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Environment

Cleaning up printing with a VOC

Cleaning up manufacturing has been an ongoing process dating back to 1802, when the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act was passed in the early days of the Industrial Revolution. Since then a series of laws have been passed to protect workers and to cut pollution and improve health and safety. The 1999 Pollution Prevention and Control Act was introduced to improve things in the printing of flexible packaging.

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Fusion Flexibles of Leicester have installed regenerative thermal oxidiser

It has led to a few headaches for companies struggling with overheads as the cost of installing regenerative thermal oxidisers (RTO) to remove those troublesome volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are not cheap.

One company that has met its legal environmental obligations is Fusion Flexibles of Leicester who have forked out £300,000 for a new RTO. Fusion Flexibles is the result of a merger between Mercury Packaging and CPS Flexibles and the firm were keen to install a Durr RTO from Air Protekt Limited, to replace an older system. It will reduce VOCs from the company’s printing presses, in accordance with the law and was overseen by Blaby District Council officials to ensure all was correct.

High specification ceramic media was installed within the RTO to help improve thermal efficiency

David Gould of the district council says: “Once the company identified that the previous abatement system no longer met requirements, they initiated a project to install suitable replacement technology. Fusion also took a number of steps to limit their emissions until a replacement system was in place. They have maintained good contact with me throughout the project, which has also been subject to planning permission and revisions to the company’s environmental permit.”

Lawrence Hopwood from Fusion Flexibles comments: “The installation of the new environmental abatement system means that our VOC emissions will be as low as possible and well inside the current legal limits. High specification ceramic media was installed within the RTO to help improve thermal efficiency. Once it reaches the required temperature it will become auto thermal with reduced fuel for operation as the VOCs are used to fuel the RTO. As well as reducing our carbon footprint, it will also potentially enable us to double printing capacity in the future.”



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