Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc., of Milford, Massachusetts was using separate bed and mixed bed service deionizers to purify water for manufacturing glass containers used in the U.S. wine, beer, beverage, spirits and food industries. When company personnel heard about the Evoqua IonRight® system, a new deionization system that could cut their operating costs, they agreed to participate in a pilot study.
With the traditional service deionization system, the plant had to exchange the tanks every one to two weeks, which was expensive. They were interested in a system that could save them money and also simplify their process. The second largest glass container manufacturer in the U.S., Saint-Gobain is a forward-thinking company that won an EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year award for its commitment to energy management and efficiency. So, it was no surprise that Saint-Gobain’s Milford plant chose to pilot test a new system that is also environmentally friendly.
The IonRight system incorporates reverse osmosis and continuous deionization (CEDI) technologies to purify the water. Unlike conventional deionization, CEDI produces consistent high-purity water without the need for acid and caustic regeneration chemicals or the need to exchange deionization tanks. This reduces chemicals to the environment and reduces the number of round trips from the water treatment vendor’s service branch to the customer’s site.
Evoqua installed an IonRight system at Saint-Gobain’s Milford facility in January 2008. The plant switched to the beta (production prototype) system in October 2008. The manufacturing facility uses approximately 450,000 gallons of high-purity water per year for the bottle coating process. In this process, deionized water from the IonRight System is mixed with a surfactant-based chemical that is sprayed on the bottles during the cooling process to prevent the bottles from sticking together. The coating allows a smooth transition of the bottles through inspection and processing. Says Sherman Eastton, maintenance manager at Saint-Gobain, “The purity of the coating mixture is important to maintain bottle quality. Therefore, the water used to make up the mixture can’t contain any hardness.”
The 4-gallon-per-minute IonRight system at Saint-Gobain is providing high-purity water with less than 1.0 parts per million of Total Dissolved Solids and conductivity of 2.0 microSiemens. The plant has saved around $6,000 over 16 months. Besides saving the company money, Saint-Gobain also likes the fact that the IonRight is eco-friendly. Eastton says he is happy with the IonRight system so far.