Minimising Waste Chemicals While Maximising Performance
8 October 2010
The Abrasives Hub talks to David Sunderlik, area manager of Kroff, Inc. about how manufacturing companies can manage their costs while meeting increasing challenging environmental restrictions. “The driving force behind innovation is the ongoing need to comply with environmental and safety regulations in a variety of industries. The key is to eliminate harmful chemistries while also maintaining performance and keeping costs under control,” explains David Sunderlik.
Effective waste minimization programmes can reduce the costs, liabilities, and regulatory burdens of hazardous waste management, while potentially enhancing efficiency, product quality, and community relations. Waste minimization techniques encourage a company to consider waste throughout the manufacturing cycle. It looks production planning and process sequencing, how a process or equipment needs to be modified or adjusted, where raw product can be substituted to minimize waste, how waste can be segregated, separated and recycling, for example.
Kroff Process Technologies is a company that supports industry, including metalworking, with a range of services. It is a broad supplier of process chemicals ranging from metalworking (machining and grinding coolants, drawing and stamping compounds), surface treatment (cleaners, corrosion inhibitors, conversion coatings), and post-treatment with a full line of water and waste treatment chemicals (cooling water treatment, boiler treatment, waste water, paint detackification programs, and paint booth maintenance products). Services range from comprehensive chemical management programmes to full DBOOM projects (Design, Build, Own, Operate, Maintain) for waste treatment facilities, utility operations, washers, coolant and washer recycle systems, and water pre-treatment systems.
Any process improvement, explains David Sunderlik, begins with a complete understanding of the process s. In Kroff’s case its process engineers play an important role, having experience in a wide range of industries, enabling them to bring fresh, common-sense ideas to the forefront. “Once a project is identified, Kroff will develop potential solutions on a laboratory scale, which is a critical step in the process. We have a wide range of pilot-level equipment that enables us to test, document, and prove our chemistry prior to requesting a plant trial. This eliminates risk and dramatically increases success,” points out David Sunderlik.
Waste management is a critical component when considering bringing any new chemical into facility or process. David Sunderlik says, “What might be touted as “new technology” from a chemical manufacturer can lead to significant costs and compliance issues at the back end of the plant.” This is why it is important to carry out screening and perform treatability studies on all new chemicals brought into any plants. Kroff, for example, where it provides both process and water treatment chemistry to customers, its engineers design programmes with chemical compatibility in mind to ensure compliance and minimize costs.
Kroff recently worked with a major steel manufacturer that had experienced issues on the coil cleaning line ranging from short bath life, excessive foaming and poor cleaning performance. Additionally, the plant was paying excessive waste treatment costs due to having the waste hauled every two weeks. The prior cleaner could not be treated because it created compliance issues when it was added to the plant’s general waste water stream. Kroff was asked to evaluate the process and make recommendations. After evaluating the quality of the incoming water, requirements for the process and waste treatability, Kroff designed a custom-formulated cleaner and waste minimization programme to address all of the customer’s issues. The benefits noted were a bath life increase of 250 percent, cleaner steel substrate and the ability to treat the expended product at the client’s facility.
As a technology and research driven company Kroff has multiple patents in mining, energy, biochemical, pharmaceutical, metal working, and water and waste treatment. “Our prime directive is to integrate our field engineers into the complex processes of our customers and develop creative solutions directed at environmental compliance and reducing the total cost of operation. Many of these developments have led to joint patents between our customers and Kroff, which cement our business relationships and allow us to become true partners” says David Sunderlik.
Kroff, Inc. is one of the fastest-growing, full-service water treatment companies in the United States. With patented chemistry, experienced consultants and a commitment to innovation, Kroff engineers solutions for clients that ensure environmental compliance and save them money. The company has six distinct business units: Kroff Chemical Company, Inc. (KCC), providing custom-blended chemicals and processes for water and wastewater treatment; Kroff Facilities Services, Inc. (KFS), enabling companies and organizations to outsource their water treatment services; Kroff Process Technologies, Inc. (KPT), providing process cleaners and lubricants to support the metals production and fabrication industries; Kroff Well Services, Inc. (KWS), offering remediation of flow back waters and production brines for frac water reuse; Kroff Materials Reprocessing, Inc. (KMR), which enables companies to reuse and recycle industrial manufacturing by-products, including oil; and Kroff International, LLC, with projects in Japan, Europe, Africa and South America. Kroff partners with companies in primary metals, manufacturing, health care, energy and more. Founded in 1988, Kroff is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. The company has 65 employees.