With customers in 30 nations, Allegheny Ludlum Corp. is a manufacturer of specialty materials — from stainless and silicon to electrical steels, titanium, nickel alloys and other advanced alloys. To keep with its ISO 9001-certified quality system, the company goes beyond traditional business measurements to balance bottom-line efficiency with service excellence and a commitment to quality.
Nowhere is this balancing act more evident than in the company’s industrial wastewater treatment facility in New Bedford, Mass. George Bergman, Allegheny’s chief wastewater operator, reconciles the restrictions on wastewater—due to regulation and corporate accountability practices—with a mandate to contain the overall cost of treatment.
Sump station savings
Allegheny employs a collection system by which rinse water is collected before being transferred to the wastewater treatment system. Chemical residue floats on the surface of the tanks, oil drops to the middle, and water stays near the bottom. This continuous settling wastewater treatment process enables the company to reuse a high percentage of the liquid recovered from the production line—an important consideration as the quality water required for industrial processing becomes harder and more expensive to obtain.
According to Bergman, savings start with “the effective removal of oil from the wastewater sump stations prior to treatment in the wastewater facility.”
Looking to reduce the time and labor associated with manually removing the oil with absorbent pads during daily checks of the system, Bergman contacted Abanaki Corp.
Bergman chose two of the company’s most popular models: the Abanaki Model 4 Oil Grabber and the Tote-It Portable Oil Skimmer. Both rely on the differences in specific gravity and the surface tension between oil and water to be effective. These characteristics allow the skimmer belts to attract oil and other hydrocarbon liquids from the fluid surface quickly and efficiently with little water content. Each system also delivers specific benefits for specific areas of the treatment facility.
Ideal as a pretreatment before filtration, Bergman requested the installation of the Model 4 in a sump that collects water from several furnace wash tanks. The process is inspected to ensure proper operation by checking the condition of the waste oil drum and inspecting and cleaning the wiper blades.
The skimmer removes oil at a rate of up to 20 gal per hour through a continuous belt and wiper action. The belt, operating on a motor and pulley system, runs through contaminated liquid to pick up oil from the surface. After traveling over the head pulley, the belt passes through tandem wiper blades where oil is scraped off both sides of the belt and discharged. Bergman also had the Tote-It system installed in a floor sump to remove oil from floor washing.
After six months in operation, Bergman reported that the two units have yielded even more benefits. “We have saved on labor and time by not having to apply and remove the oil absorbent pads every week,” he said.