“Hubbard-Hall exceeded my stringent expectations for how a customer deserves to be treated.” – Steve Leonetti, IMC EVP
Lean manufacturers strive to eliminate waste in all its forms. One is over-processing, another is inventory. By offering ways to reduce their chemical footprint, Hubbard-Hall helped IMC tackle both.
A Chemical Balancing Act
Like many metal processors, IMC operates a wastewater treatment system to keep discharges of heavy metals within permitted levels. Before Hubbard-Hall became involved, they used four different chemicals to remove copper and manage pH. Despite heavy dosing, achieving the 2.5 ppm limit was labor intense, creating prodigious quantities of iron-rich sludge that needed costly disposal.
Optimize and Educate
After taking a close look at the treatments and chemicals used by IMC, Hubbard-Hall recommended changes. The first was to switch from a ferric coagulant to calcium-based AquaPure Cal 40. When paired with AquaPure T-500 metal precipitant, copper removal improved, and sludge volume was reduced.
Second, education and training in wastewater treatment gave IMC workers an improved understanding of dosing and pH management. At IMC’s request, Hubbard-Hall worked to optimize their new treatment system directly with the equipment manufacturer.
A Leaner Wastewater Treatment Activity
The calcium coagulant did a much better job removing copper from their wastewater, with lower usage as compared to the ferric-based additive used previously. With training, IMC staff gained a better understanding of how to reduce dosage while achieving lower discharge levels and better pH control.
These improvements reduced the number of treatment chemicals from four to three. Reduced inventory and associated storage space were a second lean gain. Finally, IMC resumed recycling discussions as a viable option to paying for iron-rich sludge haul off.
Electroplating businesses around the world use copper anodes manufactured by IMC in North Carolina. They’re leaders in their industry and we’re pleased to be their wastewater treatment partner.