P2 BRIEF

Indiana Clean Manufacturing Technology and Safe Materials Institute

2655 Yeager Road, Suite 103,  West Lafayette, Indiana  47906-1337

WOODCREST MANUFACTURING, INC.

Peru, Indiana

April 1997

_________________________________________________________________________

POLLUTION PREVENTION
OPPORTUNITY ASSESSMENT REPORT

INTRODUCTION

       Woodcrest Manufacturing initiated a joint project with the Indiana Clean Manufacturing Technology and Safe Materials Institute (CMTI) to investigate measures the company could take to meet the new wood finishing maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards.  These new standards will be effective November 1997.  The investigation centered around testing new finishes that complied with the MACT standards.

COMPANY BACKGROUND

       Woodcrest Manufacturing is a major manufacturer of economical juvenile wood furniture.  The company produces children’s bunk beds, desks, and dressers.  The furniture is made entirely of yellow pine.  The company employs approximately 140 people.

MANUFACTURING PROCESS

       Woodcrest Manufacturing purchases rough-sawn pine which it machines, molds, and constructs into bunk bed, desk, and dresser parts.  The material is then sent to the wood finishing department, where a three-step finish coating process begins.  The parts are hung on an overhead conveyor and the stain is then applied in a shower spray booth or with a mechanical flow coater.  The stain dries very quickly.  Following the stain application, the sealer coat is sprayed on with  a hand-held spray gun and is allowed to flash dry for ten minutes.  The sealer coat is then manually scuff-sanded and the finish topcoat is sprayed on with a hand-held spray gun. The finish topcoat flash dries in fifteen minutes.  There is no curing aid used in the process.   All finishes are air dried within the time frames cited.  The parts are then removed from the overhead conveyor, inspected, and packed for shipping.

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

       The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments incorporate stringent air pollution prevention regulations, which are just beginning to affect American industry.  The regulation incorporates a specific provision for a special class of pollutants known as Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs).  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing special air emission limits, rules, and regulations for HAPs called Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards.  These new MACT standards will impose strict controls on specific industry sectors.  The wood finishing industry MACT standard requires that the materials used in finishing wood products be HAP-compliant by November 1997.

       The finishing materials currently used by the Woodcrest are not HAP-compliant.  The company  is preparing to switch to HAP- compliant finishes in order to meet the MACT standard and is working with CMTI to ensure that the switch is successful.

       Woodcrest is also interested in Pollution Prevention (P2), which will be achieved when the switch is made.  This achievement is documented through the Pollution Prevention Progress Measurement Method (3P2M), which was developed by CMTI.

       The measurement system assigns a hazard value to individual chemicals.  This hazard value, which is based upon the hazard quality of the chemical in the workplace and the environment, is multiplied by the pounds of the chemical used, which results in a hazardous pounds figure.  All hazardous pounds figures for each of the chemicals in the process are totaled and normalized by production.  The normalized hazardous pounds are determined for the process before and after P2 is implemented, and the before normalized hazardous pounds are divided by the after normalized hazardous pounds to obtain the 3P2M index.  This index is used to estimate pollution prevention efficiency.

P2  PROJECT

       Woodcrest Manufacturing and the CMTI team decided to use a systematic approach to investigate HAP-compliant finishes.  To best accomplish this goal, the team invited five wood finishing-coating manufacturers to come to the plant and perform a full-production trial run.

       Each coating manufacturer was challenged to develop a three-part coating system tailored specifically to Woodcrest Manufacturing’s high-output production schedule.  The team’s criteria for the coating manufacturers to meet were as follows:

1.  Develop a sealer and topcoat composed of materials that meet the MACT standard (preferably a single product) that could be used as both sealer and topcoat.

2.  Develop a stain that is compatible with the sealer and topcoat and that also meets the MACT standard.

3.  Develop a stain, sealer, and topcoat package that will require no major changes in the company’s high-output finish line.

       Woodcrest tested the coatings of the five manufacturers (over a two-week period in a full-production atmosphere) on its production finishing line.  All five products met the company’s quality standards and the wood finishing industry MACT standard.  However, all five products were also much more expensive than the product the company is currently using; therefore, the product that provided the greatest reduction in HAPs and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), at the least cost, was the product chosen for use.  A comparison (with the current product and with each of the other tested products) of the five products’ costs and HAP and VOC emissions is outlined in the following table.

COMPARISON OF FINISHING PRODUCTS

 

Current  Finish

Product 1A

Product 1B

Product 2

Product 3

Product 4

Product 5

Total projected 1996 VOC emissions  tons

256

214.3

233.9

203.4

112.7

195.5

173

% Total projected VOC reduction

      no

   change

16%

9%

20.5%

56%

24%

32%

Total projected 1996 HAP emissions tons

93

0

0

3

52

7

62

% Total projected HAP reduction

     no

   change

100%

100%

97%

44%

92.50%

33%

Estimated annual increase

$0

$86,153

$90,797

$297,721

$250,493

$345,663

$234,060

% cost increase

     no

   change

23%

24%

79%

66%

92%

62%

POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL
AND COST BENEFITS

     Environmental benefits from changes:

       HAPs reduction  ........    93.00 tons

       VOC reduction  .........    42.00 tons

       3P2M index  ..............     1.63

       The results of this project represent a 100% reduction in HAPs emissions and a 16% reduction in VOC emissions.  The 3P2M system generated an index of 1.63, which directly translates to a 39% reduction in the hazard quality of the new HAP-compliant products.  This means that the quality of the work environment will improve since the new materials are less toxic than the coatings which are not HAP-compliant.

n                     Cost savings from innovative changes:

       There will actually be a cost increase (estimated to be $86,000, per year) resulting from the switch to HAP-compliant coatings.  The increase is due to the higher cost of the HAP-compliant materials.

CONCLUSION

       Woodcrest Manufacturing will adopt HAP-compliant coatings by the compliance date.  In order to offset the cost associated with this switch, the Woodcrest/CMTI team will investigate application systems which increase the transfer efficiency of the finish coating materials to the wood product substrate.