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Smurfit Kappa Display - Effluent Control Case Study

Smurfit Kappa Display control their Effluent emissions, and help protect the environment without the need for extensive investment. 

2009 Assessment

In 2009 the Smurfit Kappa Display site began to receive effluent reading fails from SDCC (South Dublin County Council) and began to monitor the level of chemicals going to the interceptor and ultimately the County drains. Without any success in controlling their limits the only available option seemed to be to apply for Capital Expenditure to build a ‘closed loop system’ that would prevent all chemicals from entering the County drains. The cost to install and begin running this ‘closed loop system’ was vast, however with an expected increase in productivity in this area by 20%.

2010 Programme Initiation

Taking the above into account the site approached SDCC for more time to come up with a system they were confident would work. Research began by the Operations and Health & Safety Departments taking fortnightly samples from the drains that were sent for testing and assessment to understand what was causing the fails.

For the first Five months of 2010, 10 x Samples were sent to be tested, resulting in 8 x Fails all coming from COD’S (Chemical Oxygen Demand) and BOD’S (Biochemical Oxygen Demand).

Attention was then focused on the details around which chemicals were used, in that there was a need to establish what chemicals were the cause for COD’S and BOD’S failing to be within the license limits. After numerous meetings with suppliers it was decided to change the process by which chemicals were being used by:

  1. 1. Prohibiting operators from applying chemicals onto printing screens manually & uncontrolled.
  2. 2. Installing two pumps that reduced the amount of chemicals being applied to print screens.
  3. 3. Allowing only senior ‘Screen Prep’ operators to mix chemicals in ratio.
  4. 4. Installing a new machine that automatically released chemical at timed intervals that broke up the COD’S and BOD’s in the interceptor before they reached the drains.
  5. 5. Changing the Screen Print ink to an ‘easier to break down’ ink that washed from screens with fewer chemicals.
  6. 6. Reducing the ratio of chemicals to water (yearly saving on chemicals).
  7. 7. Weekly signing off checks by Production Manager to confirm the amount of chemicals being used were within agreed limits.
  8. 8. Conducting daily talks with operators to ensure all of the above were being adhered to.

The detailed testing and systems put in place took Five months to complete before Display then began to send fortnightly effluent samples for further testing while continuing to monitor results.

For the final Three months of 2010; 6 x Samples were sent to be tested. All Six samples came back within the prescribed effluent limits.

2011 Continuous Improvement

In 2011 the site continued to follow the prescribed measures that proved successful and resulted in the following:

  1. 1. Still completing steps 1 through 8 above.
  2. 2. Weekly effluent samples sent for testing during first 6 months of 2011 and all returned within limits.
  3. 3. Daily Samples for One Week in the month of September 2011, all came back within limits.
  4. 4. Smurfit Kappa Display operated for 6 months of 24 hour shifts without any effluent fails.

2012 and the Future - Within limits on BOD’S and COD’S

In 2012 Display are moving to monthly testing due to confidence that the changes made have allowed them to control their Effluent emissions. After introducing the measures outlined above the site manages to improve efficiency in terms of chemical usage; enhance protection of their local environment and avoided an extensive CapEx requirement.

Smurfit Kappa Display - Effluent Control Case Study