEnergy SavingsChemical ReductionHazardous Waste/Emission ReductionLinkSecond Link (If applicable)
Energy and Hazardous Waste Reduction at FoundryCrow ValveArc melt furnace, energyValve and fire hydrant manufacturer (and iron foundry)Replaced two electric arc melt furnaces (in iron foundry) with two electric induction furnaces, eliminating the need for one of two baghouses. This resulted in significant energy conservation (287,100 kWh/year), a reduction in slag waste (802 tons/year) and hazardous waste (200 tons/year), and over $100,000 in cost savings287,100 kwh/year802 tons slag, 200 tons/year hazardous waste, $100k cost savingsLink
Trivalent Chromium Plating ConversionIndependent PlatingHex chrome conversionFinishing aluminum and stainless steel tubing and wire, plating and powdercoatingIndependent Plating explored converting one of its plating lines from hexavalent to trivalent chromium. Such a conversion is consistent with Independent’s overall approach, which relies on substitution and prevention as their principal techniques for toxics use reduction.Link
Plating Operations Achieve Zero Wastewater DischargeColumbia Manufacturing, Inc.Plating chemistry recovery, wastewaterSchool furniture manufacturer, plates tubular steel shapes (bent/welded), then assembles into furnitureColumbia Manufacturing Inc. eliminated 147,000 gallons of water use per day in plating and has saved $3M in material, water, sewer, and wastewater treatment, by upgrading the plating equipment and integrating a zero-discharge wastewater treatment system. The new, efficient plating line recovers and reuses 98% of the plating chemistry that would previously have been lost, resulting in a drastic reduction of hazardous waste generation.147,000 gal water per day. $3M savings in water, sewer and other costsReuse 98% of plating chemistryLink
Elimination of Reportable Chemical at Hampden PapersHampden Papers, Inc.Gravure, Coating, VOC, Reg reportingApplication via direct gravure of inks and other coatings to aluminum foilHampden spent four years researching, developing, testing and implementing a new coatings formulation used in over 70% of the company’s manufacturing capabilities. The new formulation reduces annual VOC emissions by 4-6 tons/year, and eliminates the use of ethylene glycol monobutyl ether. This reduces state (TURA) and federal (SARA 3131) reporting.VOC reduction by 4 to 6 tons per yearLink
Toxic Use Reduction, Energy Efficiency, and Worker SafetyStainless Steel Coatings, Inc.hex chrome in coating, energyCoatings manufacturer (for metal products)Input substitutions have reduced the use of xylenes by 57%. A new production schedule reduced hazardous waste overall, by 52%. In 2013, a new magnesium-based product, replaced a coating containing hex chrome (zinc-bis-triorthophosphate (ZBZ). Furthermore, through a partnership with OTA and the MassSave energy efficiency program, and others, SSC made its facility more energy efficient, reducing energy costs by 20-25%.Reduced energy costs by 20-25%Reduced xylenes by 57% and eliminated hexavalent chromiumReduce hazardous waste costs by 52% by implementing a new production scheduleLink
Toxic Use Reduction and Energy/Water ConservationV.H. Blackinton & Co., Inc.TCE, Freon, efficient boilersManufactures metal uniform insignia: badges, medals and service pinsBlackinton installed two high efficiency natural gas boilers and relamped. Their Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) team reduced use of Freon for parts drying, anhydrous ammonia in furnaces, and completely eliminated TCE by converting to aqueous cleaning. Modernizing plating and finishing operations reduced water use, acids and bases in waste treatment and plating operations.Eliminated over 25,000 gallons of water per dayReduced energy costs by $60,000 annuallyCut individual chemical use ranging from 40 to 100 percentReduced copper & zinc loading 85%, Annually: Reduced sulfuric acid ~700#/year, sodium hydroxide 5,700#/year, cyanide 90%.LinkLink
Taking Small Bites Out of an ElephantRapid-Line Inc.Heat recovery, oven thermal leakFull-service metal fabrication, and finishing of office furniture, automotive products, other)The value stream map helped identify specific opportunities and corresponding cost, including waste reduction projections, capture of excess heat from the powder coating line, insulation, and thermal leak maintenance. Reduced annual natural gas consumption by 4,400 Mcf, saving $46,000.4,400 mcf/yr ($46k)Link
Reducing Plating Rework With the Lean and Green AdvantageMetal Finishing Technologies, Inc. (MFT).Rework, hazardous waste, water, energyZinc PlatingOptimized performance of automated rack zinc plating line using value stream mapping. Existing rate of rework at 15 percent con­tributed significantly to water, energy, and hazardous chemical usage and hazardous waste generation. The team identified 17 improvements for the process line.2,750 gallons /year ($500 savings), Potential for 1.4M gallon reduction400 pounds of stripping chemicals ; potential for 130 additional gallonsLink
Pollution Prevention accomplishments at Schick Manufacturing in Verona, VirginiaSchick ManufacturingTCE vapor degreasing, energyManufacture blades and tools produced from steel stock.TCE was used as a cleaning solvent in liquid and vapor cleaning/degreasing at a newly acquired facility. TCE was a priority for elimination due to human health and environmental hazards and costs to distill and dispose. Schick installed aqueous “wash boxes” on production lines to replace TCE cleaning, and also used an alcohol-based vapor degreaser as an effective substitute. TCE use has been completely eliminated, resulting in an estimated cost reduction of $250,000 a year from reduced energy, material and hazardous waste disposal costs.TCE eliminated. $250k savings in energy, matl, and hazardous waste,Link
Coventya Zn/Ni 3S Technology, Capsule Report(Implemented at a) Chicago Plating FacilityZi/Ni, bath filtration, membrane anodes, water and energyPlating, Zn/NiDemonstration of Coventya 3S Technology, a zinc/nickel electroplating bath maintenance and filtration system, for potential reduction of water and energy use, discharges to wastewater treatment. A porous barrier divides bath into anode and cathode compartments, electrolyte is recirculated through the anode compartment. The ion-selective permeability of the barrier allows migration of organic components and avoids generation of undesirable carbonates and side reactions, and should increase current efficiency. The recirculating anode electrolyte should draw heat away from the bath, reducing power requirements.3S process found to have a measurable savings of 10-12% total electric energy per pound of productLink
Coventya Low Nickel EN Bath Chemistry, Capsule Report(Evaluated at a) Michigan Electroplating FacilityRinsing, Electroless Ni (EN), autocatalyticPlating of metal and plastic.Rinse water from electroless Ni plating contains chelated Ni which is hard to treat/precipitate out. A low Ni solution from Coventya was successfully trialed to reduce bath losses and sludge generation. The projected overall cost savings for the 3 g/l system is $23,757 per year.Saved $23k/year in reduced water use, and wastewater treatment and disposalLink
Surface Technology Environmental Resource Center (STERC) Rinse Manual, Pilot(Evaluated at a) Michigan Electroplating FacilityRinsing, bath, conductivityPlating, Zn/NiAn automated zinc/nickel (Zn/Ni) electroplating rack line was selected to pilot the use of STERC's Online Rinsing Manual. A baseline was established using both historical data and new measurements. Alternative methods of improvement were tested, and eight recommendations, along with cost/benefit analysis were developed. Bath longevity was improved, drip trays reduced drag out, and air agitation was improved.LinkOnline Rinsing Manual
Danfoss Chatleff LLCDanfoss Chatleff LLCDegreasingManufactures refrigeration and air conditioning componentsReplaced TCE with an aqueous degreaser/parts washer and evaporator eliminating 9,900 lbs of hazardous waste per year and saving $36,000/year. The new cleaning process requires less operator time, estimated to be worth $25,000/year. By eliminating TCE, environmental risk/liability associated with the shipping, storage, and use of a hazardous chemical is avoided.TCE reductions and improved efficiency save $25k/yr9,900 pounds haz waste reduced ($36k/yr)Link
Prevent Pollution in Your Pretreatment ProcessDayton RogersTCA degreasing, dry-sander deburring, tumblingMetal stampingTCA in vapor degreaser was used to remove forming lubricant oil from parts prior to dry-sander deburring. The solvent was eliminated by upgrading its deburring operation to deburr and clean parts simultaneously. The company modified the vibratory tumbling machines to increase throughput, added a wet sander and switched to a water-based lubricant so that removing the forming lubricants would be easier in the water-based deburring system. This resulted in saving $26,575 per year and a payback period for the equipment of approximately three months. This approach would be suitable in stamping and machining operation where deburring is done, but precision cleaning is not necessary.Danfoss also estimates saving approximately $10,000 per year in disposal costs and $1,000 in training and reporting costs.Link
Chemical Substitution For I,I,I-Trcichloroethane and Methanol in Manufacturing OperationsAPS Materials IncTCA, methanol, degrease orthopedic implants, Plasma-arc coatingSmall metal finishing shopTCA and methanol in degreasing to clean orthopedic implants. A dilute limonene solution was tested as a replacement. This dilute terpene-based cleaner adequately cleaned metal parts without adversely affecting the plasma-arc coating application. The replacement cleaner resulted in a cost savings of $4,800 per year and a payback period of 4.5 months. Elimination of the disposal problems associated with methanol and TCA, coupled with the maintenance of plasma-arc coating quality, makes the use of terpene-based cleaners attractive to other plasma spray coating processes as well as other metal cleaning/coating operations.Reduction in TCA/APS saved $4,800 per yearLink
Replace Mineral Spirits with Aqueous CleanersPerkins Products Inc.Mineral spirit degreasingMillingPerkins used mineral spirits for parts cleaning to remove cutting oil from milled work pieces, and replaced these solvents with aqueous detergents. The detergents are safer for employees, less expensive, and compatible with current production process. A total of 1,600 gallons of solvent were eliminated, 10,400 lbs of VOCs were avoided, and $500 saved per year, with only a one-year return on investment period.1,600 gal solvent10,400 pounds VOCsLink
Cleaner Technology Demonstration Site Case Study: Closed Loop' Aqueous Cleaning(Lockheed Martin Defense Systems (LMDS)Vapor degreasing, aqueous cleaning, semi-aqueous cleaningPrecision aerospace productsVendors, the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI), and the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) assisted in identifying cleaning alternatives and evaluating economic and technical feasibility and employee exposure reduction. Facility-wide, 36 vapor degreasers were replaced with seven aqueous systems and two semi-aqueous systems. This case study focuses on one 'closed loop' aqueous ultrasonic cleaning system used in the transmission assembly and repair process.Reduced use of ozone depleting compounds by 125 tons per yearLink
Reducing Dichloromethane (DCM)/Methylene Chloride Waste ManagementRoberts Automatic ProductsClosed-loop vacuum degreasing, methylene chlorideComputer numeric control (CNC) machining and screw machiningFormerly, DCM used as a parts degreaser, and TRI reporting as much as 40,000 pounds a year of DCM wastes released or treated. Roberts purchased a Serec closed-loop vacuum degreasing put it into service in 2012. Roberts reduced its DCM waste to 13,636 pounds.40,000 pounds/yr of methylene chloride wastesLink
Smith Foundry works with the University of Minnesota to Improve the EnvironmentSmith FoundryBinders, blackwater, casting, mulling, energyFoundry, Mold castings ductile and grey ironSwitched to alternative binders, installed blackwater system, implemented energy-monitored mulling timing, optimized piping design for new silica sand, and switched from pneumatic to electric tools.Reduced 291,000 kwh per yearReduced HAPs and VOCs & 25 tons of sand useReduced their use of ozone depleting compounds from 125 tons per yearLink
Plating Operation EfficienciesEco FinishingEvaporation, soft water, drag-out, drum evaporator, RO reclaimElectroplating, anodizing, phosphating, and electroless nickel platingImplemented floating insulation in open tanks, converted cleaner baths to soft water, increased drip time. Other recommendations considered (metrics not reported) included a drum evaporator, reclaiming RO rinse water, and installing a closed loop water system, and conductivity controls for rinses. Note: Access these case studies in the 2014 and 2015 issues of "Solutions" in link to right.1M gallons, estimated at $63k savings (including energy savings)80K therms120,000 pounds sludge/yearLink
Energy and Material Efficiency Opportunities in Recycled Steel ProductionGerdauGas and air leak maintenance, VFDLong steel production (rebar, round stock)Repaired gas, compressed air, and oxygen leaks. Other recommendations analyzed and considered by Gerdau (metrics not included): VFDs on combustion fans, electric air blower, duct cooler to main compressor, dry cooler to cool compressor, repair recuperator, and shut down electric motors when idle. Note: Access this case study in the 2014 issue of "Solutions" in link to right.9,000 kwh/yr6.4M cubic feet of gasesLink
Lean and Water OpportunitiesLou-RichStandard work (lean), coil washer, energyWeldments, machining, fabricating, finishing, welding, painting, wiringImplemented standard work for 4,800 kwh and $11,900 in savings. Other recommendations analyzed and considered included replacing a coil washer for 48,000 gallons of water reduced, 7,200 pounds of chemicals, and energy savings. Note: Access this case study in the 2015 issue of "Solutions" in link to right.4,800 kwh/yr $11,900Link
Chemical and Waste AlternativesAnonymousnPB, TCE, cycle time reductionMachining, and grindingIdentified a single-fixture cleaning system for any/all parts to be cleaned at the same time, eliminating partial batches. Saved 800 lbs. of nPB and $2,400 per year. Optimized cycle times TCE cleaning process for each part, reducing some cycle times by 4 minutes, saving 5,200 lbs of TCE and $10,700 per year. Access this case study in the 2020 issue of "Solutions" in link to right..800 pounds nPB 5,200 pounds TCE, $10,700/yearLink
Chemical Alternatives - TCE EliminationAnonymousTCE, vacuum degreaserMetal forming: stamping, drawing, and trimmingReplaced TCE cleaning system with a vacuum degreaser, eliminating 15,000 pounds/year and saving $9,300. Additional improvements still under consideration are optimizing annealing, and eliminating a mineral spirit pre-wash. Access this case study in the 2020 issue of "Solutions" in link to right.Eliminted 15,000 pounds/yr TCELink
Zero Water Discharge and Other ImprovementsBOC EdwardsAqueous degreasing, proprietary cleaner, closed loop wastewater treatmentPump remanufacturerInstalled enclosed, automated wash system and closed-loop wastewater treatment unit at its pump remanufacturing center in Wilmington, MA. Similar in concept to a dishwasher, the wash system is entirely enclosed and automated. Components are scrubbed with a proprietary cleaning agent and then rinsed. The treatment unit sends the wastewater stream through an evaporative condenser that extracts nearly 100% of the water and concentrates the contaminants in a compact waste sludge.Recycles nearly 100% of water used to clean pump components; decreases waste sludge by ~80%.Accumulated waste sludge (roughly 30% water) is disposed of quarterly as hazardous waste.Link
Reduced Process Water Consumption by Special Wastewater Pretreatment and RecyclingGKN Sinter MetalsWastewater ultrafiltration, water consumption, FOGStructural powdered metal componentsInstalled a Hyde ultrafiltration unit that reduced total plant fresh water consumption by over 8 million gallons per year and soap consumption by more than 6,000 gallons per year. The same pretreatment operation also resulted in the reduction of copper, fat, oil, and grease to levels below the limits established by the local publicly owned treatment works (POTW). In addition to the environmental benefits, the installation of the pretreatment system resulted in savings of over $78,000 per year.Reduced water use by millions of gallons; copper concentration in discharge by ~90%; and Fats, oils, grease (FOG) discharge by 120 mg/l.Reduced use of ~6,700 gal of soapLink
Toxics Use Reduction Case StudyS.E. Shires Co (Brass instruments)TCE, Methylene chloride aqueous, semi-aqueousMetal forming and finishingTrichloroethylene (TCE), previously used to remove buffing compound and pitch residues, has been replaced with aqueous and semi-aqueous cleaners. Methylene chloride used in refinishing has been replaced with an aromatic alcohol; eliminating the use of methylene chloride at the facility.Annually: Eliminate ~3,600 pounds annually of TCE and ~300 pounds of methylene chlorideLink
Replacing nPB Vapor Degreasing with Aqueous Cleaning Systems at Four Metal ShopsAnonymousnPB, vapor degreasing, aqueousVariousCurrently in progress, expect completion by summer 2021. Four companies are changing to aqueous cleaning systems and eliminating n-propyl bromide as a degreaser. nBP is very hazardous to humans and is on EPA's TSCA top 10 list of priority chemicals for risk evaluation.TBD - many gallons of nPB and cost savings.Contact
Alternative Compliance Strategies for Open Top Vapor Degreasers Under a Prohibition of Trichloroethylene (TCE)Anonymous (3 companies)TCE, ppen top vapor degreasing, aqueous, HFE, cold-cleaning1) Connectors for military and civilian 2) Valve manufacturer, rebuilder 3) NameplatesResearch which includes cost-benefit analysis of TCE alternatives. Unsure if implemented, but the analysis includes information on the alternatives and costs to implement/cost savings. Company 1 conducts precision cleaning, while Company 2 and 3 do general cleaning.See case study link for different scernarios and chemical alternatives.Link
E3 Assessment at Oregon Aerospace Supplier ManufacturerAnonymousToluene, energyMetal casting, CNC, spray paintE3 - Energy, Economy, Environment - assessment identified numerous opportunities in each E3 area, including: furnaces, evaporators, painting efficiency, toluene use, aerosol can waste, expired stock, drag-out, lean manufacturing. Replaced toluene with acetone.3,410 pounds toluene replaced with acetone,Eliminated 40 pounds of hazardous waste (empty zinc stearate cans)
E3 Assessment at Oregon Specialized Metal FinisherAnonymousHex chrome, cyanide, heat recovery, blast recycleAnodizing, etching, electroplating, some highly decorative custom finishesE3 - Energy, Economy, Environment - assessment identified numerous opportunities in each area, including: equipment insulation, LED lighting, behavior changes for idle equipment, secondary air receiver, reducing heat/evaporative loss, convert to trivalent chrome, recycling of blast media and other wastes, cyanide waste treatment, lean manufacturing.1,750 gallons of hex waste reduced, annually
Toxics Use Reduction and an Integrated Contingency PlanFranklin Paint CoLead and chromium content in paints, methanol, xyleneManufacturer and distributor of traffic paints, athletic field marking paint, and airless stripersEliminated the use of xylene and methanol and reduced the use of three other TURA reportable substances below reporting thresholds, while increasing overall paint production. Annual use of approximately 100,000 pounds of lead compounds, 100,000 pounds of chromium compounds, 150,000 pounds of methanol, 50,000 pounds of xylene, and 500,000 pounds of toluene has been eliminated.900,000 pounds of heavy metal and solvent compounds per yearReduced: 100,000 lbs lead compounds, 100,000 lbs chromium compounds, 150,000 lbs methanol, 50,000 lbs xylene and 500,000 lbs tolueneLink