Since its founding in 1986, Mass Design Inc. in Nashua, NH, has built and maintained a proud reputation as one of the oldest manufacturers of printed circuit boards (PCB) for critical applications in North America in their 72,000 square foot facility.
In 2002, Mass Design invested in a microfiltration membrane wastewater treatment system. Committed to improving the sustainability of wastewater discharge, they were also keen to ensure a long-term return on their investment.
Going a step further, the company also decided at the time to replumb the production area and separate their metal baring and organic production waste streams. Doing this ensured consistent compliance with wastewater discharge requirements while providing owners with peace of mind that their equipment investment would be protected.
Hubbard-Hall’s AquaPure Technical Team was contacted to perform a full process audit and identify potential improvements that could be made to further protect Mass Design’s investment and minimize any negative impact factors on the system going forward.
Proud of their consistent ability to ensure compliance with wastewater regulations, Mass Design wanted to maintain their high compliance standards and were unwilling to accept recommendations that might compromise system performance in pursuit of system longevity.
Mass Design was running on a set of membrane trains. At the time of Hubbard-Hall’s assessment, the system had been running for 4-6 weeks. Its starting flow rate was 32 gals/min in between fouling, acid soak, and cleanings. Discharge levels were well within regulatory requirements.
Hubbard Hall’s AquaPure Technical team executed a full upstream production and wastewater treatment process audit with the support of the entire Mass Design production staff.
Together they identified all areas where negative impact factors might effect the membranes during processing.
Full Waste Stream Treatability Study
A complete treatability study on their full waste stream — conducted across all shifts — was also part of our audit, including jar testing and a full chemical comparison.
Every production process with organic additives or components was reviewed and evaluated.
During a second detailed look, we discovered that a minuscule amount of barely visible foreign material from routine PCB processes was compromising the membrane efficiencies.
The Hubbard-Hall team took the data and the analysis back to their lab and began assessing the situation, all the way from asking if minor tweaks were needed to asking if a new wastewater treatment was needed.
What happens next? Download the Process Journal to find out.