Today there is an increased awareness of protecting our environment from hazardous emissions and waste. Everyone is ‘Going Green’ to reduce these environmental pollutants. All types of companies are expected to address this matter, including firms operating spray booths. Spray booth operations can reduce waste in one of two manners: a dramatic overhaul of the entire process or incremental improvements.
Dramatic overhauls are expensive because they typically require intensive planning and resources. By focusing on the materials and equipment companies also bypass an opportunity to improve their employees and business processes. Production is almost always impacted during a change of this type and often afterwards. Even with an overhaul companies should not assume that all wastes will be eliminated.
Incremental improvements can be made in a manner that does not upset the production of a shop. These improvements can be started immediately and scheduled with available resources, government incentives, and production requirements taken into account. This is the process recommended by the Tools USA specialists.
Example of an Incremental Plan:
- Benchmark current operations: material types and volumes used, liquid and solid hazardous waste recorded, gaseous emissions calculated, hazardous operations noted, and level of operator knowledge
- Identify materials used to eliminate the most hazardous; many paint and solvent manufacturers now offer low-VOC options
- Evaluate solid and liquid waste by identifying waste source, retraining employees, mixing precise materials for jobs, and eliminating storage of excess material
- Understand gaseous wastes and new filter options
- Evaluate storage and spray guns
These steps require only a small investment and create a good foundation for future conversion to powder coating or waterborne paints and equipment. A shop that understands and addresses existing issues with incremental improvements will recover investments for major changes more quickly than a shop that makes only a dramatic change.
Please contact Kelly Goudy or the technical staff at Tools USA if you have questions about ‘Going Green’ with your spray booth operation.