Industrial wastewater treatment | Canmaking

 

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Single Source for Success

A packaging company who had traditionally manufactured steel cans decided to diversify their product portfolio by adding aluminum aerosol cans. Due to the extensive project scope requiring a significant capital investment in new equipment and potentially air and water pollution control, the packager stipulated that the successful vendor had to single source the entire project. Since the can equipment manufacturer who won the project was not an expert in air and water treatment, they in turn searched for a partner company with the ability to single source all pollution control aspects. Anguil, a single source air and water treatment system provider, was selected to be that partner.

Solution in Action

Nailing Down the Requirements

The aluminum can making process requires water to remove oils and debris post-forming as well as chemical surface conditioning of the cans to prep for coating. To accomplish cleaning and conditioning, the cans are passed through a large multi-stage washer, which requires clean, consistent input water. Concurrently, the dirty rinse water needs to be pretreated before it can be discharged to the local Publicly Operated Treatment Works (POTW). Since this was a new line for the equipment manufacturer, Anguil assisted the manufacturer with developing specifications for:

  • Input water quality (conductivity < 10 micro Siemens)
  • Average input flow (30 GPM)
  • Required washer input pressure
  • The need for a “fast fill” mode to quickly refill the washer after maintenance activities
  • The requirement for maximal equipment up time

With customer input, Anguil selected a dual train Reverse Osmosis (RO) system to meet the washer’s influent requirements.

On the wastewater side, where the exact water chemistry was unknown, Anguil again worked with the can manufacturer to determine an expected range of water contaminants to select candidate treatment technologies which could handle the expected range in chemistry. Expecting a pH of 2-5, high TSS loading, significant amounts of sulfuric and hydrofluoric acids, oils and greases as well as possible surfactants, Anguil proposed a form of enhanced clarification called Ballasted
Flocculation (BF). With a BF system, the pH could be adjusted as needed, fluoride and other metals precipitated, and oils broken out of suspension chemically using caustic addition, coagulants and polymers. With the addition of sand to flocculated species, the settling rate dramatically increases, leading to a smaller overall equipment footprint. Extra space was left in the system design to allow the addition of polishing if it was determined that it was necessary after the line was up and running.

Because Anguil is an air and water treatment supplier, Anguil was able to evaulate solutions for both treatment needs and ultimately propose a solution that did notrequire air pollution control equipment.

Putting it All Together

After determining the flow and treatment requirements for the Process Water Conditioning System (PWCS) and the Waste Water Treatment System (WWTS), Anguil proceeded to determine the required logistics equipment and controls to operate both systems in automatic mode with the least operator involvement possible. For 

example, inlet water buffer and RO permeate storage tanks were selected to supply some onsite storage, ensuring back-up capacity should the city water supply fail and to provide constant flow to the varying washer demands. Non-metallic AODD pumps were selected to lift and convey the high solids content and corrosive waste water to the treatment system. An equalization tank and an emergency dump tank were included to buffer flow through the WWTS while providing emergency capacity if the washer needed to be dumped for maintenance reasons, and to collect additional waste water sources from sludge dewatering and secondary containment floor sumps.

In addition to the mechanical components of both the PWCS and WWTS, Anguil’s control engineers worked to integrate both the larger sub-systems (RO, ballasted floc, Rotary Vacuum Drum) into the treatment plant. More importantly, they also worked directly with the canning equipment manufacturer to seamlessly integrate the disparate washer/water treatment systems to minimize production downtime and product loss in the event of failures with the PWCS, washer system or the WWTS.

Getting the System Up and Running

After obtaining customer approval of the system design, Anguil ordered the long lead-time items, namely the tanks and large third-party vendor skids. Once these items were on order, Anguil coordinated the purchase and delivery of all the parts (pumps, valves, instrumentation, etc) to be shipped loose for field installation or to be assembled on Anguil pump skids.

Since the canning equipment manufacturer had already obtained the services of installation contractors, Anguil was not engaged for a turn-key installation. However, based on our installation experience with similar systems, Anguil received, labeled each part with its PID drawing tag number, and then “kitted” all the parts into boxes to aid the installation process. For example, all the instruments, valves and piping fittings associated with a given storage tank or sub-assembly were placed in their own box. Kitting parts in this way acted as a quality control step, ensuring the correct parts and amounts were delivered, and greatly assisted the install crew as they knew exactly where and how many parts to install on each tank.

Even though Anguil was not asked to perform installation work, Anguil was hired to provide an install supervisor to interface with contractors, provide guidance where necessary, troubleshoot issues, expedite defective part replacement, communicate the project schedule and handle changing project requirements. One direct benefit of Anguil’s install supervision was the ability to respond rapidly to changing site conditions and requirements. For example, prior to processing cans, the washer system required a “passivation” step consisting of treating the washer interior with caustic and acidic waters. This requirement was not originally intended to be included in Anguil’s scope in any way. However, to assist the customer, Anguil reorganized the installation effort to enable the RO system to be run in manual mode to feed the washer and the waste water treatment system to be run in manual mode to allow discharge and pH neutralization of the passivation water.

This required special site supervision and controls workarounds since the equipment had not been fully commissioned and installed at the time passivation was to occur. However, Anguil’s ability to accommodate the project needs saved the customer $100,000s in disposal and transport costs of the passivation water. After can making equipment was brought online, Anguil brought in their commissioning crew to ensure that the control program was operating correctly – especially with communications between the PWCS, WWTS and washer system. This included confirming that chemical protocol was validated and optimized and ensuring that any issues discovered during the initial start-up and shake-down were addressed quickly and efficiently. Ultimately, after training the site personnel on the system operation, troubleshooting of general issues and becoming familiar with system operation, both the PWCS and WWTS were able to support the washer’s input and waste water needs with minimal operator involvement and get the packager back to what they do best—making cans.

Project Take-Aways

  • Anguil was able to walk the customer through a collaborative technology selection process resulting in treatment systems (waste and process) that the customer was comfortable with and had high confidence would meet the desired treatment efficacy.
  • Anguil’s approach of sticking to our core competency of engineering and integration led to the selection of technologies and vendors which resulted in a successful water treatment system.
  • Anguil’s single source approach enabled streamlined communication when problems arouse. Instead of the customer calling multiple vendors, trying to figure out who owned the problem, they would call Anguil and Anguil led the charge from the there as necessary. One call did it all.
  • Anguil’s ability to provide both air and water treatment solutions was advantageous because Anguil did not have to push a product into the system and was able to find water treatment solutions — which ultimately removed the need for air pollution control—and lowered the total cost of ownership of the treatment system.
  • Even though the customer had already contracted with installation contractors for this project, Anguil’s experience with turn-key installations made it apparent that the logistics of kitting equipment was necessary to ensure project success—all conducted within the original contract price.
  • Because of the amount of pre-work done scoping the customer’s needs for both the PWCS and WWTS, no change orders were issued to complete the work—except for those items requested by the customer at a later date.
  • Anguil’s customer-focused philosophy enabled us to maintain a flexible schedule to accommodate rapidly changing site demands without significant added costs to the customer.