MV003 contacted the Indiana Pollution Prevention and Safe Materials Institute (IPPI) in June 1995 requesting aid in substituting a water-based coating for the currently used volatile organic compound (VOC) coating. This request was the result of a referral to IPPI by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).
MV003 is an automotive parts company located in northern Indiana. The company cuts, welds, and paints metal parts for the automotive industry. The company employs approximately thirty-five people.
The manufacturing process of concern consists of two operations: (1) the use of a solvent-based hand wipe to clean metal prior to painting, and, (2) a solvent-based spray applications process. The need to reduce VOC emissions discourages the use of the solvent hand wipe cleaning process. Therefore, in order to switch to a water-based painting process, MV003 must implement an effective water-based cleaning operation.
MV003 cannot discharge wastewater from this cleaning operation because:
Therefore, the key to this pollution prevention project is either closed-loop recycling of the wastewater generated from surface cleaning processes or eliminating the cleaning process entirely.
MV003, in cooperation with IPPI, tested several water-based coatings which required minimum metal preparation treatment. The tests have shown that none of the coatings can meet MV003's standards without pretreatment surface cleaning. These test results make the use of a closed-loop cleaning system imperative.
The MV003/IPPI team is currently analyzing several closed-loop cleaning systems. A system manufactured by Landa Water Cleaning Systems of South Bend, Indiana, looks highly promising. The team is currently pursuing performance specifications and quotations for the system to determine if it will be economically feasible to install and operate the system.
POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL AND COST BENEFITS
If the cleaning system is installed, MV003 will be able to switch to water-based coatings which could achieve the following:
Raw materials potential savings are unknown at this time. Estimated capital investment costs are $20,000.00 to $40,000.00.
The team is hopeful that the Landa cleaning system is applicable to this manufacturing process. Once the cleaning system evaluation is completed, a decision will be made whether or not to install the system. If installed, MV003 will be able to switch to a water-based paint. The evaluation is expected to be completed by April 1996. 2 (c) Purdue University Research Foundation, 1996