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OMG Roofing Products Case Study

The Doctor Is In: Making a WasteWater Headache Go Away

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OMG turns out a minimum of 325,000 pounds of screws per week.

Established in 1981, OMG has become a giant in the fastening business. The company manufactures roofing and deck fasteners – oceans of them. Operating three shifts, five days a week, it turns out a minimum of 60,000 – 70,000 pounds of screws daily, 325,000 pounds per week. Contractors and DIY-ers can find its Fasten-Master brand in Lowe’s and Home Depot’s nationwide.

The absence of jar testing by operators made them unaware of process changes up-stream.

The absence of jar testing by operators made them unaware of process changes up-stream.

Not surprisingly, the philosophy of such a market leader is one of continuous improvement—although in one particular case with negative consequences to its wastewater stream. When the company went to a new pre-treat system on its paint line – an acid-pickle bath – the result was far too much zinc in its wastewater effluent. OMG had to change its wastewater chemistry and Hubbard-Hall got the call – due in large part to its enthusiasm for being on-call.

Succeeding in reducing the amount of zinc for OMG included a lot of house calls – comprehensive tankside support for which the company is known – and a fair amount of Red Bull. Hubbard-Hall’s Technical Service Representative David Joyce led a team of wastewater treatment experts in developing a recipe that included AquaPure 100 (a custom-blended inorganic coagulant), AquaPure P601 metal precipitant and AquaPure FW polymer flocculant in liquid form. Early returns were positive; however, degradation in clarity was occurring between the first shift and the third.

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David gave all three OMG operators jar testing documentation & training.

Which is when Red Bull was added to the recipe.

“Being there. There’s nothing like it to actually get to the bottom of things,” Joyce says, “I bought a six-pack of Red Bull and pulled a sixteen-hour shift. Nobody went near that clarifier except me. It ran crystal clear that day.”

Ultimately, consistency came to the waste stream in the form of jar testing, a protocol Hubbard-Hall recommended but OMG had never done before.

“We never knew how to do jar testing,” says Mark Hortie, E-Coat Process Supervisor. “The daily checks it provides give us an idea of what’s coming at us.” In fact, Mark liked the idea so much that it is a requirement of all operators on every shift to do jar testing, documenting waste generation and chemical changes in log books created by David and his team.

Bottom line: Thanks in large part to Hubbard-Hall has helped OMG reduce the level of contaminants, principally zinc, from 2.3 ppm to 0.23 ppm, well below the regulated requirements of city and state agencies.

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