Conventional surface finishing practices create risk for the manufacturing enterprise. Environmental releases and associated costs, occupational exposures and associated costs, material and energy cost increases, water demands, inefficient labor practices, inefficient facilities, ineffective process control, supply chain changes, technological change, and regulatory changes place tremendous demands on enterprise resources. Sustainability is much more than environmental stewardship; it is enterprise stewardship. Sustainable enterprises manage both opportunities and risks.
Integrated Technologies, Inc. (ITI) has unparalleled experience in implementing sustainability in surface finishing. ITI provides opportunity assessments, design services, and management consulting to clients who wish to go beyond conventional manufacturing approaches and embrace sustainability.
Lean Surface Finishing
Integrated Technologies, Inc. (ITI) has been designing superior process and plant layouts for over 28 years. We understand good systems design, and we are experienced in value stream and other process mapping techniques. We have observed many failed Lean Surface Finishing projects because clients focused on work cell optimization without first mapping and understanding facility work, people, material, tooling, and information flows. Lean implementation requires a holistic approach. Superior process planning and layout can result in not only improved work flow and reduced labor costs but also improved maintenance (lean maintenance), as well as reduced material, energy, and environmental costs. It is sometimes more important to optimize information flow than work flow and material flow (chemical additions, anode replacement), and tooling flow is often much more cumbersome than work and people flows.
Toxic Use and Toxic Waste Reduction
Integrated Technologies, Inc. (ITI) brings deep surface finishing knowledge and experience to both Toxic Waste Reduction (TWR), or Pollution Prevention, and Toxic Use Reduction (TUR) projects. ITI was founded with the mission of integrating chemical, environmental, and industrial engineering know-how to optimize client processes and facilities and create lean and green chemical processes. TWR and TUR are usually synergistic but are also sometimes mutually exclusive. ITI brings an integrated approach to TWR and TUR, which also includes a serious commitment to sound hazard management.
Energy Use Reduction
Energy Use Reduction is essential to all industrial facilities. Energy costs are volatile at best and rising rapidly in recent years. Carbon emission regulations are on the drawing board in the US and already being enforced in many countries. Surface finishing operations consume significant energy for process and facility heating, cooling, and ventilation; process electrolysis; agitation and filtration; material handling equipment; ovens; air compressors; paint guns; thermal spray systems; vacuum pumps; vapor deposition systems; and fluid transfers. Energy use contributes up to 25% of operating costs in surface finishing operations; however, energy use can be reduced by an average of 30% to 50% at most facilities.
Material costs contributes 25% to 50% of operating costs in many surface finishing operations; however, material utilization can be improved by an average of 25% to 75% at most facilities. Opportunities to improve material utilization include dragout reduction and recovery, process solution life extension, tooling redesign, over-plating reductions, over-spray reductions, over-cleaning reductions, wastewater treatment improvements, and rework and scrap reductions.
Approaching Zero Discharge (AZD)
Integrated Technologies, Inc. (ITI) developed a Capsule Report, Approaching Zero Discharge in Surface Finishing for US EPA in 1999. We have discussed zero discharge with many companies over the past 28 years, and, while true zero discharge may be technically feasible for a limited number of facilities, it will almost never be economically feasible unless you distort the meaning of zero discharge. Most companies define zero discharge as zero industrial wastewater discharge, and off-site transfers of dilute and concentrated waste streams and air emissions are not counted. Even extremely well-operated processes generate some wastes, such as filter cartridges, sludge, still bottoms, etc., and well-designed ventilation scrubbers will not normally do better than 99% removal of process emissions. Most industrial wastewater can be technically recycled; however, recycling requires the use of various separation technologies, which will generate metal sludge and salt brine waste streams. Zero discharge follows the rule of diminishing returns; as recycling approaches 80% to 90%, operating costs begin to climb rapidly, and the return on investment begins to become very unattractive.
Zero Discharge or AZD can be economically attractive if you take an integrated and systematic approach that includes process optimization, point source recovery & recycling, smart waste stream segregation, off-site treatment of select waste streams, and even selective outsourcing of problem processes. ITI brings our considerable knowledge and experience, and an integrated approach, to approaching zero discharge projects.
Environmental, Health, & Safety Services
Integrated Technologies, Inc. (ITI) was founded in 1987 with the idea of integrating chemical, environmental, and industrial knowledge and technologies to create synergistic and sustainable solutions for complex manufacturing problems. ITI has been at the forefront of waste minimization/pollution prevention, process substitution or toxic use reduction, zero discharge, inherently safe design, environmental stewardship, and sustainability. ITI understands the trade-offs of pollution prevention and pollution control, and we developed the concept of integrating pollution prevention and pollution control in 1989. A few years later we realized that it was necessary to integrate energy efficiency in environmental technology decision analysis. Our experience extends to air pollution control, industrial wastewater treatment and recycling, water conservation, and energy management. ITI has consulted with US EPA on effluent guidelines, sustainability, air emission standards, and environmental technologies. ITI staff have implemented environmental management systems, created decision support and process optimization software, conducted EH & S compliance audits, managed permit applications and renewals, and worked at plant and corporate EH&S Management levels. ITI staff also brings deep experience in site remediation, risk assessment, cost analysis, and decision support.
Integrated Technologies, Inc. (ITI) works with our clients to provide temporary and long term operations support, including plant management, engineering, operations, and maintenance support services. We will work interactively with client staff, provide complete operational support by department, functional unit or facility, and/or work with clients to hire and train staff for new facilities or operations within existing facilities. ITI will also work with clients to assess current facility staffing and work with our clients to improve or replace nonperforming staff members.