The Cleaner Production Demonstration Project is an initiative of the Environment Australia - Environment Protection Group (EPG). The aim of the Project was to raise the awareness of Australian industry and actively promote cleaner production issues. This was to be achieved by conducting ten successful cleaner production demonstration projects in industry around Australia, documenting the benefits and experiences of the project, and publicising the results to wider industry. Dames & Moore, assisted by Energetics, were engaged as technical consultants on the project. The project commenced in June 1994, and ran for 27 months.
Schweppes Cottee's in Liverpool, NSW, were selected as one of the ten companies to participate in the project. This case study report presents a record of the progress of the Schweppes Cottee's project, from initial meeting to project completion, and detail the results of the project and any problems which may have been encountered. This case study demonstrates the application of cleaner production to the food industry.
The Schweppes Cottee's facility in Liverpool is a medium-sized manufacturing plant which produces cordial, jam, jelly, ice cream toppings, fruit snacks and coffee. The main basic raw ingredients used in production are sugar, fruit, food additives and water, which are processed on a number of production lines.
The manufacturing process typically involves the following steps:
- heating / cooking;
- blending / mixing; and
- bottling / packaging.
Completion of the Schweppes Cottee's project comprised a number of stages, as follows:
- an initial audit of the site, and discussions with site personnel to identify general opportunities for cleaner production;
- follow-up site visits and meetings to identify more specific cleaner production opportunities;
- investigation of the perceived benefits and drawbacks associated with each of the opportunities, to assist site management in deciding which of the potential projects to implement at the site;
- implementing the selected projects;
- monitoring the success of the projects; and
- documenting the results.
Many specific cleaner production opportunities were identified at the site, which are summarised in Table 1. Following a relatively long period of investigation and discussion, five projects were selected for implementation. These projects focused on water minimisation, energy conservation, and improvement of wastewater quality, and are summarised below.
Utilising sand filter backwash water
The volume of water used to backwash water filters (which is currently disposed to sewer) is approximately 5,700 kL/year or approximately 3.5% of total water usage. This water is relatively clean, containing a very low concentration of suspended solids and could be used for a variety of non-product uses, including cooling tower water make-up, boiler feed water and water for the line-lube system. Water demands in these areas were monitored or estimated (where monitoring was not possible). It was decided to recycle the backwash water to two cooling towers. The recycling system comprises piping, pumps and level control switches. Collection tanks were available onsite. The cost of installing the recycling system was approximately $3,500. The volume of water saved (and wastewater reduced) was estimated at 4,140 kL/year. Cost savings associated with water savings were estimated at $8,280 /year. The payback period of the project was predicted to be 5 months.
Installing throttle valves on the jam line capping machines
Approximately 5,200 kL/year of clean water was overflowing from the jam capping machine directly to site drains. While there were areas where this water could be reused, it was decided that the collection and recycling system was not feasible. In order to reduce water wasted at the capping machines, the installation of throttle valves was proposed to control the rate of water flow. These valves could be installed at an estimated cost of $300. It is estimated that 25% of the water wasted at the jam capping machine would be saved by installing the throttle valves, representing a water saving of 1,300 kL/year, and a cost saving of $2,600/year. The project has a payback period of 6 weeks. The valves were not installed during the time-frame of the Demonstration Project, but may be installed at a later date.
Replacement of nozzles on the container wash systems on the fruit snacks and cordial production lines
The existing shower-style nozzles were not making optimum use of the available water. It was proposed that the shower nozzles be replaced with flat water-saving nozzles. Approximately 101 nozzles were replaced, at an estimate cost of $3,390. It has been estimated that this initiative will save 7,950 kL of water annually (a cost saving of approximately $15,980 / year). The payback period for this project is predicted to be 10 weeks.
Installing container wash water recycling systems
Prior to the Demonstration Project, a system was installed on the container wash system on one of the cordial production lines which collected rinse water and recycled it for use as first-wash water. The system was installed for approximately $1,500. Estimated water savings are 2,650 kL/year ($5,300 / year). This system was to be extended to other cordial production lines, which would result in significant water savings. While this was not achieved during the time-frame of the Demonstration Project, the additional recycling systems will be installed at a later date.
Replacing the controller on the hot water maker to conserve energy
Due to poor temperature control, the hot water maker was emitting steam, representing a waste of energy. The required temperature for the hot water was investigated, and an improved controller was installed to maintain the heater at the required temperature, and prevent over-heating. The benefits of this project were difficult to quantify, as the hot water maker represents a small part of a complicated steam system at the site.
Improvements to the line-lube (conveyor lubrication and sanitisation) system were made by Schweppes Cottee's independently to the Demonstration Project, with the objectives of decreasing line-lube and water usage and reducing oil and grease concentrations in the wastewater discharged from the site. The improvements were made by line-lube supply company, at no cost to Schweppes Cottee's, and involved regulating flows and improving controls. The benefits of the line-lube project are documented in this report.
Schweppes Cottee's allocated the responsibility for implementing the projects to one of their site engineers. There was limited involvement by site management. While the projects were successful, progress was slower than anticipated. The benefits of the project could have been more widespread had management been more involved in the process, and more personnel been made available to work on the project. There appears to be some commitment from plant management to continue investigating and implementing other opportunities for cleaner production which were identified at the outset of the project.