Industrial Ovens: Types and Uses

Industrial ovens are absolutely essential pieces of equipment in many industries, from the pharmaceutical industry to the world of manufacturing.

Able to operate at immensely high temperatures, well in excess of 250 degrees Fahrenheit, these ovens can make use of various power sources, including electricity, gas, and oil, in order to operate, being used for heat-treating parts, conditioning metals, and much more.

This guide will take a look at some of the many different types of industrial ovens and some of their common uses too.

industrial-oven

The Types of Industrial Ovens

There are many different types of industrial ovens, and new types are being produced by leading industrial oven manufacturers all the time. It’s therefore not possible to list every single variety out there, but the list below will cover some of the most common types, introducing their basic design and functionality.

1. Electric

An industrial electric oven, as the name implies, will make use of electricity as its primary power source. This allows it to reach high temperatures very quickly, as well as giving the user a lot of precise control over the interior temperatures, times, and settings. These types of ovens are useful when working with certain types of metal products and combustible items that aren’t suitable for gas ovens.

2. Gas

Gas ovens make use of gas to operate and are more affordable to use than electric ovens due to their lower energy costs. They can heat up very quickly and keep their temperatures high for longer than other oven types, making them useful for extended sessions of heating and treating. They generally make use of either natural gas or propane and are well-suited for jobs like automotive part manufacturing and powder coating onto the steel.

3. Drying

A drying oven, as the name implies, is designed to dry out the items that are placed inside it, removing any excess moisture. This can be very useful for sterilizing medical items, heat-treating metals, and so on.

4. Curing

A curing oven is designed to help powders and paints bond with metal surfaces. They’re great for processes like powder coating, as well as being useful for hardening substances like plastic and rubber, and they can have a range of different power sources, including electricity and gas.

5. Conveyor

A conveyor industrial oven is one that has a conveyor belt system on the inside which gradually moves the items along into different oven zones. There are usually multiple heating zones operating at different temperatures in a conveyor oven, as well as cooling zones too, and these ovens are hugely versatile, working with curing, drying, forming, and other processes.

6. Batch

A batch industrial oven is a very large oven that can take on big jobs, heating many items all at once. These tend to be some of the biggest industrial ovens around and they’re usually powered by electricity.

7. Tunnel

A tunnel oven is a long industrial oven with openings at either end and a belt in the center. Items move along the belt, through the tunnel, from one end to the other, being heated and baked in the center. These ovens tend to operate continuously, able to treat batch after batch of items, making them well-suited for baking and food preparation.

Uses of Industrial Ovens

There are many different ways in which industrial ovens can be used, for example:

  • Food – Just like commercial ovens you find at home or in restaurants, industrial ovens can also be used to bake food products, but on a much larger scale than a typical home oven. They’re essential for businesses that make large batches of food for sale and delivery.
  • Sterilization – Industrial ovens can play a key role in sterilizing medical items and accessories like scalpels, syringes, and so on. Their high temperatures help to kill bacteria and other germs, as well as eradicating other contaminants.
  • Pharmaceuticals – Another medical application of industrial ovens is for making pills in the pharmaceutical industry. These ovens can be used to essentially bake the coatings of pills into place and getting rid of any excess chemicals or contaminants.
  • Heat Treating – This process is when heat is applied to metals to create different effects, like strengthening or tempering the metals or aging them. This process can take days to complete but can result in much stronger and more durable metals for use in industries like aeronautics and automotive.

Final Word

In their many forms, sizes, and styles, it’s clear to see that industrial ovens play a vital role in the world around us.

How Mechanical and Electrical Engineers Can Help in Renewable Energy Projects Design?

Over the last decade, the renewable energy industry has witnessed tremendous global growth, and mechanical engineers have made a significant contribution in ensuring the transition to pure energy and other sustainable practices around the globe.

Over the last decade, the renewable energy industry has witnessed tremendous global growth, and mechanical engineers have made a significant contribution in ensuring the transition to pure energy and other sustainable practices around the globe.

The same can be said about the role of electrical engineers in this industry. Nowadays, humans can observe the movement of small businesses and startups toward carbon-free solutions, for instance, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydroelectric power in action in all their projects.

Using full benefits of renewable energy sources demands advanced technology in manufacturing, preserving, and supplying electricity. That is what makes the technical expertise of electrical engineers an essential resource at small businesses or startups striving to integrate eco-friendly practices.

In case your business/startup is connected with designing renewable energy projects, the first thing you should do is to check some renewable energy market analysis so that you can develop your strategy. Then, it would be brilliant to find 3D modeling services to make your renewable energy project come true and hire relevant types of engineers who will work on your project.

Now, let’s take a glimpse at several ways how mechanical and electrical engineers can help you in that. We will start with mechanical engineers.

electrical-engineering

Mechanical Engineers in Renewable Energy Projects

Small business and startup owners should consider this type of engineer as a must for designing renewable energy solutions! Why?

A wide range of the essential skills that mechanical engineers experience in their graduate programs possess many useful practices for renewable energy engineering. Profound knowledge in fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and thermodynamics, for instance, is a clue to designing the wind power eco solution. The same expertise is also necessary when improving cooling systems, developing hydropower infrastructure, and creating new energy preservation technology, for example, solar fuel or thermochemical batteries for long-term energy storage.

Small business and startup owners should hire mechanical engineers because they practically can be involved in every step of renewable energy generation/distribution. From designing approaches that minimize the cost of silicon production for solar panels to developing optimized ways to build wind farms, this kind of engineer is significant to improving the renewable energy infrastructure. Below, you can see several essential duties of mechanical engineers in designing renewable energy solutions:

  • Rationalizing a certain renewable energy technology for it to get more financially beneficial to develop relevant infrastructure;
  • Explore various materials and their interrelation for further implementation in renewable energy leading to innovative systems/technologies design for producing and supplying eco power;
  • Provide small business and startup owners with consultations regarding renewable energy projects, including delivering the best ways to achieve sustainability goals: determining technology needs and methods to build and invest in renewable energy infrastructure;
  • Multiple integrations of all types of renewable energy technologies.

How Electrical Engineers Solve Renewable Energy Challenges?

When it comes to the contribution of electrical engineers to sustainability-based energy projects, it is the following.

The wind turbines and solar panels that produce pure energy are often located in areas far from municipalities. To experience all bonuses of environmentally friendly electricity, mankind requires the infrastructure to distribute such energy into homes.

 

Designing a renewable energy project and faced the above-mentioned challenge? Here, electrical engineers are your option!

As a rule, electrical engineers engaged in renewable energy transmission address the following issues:

  • Modernizing and expanding high-voltage distribution lines, selecting appropriate areas for construction to reduce environmental influence;
  • Identifying the finest strategies to transform renewable energy into electricity safely and effectively;
  • Precisely predicting the requirement for eco power and enabling facilities to possess the storage capacity to satisfy those requirements;
  • Securely managing the power flows from production facilities via the grid;
  • Designing innovative control platforms to check how the grid behaves and to react to troubles as they happen.

In case your startup is connected with microgrids, electrical engineers can come in handy. For those who are not on the topic, let’s clarify the thing.

solar-microgrid

Various platforms that involve microgrids make it possible to get more effective energy distribution than ordinary grids, resulting in eco power systems that are less wasteful as well as more financially beneficial.

Besides, some microgrids suggest an eco-friendly alternative by using a renewable energy source, for instance, wind power, biomass, or solar power. With permanent technological development, such microgrids can become central to implementing energy even greener!

It requires creative problem-solving as well as innovative technical knowledge to support in revolutionizing eco-energy production, distribution, and consumption. Electrical engineers understand the principles which are on the background of the latest achievements in the energy transformation, power platforms, and power grids. So, they can potentially design a win-win solution for your business in the renewable energy industry.

How Can Launder Covers Help Water Environments

The conservation of water, its proper flow, and assured safety for home or industrial use can be achieved by reusing water through renewable energy. However, algae control is challenging even for modern wastewater treatment plants. One of the best ways of resolving this problem is by installing launder covers.

Aside from this concern, water ecosystems also face other issues, the most notable being water and wastewater treatment facilities. So how can launder covers be of any help in such a scenario?

The discussion that follows will serve as a useful reference point when choosing the right launder cover for your water and wastewater treatment facility. Let’s get up to speed on how launder covers can help water environments.

Prevent Algae Growth

Algae growth has a proven tendency of developing in water and wastewater treatment facilities. It causes changes in the hydraulic dynamics of clarifiers, which leads to obstruction of design features found in weir configurations. Once launder covers are installed, they provide an attractive and extremely low maintenance structure to help eliminate algae growth problems.

Also, larger algae can dislodge and move around in plants that utilize ultraviolet disinfection technology. If the floating algae ends up covering UV bulbs, this may cause bulb failure and render UV bulbs ineffective, which are unfortunately very expensive to replace.

That’s why the installation of reliable launder covers, like IEC Covers, is recommended to help prevent algae growth in water and wastewater treatment plants. This would save money on repairs and UV bulb replacement at the same time.

Control Gas And Odor Emissions

Launder covers are useful in providing a continuous protective environment above the effluent stream. They can contain odor and gas to prevent environmental pollution and protect the health of workers in the area.

A reliable and corrosion-free launder cover system prevents direct sunlight from reaching the elevated growth areas of the weir and clarifier launder. Since launder covers serve as odor control hoods, they trap noxious gases that are generated during wastewater treatment processes.

Provide Essential Value To Water Environments

Custom designed launder covers can be placed in rectangular and round tanks, providing essential value for different water and wastewater operations. This page will teach you everything about wastewater treatment.

Here are the advantages of installing launder covers in water environments:

  • Continuous inhibition of algae growth
  • Lightweight and cost-effective solution for water problems
  • Operable access for safety inspections and preventive maintenance

Maintain Weir Structural Integrity And Function

Eliminating direct sunlight inhibits algae growth, which also enhances the flow consistency of weir and reduces the need for maintenance. Launder covers shield other openings where access is normally required, but for safety reasons they need to be covered when not being used.

You can request custom-designed launder covers according to your preferred requirements. Custom-designed launder covers can be used in both round and rectangular clarifiers, as well as channels, sludge thickeners, and other openings.

Acts As Debris Barrier

Plastic bags, leaves, dead tree branches, and other windblown debris often lands in water environments. Launder covers help prevent such waste materials from ending up in your water and wastewater plant.

Also, aside from preventing debris from entering the water stream, launder covers can also be helpful in containing localized odor emissions if present in the weir area (effluent trough). Choosing fiberglass launder covers helps seal water environments in order to control odor.

Protect Launder From Weather

Strong winds, storms, snow, or heavy rainfall may introduce debris to water environments. Installing launder covers helps protect them against debris and damage caused by natural disasters. Choosing high-quality launder covers will ensure that they can withstand harsh weather conditions while protecting water and wastewater treatment plants.

Here’s a quick guide for when you are choosing launder covers:

  • NSF/ANSI Certified: Choose launder covers that are NSF or ANSI 61 certified. Also, opt for launder covers made of AWWA F101 compliant materials. NSF/ANSI Standard 61 or NSF-61 refers to a national standard relating to water treatment, establishing strict requirements and controls for equipment coming in contact with potable water or other products supporting the potable water production.
  • Quality Make: Select launder covers with superior strength and corrosion resistance that use FRP components to ensure long and maintenance-free service life. Choose clarifier launder covers that utilize fiberglass and stainless steel hardware, specifically made for municipal or industrial wastewater treatment purposes. These launder covers are easy to use, ensuring smooth operation and meeting the required NPDES effluent levels of Total Suspended Solids or TSS.
  • ISO Certified: Choose an ISO 9001 certified launder cover for manufacturing facilities.

Conclusion

Launder covers provide great protection against debris, harsh weather conditions, and direct sunlight. They further help protect weir structures, prevent algae growth, and are handy in avoiding the potential damage that algae can do to UV bulbs in treatment facilities using UV disinfection technology.

Choosing high-quality launder covers would mean having long-term peace of mind that your water quality is preserved and wastewater treatment operations can function smoothly.

Drone Usage for Renewable Energy Development and Maintenance

The use of drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), dates back to 1849. Austria invaded Venice, sending human-contactless balloons over the city, which contained explosive materials. Advancements in drone technology allow for continued military utilization, as well as commercial and civilian use.

Drones recently joined the environmental industry, providing promising future aid to renewable energy development and maintenance. The small ascending computers can provide us with unique images of Earth, as natural TV programs show us. Drones may use their imaging abilities to survey and map the land and detect renewable energy system issues. They can also produce their own energy and limit package delivery emissions. Read on to know about the use of drones in renewable energy sector:

Surveying and Mapping

When evaluating potential renewable energy sites, like solar and wind farms, it is essential to calculate possible interference. Drones can move throughout these regions collecting data on wind currents, sun exposure, and the ecosystem. This system is integrated into the agricultural industry with light detection and ranging sensors (Lidar) attached to drones.

Renewable power companies use this system to survey and map energy sites. Like the Quantum Trinity F90+, popular commercial UAVs can reduce the time and greenhouse gases used in traditional land mapping practices. These devices can fly for 90-minute periods and track large regions of land.

Issue Detection

Once renewable energy systems are in place, drone use continues. Wind turbines benefit greatly from UAV intervention.

drone-wind-farms

Most turbines reach heights of 280 feet to allow for maximum wind capture. Unfortunately, this poses severe problems for maintenance workers. In the U.K., 163 workers suffered injuries while repairing wind power devices, and five workers died.

UAVs can reach heights of 400 feet, allowing them to evaluate issues safely and effectively. These detection methods are less expensive for renewable energy companies and enable workers to plan more efficient repairs. One can also use drones to detect solar panel problems.

Solar companies use UAVs to detect panel malfunctions from the ground. To increase the sustainability of this practice and to reduce occupational accidents, companies can send drones to panel sites without workers present. This would further reduce greenhouse gas emissions by limiting the transportation process associated with maintenance.

Renewable Energy Drone Production

A recent development in the UAV industry allows drones to fuel themselves using wind power. The Saildrone is a device that harnesses its energy from small propellers, similar to the head of a wind turbine. Scientists are currently using them to collect and relay oceanic data, but their abilities are expanding.

Wind power-converting drones may act as a sustainable alternative to wind turbines. The UAVs in production fly in circular patterns with a kite attached. This maximizes the efficiency of wind capturing.

The energy would reach the Earth’s surface through an extended power cable, which is less environmentally disruptive than a turbine. The materials utilized in building a wind energy drone are less disruptive to the planet and require less greenhouse gas emissions in production.

Solar Delivery Drones

In 2013, Amazon revealed its idea to utilize drones to deliver packages efficiently. These UAVs would reportedly fly boxes to your doorstep in under 30 minutes, depending on your region. The incorporation of drones into the delivery industry could significantly reduce carbon emissions, preserving the atmosphere.

delivery-drone-amazon

With renewable energy-powered delivery UAVs, truck-induced air pollution, traffic congestion, and roadkill could decrease. Limiting these environmental harms can conserve the environment and increase biodiversity on Earth. You may ask yourself, “So, where are my sustainably delivered packages?”

Drone Regulations

The reason that, eight years later, we are still waiting for our drone-delivered Amazon purchases has to do with strict aircraft regulations. Each year, the U.S. government releases new guidelines for commercial UAV use. These regulations restrict further drone use by the renewable energy industry.

Restrictions on flying heights, speed, weight, certifications, site navigation, and more limit one’s ability to use UAVs for sustainability purposes. Innovators are working to develop green drone uses, but it will take time before they reach the commercial market. As their safety and abilities increase, the use of drones in renewable energy sector will grow at a rapid pace.

Why Eco-Friendly Industrial Coatings Deserve Your Attention?

Industrial plants and facilities have been instrumental in propelling the modernization of human society. From that pen you use to sign your cheques to the knife you use to cut fruits for breakfast – almost every object of daily use has been manufactured at a production unit.

However, despite the numerous benefits of industries, they’ve been responsible for a wide array of environmental issues, including greenhouse gas emission, global warming, and air pollution. Also, improper waste management at manufacturing plants has adversely affected biodiversity in various regions.

The good news is that today’s industrial units are becoming more aware of their environmental impact and taking various steps to reduce their carbon footprint. This change has been propelled by increasing consumer demand for sustainable business practices, as well as federal and state regulations.

But while you’re striving to reduce energy consumption and waste generation at your plant, you’re likely ignoring the crucial aspect of industrial paint. That’s right! The paint that’s used for industrial plants, machinery, and tools is a key contributor to environmental degradation.

industrial-coatings

This, in turn, has compelled manufacturers and plant managers to look for eco-friendly industrial paint options from established distributors, such as Promain Paints. But if you’re new to the world of eco-friendly industrial paint, you might be skeptical about making the switch.

Is eco-friendly industrial paint worth the cost? Is it going to have the same characteristics as traditional industrial coatings? Is it mandatory for industrial units to use eco-friendly coatings?

If you’re looking for answers to these questions, we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into the concept of industrial paints and understand their environmental impact. We’ll also explore the benefits of replacing traditional industrial paint with eco-friendly alternatives. Let’s get started.

Industrial Paint: A Closer Look

Industrial paint or industrial coating is specifically formulated for machinery, equipment, structural facilities, and end products at manufacturing plants and other industrial units. It’s also used to coat floors and other surfaces that endure the stress of heavy machinery.

Industrial paint can be in the form of a liquid, powder, or paste. When exposed to natural air, the paint gets cured and dried, thus forming a protective layer over the surface on which it’s been applied.

The primary purpose of industrial coating is to protect equipment, goods, and other substrates from physical and chemical damage. Depending on its chemical composition, the paint can also prevent the accumulation of dirt and grime. It even goes a long way to improve safety by making surfaces, such as floors, less slippery.

Typically, industrial paint comprises the following components:

  • Pigments
  • Binders
  • Solvents
  • Additives

Pigments are the chemicals or dyes that give the paint its color. Commonly used pigments include titanium oxide, iron oxide, and phthalocyanine derivatives. Binders are polymers, such as alkyd and acrylic resins, that allow the paint to adhere to the substrate and form a protective film on drying.

A solvent is a liquid that’s added to the paint to reduce its viscosity and improve its consistency so that it can be sprayed or applied with a brush. Typical solvents used in industrial paint include aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, esters, ethers, alcohols, ketones, etc.

Additives are special chemicals that give specific characteristics to the paint. Common examples of industrial paint additives include wetting agents, drying agents, fungicides, biocides, and plasticizers.

Effect of Industrial Coating on the Environment

The solvents used in industrial paint contain toxic chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs have low boiling points and react with other gases present in the air when exposed to sunlight. They’re also responsible for giving paint its characteristic smell.

Short-term inhalation of VOCs can cause a wide array of health problems, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, and skin rashes. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can lead to serious diseases, including cancer and liver ailments, as well as damage the central nervous system.

However, the impact of VOCs isn’t restricted to health-related disorders. They also adversely affect the environment and cause air pollution. It’s because these chemicals react with nitrogen oxides present in the environment in the presence of sunlight. This, in turn, results in the formation of tropospheric or ground-level ozone.

Ground-level ozone is a harmful air pollutant that creates smog and damages plants. It could affect the natural habitat of various animals and, in turn, destroy biodiversity. Also, it acts as a greenhouse gas, thereby contributing to global warming. That’s why increased use of conventional industrial paint is proving to be catastrophic for the environment.

The Search for Eco-Friendly Options

The harmful effects of industrial coating have forced manufacturers to look for environmentally-friendly alternatives. Eco-friendly industrial paint usually contains special solvents that emit negligible or very low amounts of VOCs into the air.

industrial-valve

The biggest benefit of using eco-friendly paint is that it helps you comply with the environmental regulations in your area. The Environmental Protection Agency has outlined specific limits for VOC emissions in different regions. Non-compliance with these regulations could result in legal ramifications.

Also, many eco-friendly paints are formulated to be more durable. Some of them are even made using bio-renewable or post-consumer waste raw materials. This further reduces the environmental impact of your unit and takes you a step closer to creating sustainable business operations.

What other steps are you taking to minimize the environmental impact of your business? Share your suggestions in the comments section below.

Everything You Need to Know About Carbon Black

Carbon Black is a commercial form of solid carbon that is manufactured in highly controlled processes to produce specifically engineered aggregates of carbon particles that vary in particle size, aggregate size, shape, porosity and surface chemistry. Carbon Black typically contains more than 95 % pure carbon with minimal quantities of oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen.

In the manufacturing process, Carbon Black particles range from 10 nm to approximately 500 nm in size. These fuse into chain-like aggregates, which define the structure of individual Carbon Black grades.

What is Carbon Black

Carbon Black is used in a diverse group of materials in order to enhance their physical, electrical and optical properties. Its largest volume use is as a reinforcement and performance additive in rubber products.

In rubber compounding, natural and synthetic elastomers are blended with Carbon Black, elemental sulphur, processing oils and various organic processing chemicals, and then heated to produce a wide range of vulcanized rubber products. In these applications, Carbon Black provides reinforcement and improves resilience, tear-strength, conductivity and other physical properties.

Carbon Black is the most widely used and cost effective rubber reinforcing agent (typically called Rubber Carbon Black) in tire components (such as treads, sidewalls and inner liners), in mechanical rubber goods (“MRG”), including industrial rubber goods, membrane roofing, automotive rubber parts (such as sealing systems, hoses and anti-vibration parts) and in general rubber goods (such as hoses, belts, gaskets and seals).

Applications of Carbon Black

Besides rubber reinforcement, Carbon Black is used as black pigment and as an additive to enhance material performance, including conductivity, viscosity, static charge control and UV protection. This type of Carbon Black (typically called Specialty Carbon Black) is used in a variety of applications in the coatings, polymers and printing industries, as well as in various other special applications.

Actually, after oil removal and ash removal processing from tire pyrolysis, we can get high-purity commercial carbon black, which can be used to make color masterbatch, color paste, oil ink and as addictive in plastic and rubber products. Besides, after activation treatment, the carbon black will become good materials to produce activated carbon.

In the coatings industry, treated fine particle Carbon Black is the key to deep jet black paints. The automotive industry requires the highest black intensity of black pigments and a bluish undertones.

Carbon Black has got a wide array of applications in different industries

Small particle size Carbon Blacks fulfill these requirements. Coarser Carbon Blacks, which offer a more brownish undertone, are commonly used for tinting and are indispensable for obtaining a desired grey shade or color hue.

In the polymer industry, fine particle Carbon Black is used to obtain a deep jet black color. A major attribute of Carbon Black is its ability to absorb detrimental UV light and convert it into heat, thereby making polymers, such as polypropylene and polyethylene, more resistant to degradation by UV radiation from sunlight. Specialty Carbon Black is also used in polymer insulation for wires and cables. Specialty Carbon Black also improves the insulation properties of polystyrene, which is widely used in construction.

In the printing industry, Carbon Black is not only used as pigment but also to achieve the required viscosity for optimum print quality. Post-treating Carbon Black permits effective use of binding agents in ink for optimum system properties. New Specialty Carbon Blacks are being developed on an ongoing basis and contribute to the pace of innovation in non-impact printing.

Innovative Technologies to Help a Start-Up in Beverage Industry

For businesses trying to make a name for themselves in the beverage industry, the challenges are vast and varied. Yes, the sector can be a profitable one – it’s predicted that the global market will be worth $1.86 trillion by 2024 – but that does not mean there are any guarantees of success.

There are a wide range of difficulties facing start-ups of all kinds, and being able to make an impression within the drinks industry is certainly no different. Of course, not every enterprise will start out hoping to become the next Coca Cola, Heineken or Starbucks, but having a solid business plan and a clearly defined set of goals is likely to offer a greater chance for success.

Part of that planning involves identifying which tools and processes are going to help your organisation compete against its rivals. Advances are being made all the time, but which technologies might be most effective in launching a beverage business. Read on to know more:

tech-in-beverage-industry

1. Flow-through systems

Automated systems can prove invaluable in terms of streamlining the processes of sorting, packaging, labelling and distributing produce. Flow-through systems utilise robots to do the vast majority of this work, using proximity sensors in order to detect the presence of other objects and repeat the same movements. Operating in this way can help to reduce the risk of human error while simultaneously lowering running costs and increasing productivity and efficiency.

2. Industrial Internet of Things

This is where devices in an industrial setting are connected on a network in order to communicate with one another. The IIoT can enable machines involved in the manufacturing process to log data and identify any faults in the production line, which means each drink is turned out to a greater level of consistency.

3. Voice technology

Another development that is assisting beverage businesses – and those in other industries – is the emergence of voice technology. Warehouse operators can now harness this concept to issue voice commands that will be picked up by the relevant pieces of machinery, which subsequently carry out the action. This means tasks can be completed in a safer, more time-efficient manner, while it also makes training of new employees easier in that there are fewer manual skills for them to learn.

4. NFC tags

Moving away from the manufacturing side of the business, near field communication (NFC) tags can help to improve the customer experience once the product has been put to market. NFC technology is what’s used in contactless payment devices, and the concept has been adapted by the beverage industry in order to add another dimension to the product that consumers purchase.

They can be added to the label or packaging and scanned with a smartphone to unlock a range of additional information about the drink.

5. Cloud service

For businesses in any field, the challenge of data storage is one that can be difficult to overcome. Giants of the industry will have the available resources to own and run their own infrastructures, but others may not be in a position to do so or may wish to focus their spending in different areas.

As a solution, there are cloud service providers who offer products such as Virtual Desktop or Azure Virtual Desktop with rented access to certain software at a lower cost, which frees up funds for beverage companies to commit more capital towards the likes of R&D, production and marketing.

Waste Management in the Food Processing Industry

Food processing industry around the world is making serious efforts to minimize by-products, compost organic waste, recycle processing and packaging materials, and save energy and water. The three R’s of waste management – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – can help food manufacturers in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and reusing waste.

EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy

EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy is an excellent resource to follow for food processors and beverage producers as it provides the guidance to start a program that will provide the most benefits for the environment, society and the food manufacturer.

Notably, landfill is the least favored disposal option for waste generated in food and beverage producers worldwide. There are sustainable, effective and profitable waste management options including:

  • making animal feed,
  • composting to create nutrient-rich fertilizer,
  • anaerobic digestion to produce energy-rich biogas,
  • recycling/reusing waste for utilization by other industries,
  • feeding surplus food to needy people

Waste Management Options

Food manufacturers has a unique problem – excess product usually has a relatively short shelf life while most of the waste is organic in nature. Food waste created during the production process can be turned into animal feed and sold to goat farms, chicken farms etc. As far as WWTP sludge is concerned, top food manufacturers are recycling/reusing it through land application, anaerobic digestion and composting alternatives.

Organic waste at any food processing plant can be composted in a modern in-vessel composting and the resultant fertilizer can be used for in-house landscaping or sold as organic fertilizer as attractive prices.

Another plausible way of managing organic waste at the food manufacturing plant is to biologically degrade it in an anaerobic digester leading to the formation of energy-rich biogas and digestate. Biogas can be used as a heating fuel in the plant itself or converted into electricity by using a CHP unit while digestate can be used as a soil conditioner. Biogas can also be converted into biomethane or bio-CNG for its use as vehicle fuel.

Items such as cardboard, clean plastic, metal and paper are all commodities that can be sold to recyclers Lots of cardboard boxes are used by food manufacturers for supplies which can be broken down into flat pieces and sold to recyclers.

Cardboard boxes can also be reused to temporarily store chip packages before putting them into retail distribution boxes. Packaging can be separated in-house and recovered using “jet shredder” waste technologies which separate film, carton and foodstuffs, all of which can then be recycled separately.

Organizing a Zero Landfill Program

How do you develop a plan to create a zero landfill program or zero waste program in food and beverage producing company? The best way to begin is to start at a small-level and doing what you can. Perfect those programs and set goals each year to improve. Creation of a core team is an essential step in order to explore different ways to reduce waste, energy and utilities.

Measuring different waste streams and setting a benchmark is the initial step in the zero landfill program. Once the data has been collected, we should break these numbers down into categories, according to the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge and identify the potential opportunities.

For example, inorganic materials can be categorized based on their end lives (reuse, recycle or landfill).  The food and beverage industry should perform a waste sort exercise (or dumpster dive) to identify its key streams.

Nestlé USA – A Case Study

In April 2015, Nestlé USA announced all 23 of its facilities were landfill free. As part of its sustainability effort, Nestlé USA is continually looking for new ways to reuse, recycle and recover energy, such as composting, recycling, energy production and the provision of safe products for animal feed, when disposing of manufacturing by-products.

Employees also work to minimize by-products and engage in recycling programs and partnerships with credible waste vendors that dispose of manufacturing by-products in line with Nestlé’s environmental sustainability guidelines and standards. All Nestlé facilities employ ISO 14001-certified environmental management systems to minimize their environmental impact.

Waste Management in Olive Oil Industry

The olive oil industry offers valuable opportunities to farmers in terms of seasonal employment as well as significant employment to the off-farm milling and processing industry.  While this industry has significant economic benefits in regards to profit and jobs; the downside is it leads to severe environmental harm and degradation. In 2012, an estimated 2,903,676 tons of olive oil was produced worldwide, the largest olive oil producers being Spain, Italy, and Greece followed by Turkey and Tunisia and to a lesser extent Portugal, Morocco and Algeria. Within the European Union’s olive sector alone, there are roughly 2.5 million producers, who make up roughly one-third of all EU farmers.

olive-oil-wastes

Types of Wastes

Currently, there are two processes that are used for the extraction of olive oil, the three-phase and the two-phase. Both systems generate large amounts of byproducts.  The two byproducts  produced by the three-phase system are a solid residue known as olive press cake (OPC) and large amounts of aqueous liquid known as olive-mill wastewater (OMW).  The three-phase process usually yields 20% olive oil, 30% OPC waste, and 50% OMW.  This equates to 80% more waste being produced than actual product.

Regardless of system used, the effluents produced from olive oil production exhibit highly phytotoxic and antimicrobial properties, mainly due to phenols.  Phenols are a poisonous caustic crystalline compound.  These effluents unless disposed of properly can result in serious environmental damage.  There is no general policy for waste management in the olive oil producing nations around the world.  This results in inconsistent monitoring and non-uniform application of guidelines across these regions.

State of Affairs

Around 30 million m3 of olive mill wastewater is produced annually in the Mediterranean area.  This wastewater cannot be sent to ordinary wastewater treatment systems, thus, safe disposal of this waste is of serious environmental concern.  Moreover, due to its complex compounds, olive processing waste (OPW) is not easily biodegradable and needs to be detoxified before it can properly be used in agricultural and other industrial processes.

This poses a serious problem when the sophisticated treatment and detoxification solutions needed are too expensive for developing countries in North Africa, such as Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, where it is common for OMW to be dumped into rivers and lakes or used for farming irrigation.  This results in the contamination of ground water and eutrophication of lakes, rivers and canals.  Eutrophication results in reductions in aquatic plants, fish and other animal populations as it promotes excessive growth of algae. As the algae die and decompose, high levels of organic matter and the decomposing organisms deplete the water of oxygen, causing aquatic populations to plummet.

Another common tactic for disposal of olive mill wastewater is to collect and retain it in large evaporation basins or ponds.  It is then dried to a semi-solid fraction. In less developed countries where olive processing wastes is disposed of, this waste, as well as olive processing cake and SOR waste is commonly unloaded and spread across the surrounding lands where it sits building up throughout the olive oil production season.  Over time these toxic compounds accumulate in the soil, saturating it, and are often transported by rain water to other nearby areas, causing serious hazardous runoff. Because these effluents are generally untreated it leads to land degradation, soil contamination as well as contamination of groundwater and of the water table itself.

Even a small quantity of olive wastewater in contact with groundwater has the potential to cause significant pollution to drinking water sources. The problem is more serious where chlorine is used to disinfect drinking water. Chlorine in contact with phenol reacts to form chlorophenol which is even more dangerous to human health than phenol alone.

Remedial Measures

The problems associated with olive processing wastes have been extensively studied for the past 50 years.  Unfortunately, research has continued to fall short on discovering a technologically feasible, economically viable, and socially acceptable solution to OPW.  The most common solutions to date have been strategies of detoxification, production system modification, and recycling and recovery of valuable components.  Because the latter results in reductions in the pollution and transformation of OPW into valuable products, it has gained popularity over the past decade. Weed control is a common example of reusing OPW; due to its plant inhibiting characteristics OPW once properly treated can be used as an alternative to chemical weed control.

Research has also been done on using the semisolid waste generated from olive oil production to absorb oil from hazardous oil spills.  Finally, in terms of health, studies are suggesting that due to OPW containing high amounts of phenolic compounds, which have high in antioxidant rates, OPW may be an affordable source of natural antioxidants. Still, none of these techniques on an individual basis solve the problem of disposal of OMW to a complete and exhaustive extent.

At the present state of olive mill wastewater treatment technology, industry has shown little interest in supporting any traditional process (physical, chemical, thermal or biological) on a wide scale.This is because of the high investment and operational costs, the short duration of the production period (3-5 months) and the small size of the olive mills.

Conclusion

Overall, the problems associated with olive processing wastes are further exemplified by lack of common policy among the olive oil producing regions, funding and infrastructure for proper treatment and disposal, and a general lack of education on the environmental and health effects caused by olive processing wastes.

While some progress has been made with regards to methods of treatment and detoxification of OPW there is still significant scope for further research.  Given the severity of environmental impact of olive processing wastes, it is imperative on policy-makers and industry leaders to undertake more concrete initiatives to develop a sustainable framework to tackle the problem of olive oil waste disposal.

The Environmental Benefits of Using Titanium

When titanium was first brought into widespread usage, it was lauded for its strong and weathering-resistant properties. Due to energy costs, production declined over the past 10 years; however, a new process established by the UK’s Dstl has reduced titanium processing time by 50%. The result –  Cheap, low-energy titanium production.

Titanium is used in a startlingly diverse array of applications, too. From paint, to bikes, to eco friendly party glitter, you will likely encounter titanium in your day-to-day life more frequently than you’d notice. It’s good news, then, that titanium is being used to support positive environmental change in numerous ways.

environmental-benefits-titanium

Titanium taking over plastic

One of the foremost ways in which titanium is helping to improve our natural environment is through offering alternatives to polluting items. A great example of this is plastic replacement.

According to clean ocean advocates The Ocean Cleanup, there’s over 80m tonnes of plastic in the oceans. A large contributor to this is the plastic straw, which features at 11th in the list of Get Green’s most commonly littered plastics. Many manufacturers, by utilizing the non-rusting and sturdy quality of titanium tubes, have opted to replace drinking straws with titanium. Given the possibility of cheap, low energy tubes, this means ocean cleanliness can be improved and carbon emissions mitigated.

Taking titanium to the next level

The material properties of titanium are being taken to the next level by modern science. Another huge cause of carbon emissions and pollution is the plastic bottle. A key target for environmental plans, the reusable bottle industry grew to $7.6bn last year, according to Nielson.

Titanium has entered the market through a  clever flexible bottle, with titanium a key component. The metal has again been chosen due to its resistant quality and the improving environmental impact of producing it.

Tackling the oxides

Oxides have been the main use of titanium for a while. Paint, ink, sunscreen, medicines, paper – there are countless products that use titanium oxide. Historically, the process for oxide extraction has been environmentally damaging, as has the product itself; for example, the USA’s National Park Service states that various sunscreens with Ti oxide will damage coral.

Many manufacturers are replacing plastic drinking straws with titanium.

Now, Titanium Oxide is likely to be brought into the green sphere, too. A novel new study published in the Journal for Pharmaceutical Sciences found that titanium oxide can be synthesized using bacteria, and that this could spell a much brighter future for the historically damaging extraction.

Conclusion

Titanium is a versatile and well renowned metal used in a huge range of applications. As such it’s not an easy proposition to remove it from the market on the grounds of environmentalism. However, through determined scientific study and consumer action, it’s becoming a figurehead in helping the public to use its quality and simultaneously protect the planet.