Effluent makes a steady recovery

Jonathan Harper of product recovery specialist, Martec, looks at improving the bottom line in the management of industrial effluent by improving yields and minimising waste.

Manufacturers are increasingly concerned with improving production efficiency. Competition, not only in the UK but abroad, is facing reduced margins. Requirements to comply with more stringent environmental legislation also increase the need to seek ways of improving performance.

A simple and effective way to address these concerns and to improve competitive advantage is to recover product, otherwise drained and washed from the pipes, transferring 'valuable' product from mixing or storage tanks to filling or bottling lines.

This product can be recovered by using state of the art 'Product Recovery Technology' to displace it from pipe runs. Martec uses a proprietary Marplug that is designed to fit snugly inside a pipeline. It is propelled from a launcher, usually by water or compressed air, to clear the line of product.

The company's product recovery technology can be installed on existing pipe runs without costly modifications and its inherent reliability overcomes the limitations typically associated with conventional pigging practice. It is assumed that production is undertaken on a single shift, five days per week, 48 weeks per year (i.e. 240 shifts per annum basis).

Table 1 shows the value of product recovered from a 20m length of pipe of varying diameters. Other savings include low charges for effluent treatment charges (as calculated by the Modgen Formula), energy, rinse water and CIP reagents and increased utilisation of manpower and equipment. These are typically as valuable as the product recovered and sold.

The net cost saving for a manufacturing facility over a year can range from £100,000 to £800,000 per annum or more.

Martec has supplied a wide range of pipeline Product Recovery Systems. It has over 15 years experience in the food and drink, paints, petrochemicals and toiletries industries. Because of its diverse experience of working with manufacturers, Martec has established a strong customer base and a reputation for technological development. The company installs and maintains systems from simple modifications to turnkey solutions. These are tailored to meet individual requirements of the manufacturer.

Existing customers using Martec's Product Recovery System include Pedigree Masterfoods, PZ Cussons, Accantia (formerly Smith & Nephew), Reckett & Colman, Allied Foods, Akzo Nobel, Chivas Regal, Croda Chemicals etc.

Product recovery is recognised as good practice in food, drink, pharmaceutical, chemical and other industries. Its application has already been documented in the Department of Trade & Industry's (DTI) Environmental Best Practice Programme, GC26. By making further improvements to the efficiency of product recovery, Martec's products offer manufacturers a low cost method of achieving improved profits through increased yields and reduced waste.



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