In rare cases, one measure can reduce environmental impact in two ways. The management team at the HUBER+SUHNER plant in Changzhou, China, recognised such an opportunity and installed an emulsion concentration system.
In the production of copper cables, the surface of the cables is treated with polyethylene wax to prevent adhesion. The spray equipment has a built-in automatic self-cleaning system for the nozzles and the spray tank. Each year, the cleaning process produces almost 100 tonnes of waste emulsion, which consists of water and polyethylene wax. This waste emulsion must be collected by a qualified disposal service provider for further treatment.
The concentration system installed in 2022 extracts water from the emulsion using low-temperature evaporation technology and condenses it. The amount of waste emulsion can thus be reduced to less than 10 tonnes per year. The condensed water is filtered and can then be used as cooling water, saving around 80 cubic metres of tap water annually.