TEC, Inc. (Rockville, MD), providers of precision sheet metal fabrication and precision machining, for more than thirty years, has partnered with many well-known technology companies to meet their need for superior quality, precision metal products. Their offerings range from simple metal components to sophisticated assemblies, with capacities from one-of-a-kind prototypes to full, high-volume production runs.
The sheet metal parts that TEC manufactures are cleaned in a five-stage cleaning process, geared to meet customer specifications, or in preparation for a clear or gold chrome conversion coating. Approximately 3,000 gallons per day of wastewater, generated primarily from the rinse tanks, was discharged to the local POTW (Publicly Owned Treatment Works).
When TEC, Inc. planned to move to a new facility, they learned that the POTW in the new location would require periodic monitoring of the wastewater discharge. TEC wanted to find a solution that would eliminate the cost of monitoring, the inconvenience of periodic POTW inspections and the risk of being out-of-compliance with allowable discharge limits. The task was to:
• Minimize wastewater disposal cost
• Eliminate sewer discharge and its accountability
• Minimize operating costs and capital outlay
• Secure a solution with high reliability and dependable operation
• Minimize maintenance requirements and operator involvement
TEC, Inc. had been using chemistry from Chemetall Oakite for many years, and trusted their expertise and recommendations on process issues. Chemetall Oakite (headquartered in Berkeley Heights, NJ) a name synonymous with the science of cleaning and surface treatment, is a leading specialty chemical company. Founded in 1909 with a flagship product called Oakite, a heavy duty cleaner used to clean artillery shells during World War I, the company now offers over 400 specialized products for more than 30 industries.
When TEC’s Oakite representative, Tom Dielmann, became aware of TEC’s impending move, and their desire to reduce wastewater volume and eliminate sewer discharge, he proposed a system which addressed both issues: a “Rinse Miser” system which allows the rinse water to cycle up to 400 ppm before overflowing, reducing wastewater volume, and a Samsco Water Evaporator to eliminate sewer discharge.
TEC, Inc. welcomed the opportunity to explore these options, and worked closely with Dielmann to achieve the maximum reduction in rinse water volume, while still maintaining the product quality to meet their customers’ specifications. Dielmann assisted in gathering samples of the wastewater so that Samsco Corporation could perform a Laboratory Functional Pilot Test to determine the optimum reduction in volume, the correct material of construction and best possible operating procedures for the Samsco Water Evaporator.
The Functional Pilot Test determined that evaporation would reduce the volume of wastewater by 99 percent, leaving only 1 percent to be disposed of by a waste hauler. Based on these results, and after investigating other wastewater treatment options, TEC concluded that the Samsco Water Evaporator would provide the best and most cost effective solution, both in terms of capital and operational costs.
TEC first began their search for the optimum wastewater treatment system in November of 1999. Samsco presented their Laboratory Functional Pilot test results and a quotation for the Samsco Water Evaporator in February of 2000. The system, which included a holding tank, level controls for the holding tank, transfer pumps and accessories was purchased from Samsco Corporation, through Chemetall Oakite, in March of 2000. In addition, Samsco prepared and submitted the Air quality Permit Application required before installation. The total cost for the system, and air quality permitting was approximately $32,000.
Samsco’s Client Service Group assisted Tec, Inc. during the initial installation and startup, (completed in May of 2000) and has been available to answer any questions concerning the operation of the system.
The Samsco evaporator has been operating successfully for over five years, has required minimal maintenance and has saved TEC thousands of dollars in disposal costs. Mike Geary, President of TEC, reported recently that he is “very satisfied with the Samsco Water Evaporator, and the support that he has received from both Chemetall Oakite and Samsco Corporation.”
TEC, Inc’s successful installation has allowed Dielmann to provide several other clients the opportunity to witness the operation of the system and to envision how a similar system might work in their own facility. With a second installation in Maryland, and several pending projects, Tom expects to assist many of his clients in addressing their wastewater disposal concerns.
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