THREE manufacturers with successful environmental solutions have been announced by Manufacturers’ Monthly Magazine as finalists in this year’s Endeavour Awards.
Now in its third year, the awards program is sponsored by BlueScope Steel and offers Australian manufacturers an opportunity to showcase their achievements and expertise to customers and suppliers, both locally and overseas. Winners and highly commended will be presented with an award at a ceremony held on the 31st August at Darling Harbour, Sydney.
The award for Environmental Solution of the Year was kindly sponsored by Atlas Copco and will go to one of the following “green” companies:
Project: Wastewater Control System
BLUESCOPE Steel’s Port Kembla site is a five million tonne per year integrated steelworks which needed to ensure wastewater was discharged safely from its treatment facility.
The solution was a new control system, researched and developed using Matlap and Simulink software.
One of the wastewater treatment facilities at the Port Kembla site collects waste from four different plant line streams. The system ensures that the desired pH level in Bluescope Steel’s wastewater is reached by neutralising plant waste through a series of valves, delivering agents such as lime, acid or ferric sulphate into the tank. A model was first validated against plant data in different situations and scenarios, and then the final system structure was selected as one that provided the best stability and consistency.
The system took only three months to develop and has been implemented with very successful results for BlueScope and the environment. The pH level was better controlled and evenly fluctuating around the set point, ensuring improved neutralisation and less impact on the environment.
Project: Water, Energy And Waste Reduction Initiatives
WATER conservation and waste management are some of the key focal areas for food manufacturer Heinz, particularly for its rural sites at Echuca and Girgarre.
The Echuca site has reduced its water usage per tonne of product produced from 11.96kL/t in fiscal 2001 to 6.98kL/t in fiscal 2004 (to December) – a reduction of approximately 42%.
Several initiatives have been implemented to achieve these savings, including the reuse of stormwater and water used for container washing for lawn irrigation, recycling of ingredient washing water and installing sensors to automatically turn water off when operations have ceased on production lines.
The Girgarre site intakes an average of 70,000t of fresh tomato and evaporates it into paste. As a result, approximately 2,000t of by-product is produced, made up of tomato skin and seed, green whole tomato, red off spec. tomato and tomato vine. The product is delivered to four dairy farms to be used as stock feed, which is delivered into concrete bunkers to ensure containment and remove the risk of contaminating the water table.
Both sites have been actively involved in the Goulburn Valley Food Processors Environmental Group in conjunction with the Victorian EPA, set up to look at solving common environmental issues faced by food processors in the Goulburn Valley.
Project: Wastepaper Recycling Loop
WITH the help of Donaldson Australasia, Penfold Buscombe has established a vital waste handling system to facilitate a recycling loop between its plant and Visy Recycling.
Visy collects the waste from Benfold Buscombe and moves it to its bulk centre in western Sydney for sorting and compressing into 1t blocks, before shipping to various sites for reuse.
This environmental solution has created a profitable new industry instead of sending perfectly recyclable material to landfill.
For example, ‘white liner’ is manufactured to be used for the exterior of cardboard boxes for printing purposes, lower grade mills are recycled to make cardboard and plastic film is collected from the site, exported and passed onto overseas companies specialising in plastic product manufacture.
Visy currently retrieves around 200t per month from Penfold Buscombe. The created loop is a 24/7 operation and demonstrates that it actually costs less to recycle than to put the paper, cardboard and plastic cuttings out with the general waste.
The company is claiming it as a genuine business incentive that will, in the future, knock out the long-standing industry practice of non-profit or low-profit recycling.