How Manufacturing Companies Can Generate Less Waste

The filtration of process water can play a critical role in optimizing production lines due to its ability to protect downstream equipment and piping; as well as its role in the quality and value of finished goods. The right filtration equipment can affect a company’s environmental impact through the reduction of emissions and waste generation. It can also safeguard employees by minimizing their exposure to hazardous materials. These factors, in turn, affect the company’s productivity and bottom line.

Despite its significance, many manufacturing facilities have not realized the benefits of optimized filtration for process water. This is because installing a filtration system — where none has previously existed — can be difficult to justify with tight capital budgets. In addition, decision makers face the same challenge when a filtration system is in place and operating. However, a careful look at key cost factors can quickly justify an investment that will generate a significant return — whether it is a new investment or an upgrade — with an up-to-date filtration system.

Important: When exploring water treatment filtration options there is a growing area of concern pertaining to water conservancy and water supply — especially freshwater. When this is combined with an increased emphasis on reducing the environmental impact from waste creation and disposal, it is important that all industries take a second look at their manufacturing processes, and determine if it is time to evaluate newer filtration technology. The cost reduction resulting from a new system may surprise you.

There are two ways to achieve this. One method is to use equipment that requires less fresh water. The second method is water reuse when the amount of water used is mandated by the process requirement. This trend is fueled by several economic benefits that can be broken down into separate and specific areas of cost savings:

  • Reduced cost for purchase and treatment of fresh water.
  • Reduced cost for heating process streams or money saved through energy recovery.
  • Reducing waste treatment costs.

Any decision regarding filtration of water should be weighed against the relative importance of each of these factors.

In addition to minimizing overall maintenance costs, other factors include labor costs, the potential costs of lost production, conversion, and recovery of valuable products during scheduled and unscheduled downtime. While much of this can seem intimidating, there are a few easy methods to determine whether your current filtration system needs an update to a more state of the art filtration system.

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How does Backwash Efficiency Affect Your Catalyst Bed Protection Filtration System?

Filtration systems are generally regenerated through a backwash cleaning cycle. The primary factors effecting backwash efficiency are • Available pressure differential • Backwash flow • Filter media characteristics  

Available Pressure Differential:  During backwashing, the backwash differential pressure (between the backwash source and drain) should ideally be three to five times greater than the differential pressure across the dirty media.  In a feedstock filter, the maximum dirty differential pressure should not exceed 15 PSID, meaning the backwash liquid should be delivered at 45 – 75 PSID to maximize the cleaning efficiency.

Backwash Flow:
A sufficient flow rate of backwash liquid will also be required to regenerate the filtering media. The required flow rate will be primarily dependent upon the type of media selected. Sufficient backwash flow along with sufficient backwash pressure will lead to hydro-shock cleaning effect and completely regenerate the media to its clean differential pressure.

Filter Media Characteristics:
The final component of filter regeneration is the media characteristics. By their very design, slotted wedge wire and woven wire mesh allow particles to be captured on the surface of the media, providing optimum particle release and media regeneration.  Sintered metal is multi-layered and can offer higher per-cake efficiencies, but can be difficult to regenerate.  This leads to shorter run times and increased downtime.

In summary, feedstock filtration is an important aspect in efficiently refinery operation.  Protecting catalyst beds from particulate contamination prevents bed plugging and increases catalyst life. Several factors affect filtration system efficiency and should be carefully considered when selecting a feedstock filtration system.

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Soap Maker Bubbling Over on Eaton Filters

Eaton’s DCF-800 Mechanically Cleaned Filter has helped this soap maker achieve a final product that consistently meets purity goals and has allowed for a more productive and cost-efficient manufacturing process.
Problem: Impurities in the soap due to an outdated filtering process
Solution: Eaton’s DCF-800 Mechanically Cleaned Filter
Results: The final product consistently meets purity goals and the manufacturing process is more productive and cost-efficient
Background
While maybe not quite as frightening as the famous Alfred Hitchcock shower scene, just imagine the shock of stepping into a hot shower, unwrapping your favorite bar of soap, and discovering that it’s already dirty. It can happen. That’s because soap contains glycerin, which brings with it important moisturizing properties. During the manufacturing process, glycerin is heated and added to the soap formulation before it goes to final production. However, the heating needs to be precise with little margin for error. When it is not heated properly, the soap can turn brown and even form brown specks that are small but still very much noticeable, hardly the 99 and 44/100% pure that a good soap needs to be.

Challenge
For one of the world’s largest suppliers of bar, detergent and body soaps, meeting that lofty goal is imperative to success. Supplying virtually every type of soap made, the company on any given day will see some 25 different brands of soap rolling down its production line. Relying on an outdated heating and filtering process, the company often had to reroute soap back into the assembly line to remove the brown haze and specks caused by the improperly heated glycerin to ensure that quality objectives were always achieved.  The rerouting was necessary, but was inefficient, expensive and time-consuming.  Additional labor was also required. While the final product was eventually meeting purity goals, the soap giant very much wanted to clean up the process.

Solution
In doing so, they turned to Eaton Filtration and installed a DOFF 800 filtration system for a 90-day trial run. The DOFF 800, a forerunner of the newer DCF­800 filters, is often used for trials.
Both perform a self-cleaning action by mechanically scraping collected debris from the filter screen with a disc that moves up and down the screen, parallel to the liquid flow. Collected debris is then automatically purged from the collection chamber at the bottom of the filter.  This self-cleaning action is performed without halting production and provides the highest quality filtering under continuous demand. Because the screen is cleaned continuously, a consistently high flow rate is maintained.  Uninterrupted filtering by the DCF also helps ensure consistent temperatures— a feature essential to meeting quality objectives.

Result
Before the 90-day test was even completed, the soap company was already washing its hands of the brown mess and has since ordered two new Eaton DCF-800 filters.  “Removal of the glycerin impurities was very successful,” reports Bruce Law, regional sales manager for Eaton’s filtration business. “The test unit delivered everything that we said it would.”  As a result, Law believes the costly rerouting of soap will soon be virtually eliminated.  “It’s still too early to gather a measurable return on investment,” adds Law, “but based on the results of the trial, the number of bars of soap that the company produces, and the cost to rework an out of spec product, it strikes me that the payback is going to be pretty quick.”

DCF-800 – One actuator delivers simple, reliable operation with water-like liquids. Ideal where a low initial investment is a key Our unique circular cleaning disc design (MCF design shown) ensures intimate contact with the screen to thoroughly and uniformly clean the media