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NYS Governor's Awards for Pollution Prevention - Pall Trinity Micro

Pall Trinity Micro, Cortland, NY

Background

Pall Corporation with headquarters in East Hills, NY is the global leader in the rapidly growing field of filtration, separations and purification. Pall Trinity Micro is a division of Pall Corporation located in Cortland, NY, where disposable and cleanable filter elements, filtration systems, filter housings, and metal filter media are manufactured. Pall Trinity Micro employees have a proven commitment to pollution prevention and waste minimization.

Methodologies and Procedures

Pall Trinity Micro assembled teams to tackle the reduction of chemical and industrial waste related to manufacturing at the facility. Management challenged the teams to reduce, reuse, and recycle chemicals and industrial products used at the plant, and to find ways to reduce water use. The goal was to minimize cost, emissions, waste and discharges, while not compromising product quality or the health and safety of Pall employees.

The team initially brainstormed many ideas and following preliminary investigations, concentrated on four projects including:

  • Reduce waste Oakite 33, cleaning solution
  • Reduce wastewater discharged to sanitary sewers
  • Reduce/recycle glass/grit blast waste
  • Reuse plastic media cores at other Pall facilities

Each project was assigned a team leader who was responsible for researching historical data related to the amount and cost of the waste stream. The teams were then charged with developing process improvement ideas, researching the feasibility of those ideas, consulting with experts, and presenting their recommendations to management. The plant manager secured funding for capital projects, department managers approved necessary procedural changes, and production staff carried out the new procedures. Project leaders were also responsible for ensuring that required training and documentation completed.

Project Summaries

Oakite 33 is phosphoric acid solution used to clean stainless steel and other metal filter components. The Oakite 33 was tested to determine the contaminant of concern that had previously triggered disposal. Contaminants of concern were determined to be oils, metal chips, and other solids. A filter system was designed and installed to remove solids, thereby extending the life of the Oakite 33.

Several processes that discharge non-hazardous wastewater to sanitary sewers were examined for possible improvement. Three substantial water-saving opportunities were identified as hydroblast, tap water rinse tanks, and non-contact furnace cooling water. The hydroblast operation involves removing coatings from metal sheets using pressurized water. New equipment that uses higher air pressure was purchased that reduces water use and discharge by 80 percent. The rinse tank operation entails metal filter components that are washed in a citric acid-based cleaner and then rinsed in tap water. The goal was to reduce the overflow to half the previous discharge, while maintaining proper pH levels. It was determined that the solution was to reduce the water level in the tank and reduce inflow/outflow rates, while maintaining tank turnover time, using control valves. Non-contact cooling water was previously a one-pass operation. Newly installed equipment recirculates the water, reducing usage and discharge.

Glass beads and steel shot are used to provide a uniform surface finish and remove rust and scale on steel parts. Previously, the resulting waste was disposed of after each use, in order to prevent cross-contamination. The team determined that a closed-loop process would significantly reduce associated industrial waste. The system involves glass beads being fed to a hopper, down to a vibratory feeder, and across a drum magnet where steel particles are removed and discarded. Then, "clean beads" are fed to a screen/vibratory feeder to remove unusable fines, and the reusable beads are returned to system. The new system removes all ferrous metal particles, including stainless steel.

Filter media is shipped from Pall facilities that manufacture the media, to Pall Trinity Micro for use in filter manufacturing. The media is wound on plastic cores, which were disposed of as solid waste until 2000 when time recycling began. The team determined that the cores could be cleaned and reused resulted in a significant cost savings and beneficial reuse.

Benefits

  • Oakite 33 replacement was reduced by 70 percent (4.8 tons/year).
  • Target wastewater streams were reduced by 95 percent (10 million gallons/year).
  • Grit blast was reduced by 96 percent (31 tons/year).
  • Plastic core disposal was reduced 100 percent (875 pounds/year).
  • Ground water from a sole source aquifer was conserved.
  • Landfilled industrial waste was significantly reduced.
  • $264,000 was saved annually.

Any comments or questions?
Contact us at: 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1750;
518-402-9469 (phone); 518-402-9168 (fax)


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