Printmasters, as part of the Xindao N.V. Group, is constantly improving, to align to the highest European environmental concepts. Part of our DNA is the continuous improvement of all aspects of our business, but especially the improvement of our IMPACT on the environment. Our decoration techniques include screen printing and screen transfer, techniques where we recover the screens for reuse, with a process that consumes water in mix with reclaiming chemical agents. This process of reclaiming the screens is seen in the industry as a must. In this process, we consume more than 1.3 mil L of water/year, all of it disposed of as process wastewater. The chemical complexity of the wastewater and its components makes it virtually impossible (with reasonable cost) to filtrate wastewater to NTPA 001.
Project “IMPACT Zero Water” aims to reduce the process of wastewater by introducing a new concept: no reclaim of screens, accept the financial loss of materials, improve the working condition, the impact on the environment, and put the foundation for program IMPACT on the environment.
Reduce by 70% the use of technological wastewater, in the context of current economic growth, we aim to save approx.1 mil L of water, every year
The idea of reducing technological water started in 2019, as a consequence, we’ve studied several possibilities, recycling wastewater with various sedimentation & filtration solutions, we’ve analyzed the water samples of recycled water to monitor progress. The results showed that the complexity of chemical composition makes filtration to standards very difficult (pH approx 2.7).
After those experiments, we’ve turned to a more radical approach, out of the box, and started to think about a concept of not recovering the screens, a method of minimizing the impact & consumption, IMPACT Zero Water. The radical concept of the project:
“IMPACT Zero Water” Cons:
- We will create solid waste (mesh + ink) – estimated 10 kg/100 screens – 1.738 t of solid waste, is and will be disposed off, in a responsible way
- Extra material cost for PM (estimated 70 k) to be compensated
- Re-train personal with new methods
“IMPACT Zero Water” Pros:
- Less water extracted from the ground, currently - 2.785.000 L (2020)
- Less general water consumption, currently - 1.468.000 L (2020)
- Less technological wastewater generated – 1.317.000 L (2020)
- Reducing VOC emission – 1.515 kg
- Removing entire DG used for reclaiming screens – estimated 6.700 kg (Varioclean, Variostrep, Kiwobond, Kiwoclean, Varioglue)
- Positive impact for our colleagues – less protective equipment for DG usage, reduce noise in the department
- Reducing CO2 emission generated by the maintenance activity of the equipment used for reclaiming screens - estimated 1.08 t CO2
- Energy reduction resulted from not using equipment for reclaiming screens - estimated 304 kW/an
Desired situation – by March 2022 – reduce by 100% the water used for recovering screens for screen printing, by that reducing total technological wastewater by a minimum of 70%.
No reclaiming of screens
No use of chemicals to reclaim screens
Following the experiments described on point 3, we committed to the concept of not recovering screens, despite the initial financial amount that we will need to compensate over the years. In doing so we:
- Tested 5 new types of screens
- We performed tests for process design
- After proofing of concept, we’ve bought 100 new frames & a device to help make the screens
- We’ve started working in parallel with the 2 solutions
Until February 2022 we will monitor all aspects of the solution & water consumption.
6.Evaluation – current status
Continous daily monitoring of consumption with Qlik Dashboard
7.Continuous improvement ideas
•Create an art sculpture, layer every week's solid waste into a similar Escher concept.
•Multicolor Digital DTF – status testing, change the multiscreen orders into prints without using screens
•ECO-friendly water-based ink, increase usage to 100%