H2O GmbH

DBP Mayet opts for proven wastewater treatment system with VACUDEST technology for its new factory workshop

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Source: H2O GmbH

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“If it works, work with it; if it doesn’t, change it!” This was the motto under which the French firm DBP Holding operated when it decided on a proven wastewater treatment system with VACUDEST technology for its new factory workshop. Following over 15 years of positive experience with two existing VACUDEST system installations, a new VACUDEST L 4500 is now processing acidic rinsing water used to condition stainless steel and titanium.

DBP Holding consists of three companies: DBP and EC Mayet, based in the Rhône‑Alpes region since 1976, and DBP Aquitaine, situated in Le Barp between Bordeaux and Arcachon Bay. With 30 years of experience, DBP Mayet is a specialist in the treatment of stainless steel and titanium.

The partnership with H2O GmbH, a leading supplier of vacuum distillation systems for treating industrial wastewater, stretches back to 2001. Bernard Plasencia, CEO of the Group, turned to H2O in order to integrate zero liquid discharge production into its existing production facilities. The firm at the time decided to purchase two evaporators: one to treat rinsing water produced during pickling and passivation, and another to treat wastewater produced during electropolishing. The buffer tanks were installed underground to save space. Both the VACUDEST 400 NT and VACUDEST 120 NT evaporators were installed on the ground floor. These systems have now treated 30,000 m3 of water over the last 15 years, making it reusable for production.

The goal now was to replicate these positive experiences in the new factory workshop. EC Mayet moved its plants in Saint-Priest to a new 3,300 m2 building, replacing the old NT-series VACUDEST systems with a new VACUDEST L 4,500.

The new automatic system in operation at EC Mayet.

The new factory workshop in Saint-Priest
The DBP Mayet Group’s goal is to be able to react better to its customers’ needs by shortening deadlines, increasing the quality of treatment and improving communication between departments in order to monitor planning processes. Treatment quality and traceability are top priorities for the Group’s customers.

In order to meet these challenges, the new workshop was fitted with cutting-edge technology for degreasing, pickling, electrolytically polishing and passivating stainless steel. As with the previous site, it was not possible to dispose of any process wastewater at the new Saint-Priest factory. The decision was therefore taken to once again use a VACUDEST vacuum distillation system from H2O GmbH.

The treated distillate - shown here after pickling and passivation through manual high-pressure rinsing.

This time, a single VACUDEST L 4500 evaporator, with a processing capacity of 4,500 m3 per year, was installed. This system combines the rinsing water produced during the automatic treatment of stainless steel and in the 9×3×3-metre pickling and passivation tank, and re-treats it. The acidic rinsing water, with a pH of 1 to 2, is stored in a gravity-fed underground storage tank. From there, it is transferred directly into the upstream neutralisation tank, where the pH is held at a value of around 8. There is no need whatsoever for pre-treatment, decantation or flocculation. Rack cleaning is all that is needed. The simplicity of the treatment process is all the more important, as DBP MAYET is planning new activities with new processes, including the anodisation and colouration of titanium for medical equipment.

The new evaporator is equipped with optional modules which improve functionality and make the system easier to use:

  • Thanks to the Clearcat system, there is no need for the distillate produced to be post-treated with a coalescence separator. Traditional evaporators require the distillate to be post-treated in an external separator to remove the remaining oil residues. Clearcat technology, on the contrary, treats degreasing water to produce completely oil-free distillate. The treated water can then be returned directly to the resin cylinders without requiring any further filtering. The distillate produced during evaporation has a conductivity of approximately 30 μS/cm; following resin treatment, its conductivity falls to between 2 and 10 μS/cm, depending on the settings used – meaning that the quality standards are therefore met in full. The resins are automatically regenerated, and the eluates are returned to the upstream tank where they are concentrated. The buffer tank for the distillate is fitted with a UV lamp which prevents algae or bacteria from forming in the distillate. Fewer devices means less maintenance work, lower costs and more space!
  • Vacutouch machine control system with specialist software: To quote Head of Technology Pascal Desnos: “A user-friendly, fully intuitive interface.” Users of this utility-oriented control system are kept constantly informed of operating parameters, saving time and enjoying increased safety and security.
  • Ergonomics: Compared with the previous model, the system’s ergonomics and ease of access for maintenance work have been overhauled and fully optimised. Despite the system’s increased height, the control and maintenance elements are within easy reach at normal heights. This ensures improved convenience and safety.
  • Reliability: The system’s data and parameters can be easily stored on a USB memory stick and handed over to H2O’s customer service department for diagnostic purposes. Consequently, effective monitoring ensures total protection for the system and its most important components, such as the vacuum pump. This ensures high operating stability.
  • Native-language customer service: If needed, the five-person customer service team in France is instantly available to the customer. If a problem cannot be solved through the e-Service system, a technician can be on-site within two hours to assist.

Pascal Desnos operates the new H2O evaporator at Mayet's plant in Saint-Priest.

Despite the complexity of this kind of move, the new factory workshop found its feet within just a few weeks, and the rinsing water is continuously purified and reused. Visitors can assess the system on-site to see for themselves how straightforward it is to operate and how much easier it makes it to approach the goal of wastewater-free production. Countless customers and users of DBP products have already benefitted from the firm’s know-how, for example in setting up surface treatment plants, in consulting and selecting products and in converting their old chemical-physical treatment plants to zero liquid discharge production systems with VACUDEST.

For Bernard Plasencia, moving into the new plant represents a giant leap forwards for DBP Mayet: Now that the firm has settled on zero liquid discharge production, quality, safety and environmental standards are now much easier to meet. The firm can concentrate on the big picture and offer its customers a higher level of service than ever.

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