Business Oriented Air Quality News November/December 1996
Index of Topics in Past Issues
Viscarra’s Furniture Switches to Water Rinse
Viscarra’s Furniture Refinishing is a small shop in Goleta that strips and refinishes furniture, antiques, and other wood products. The shop, with three full-time employees, is owned and run by Randy Viscarra.
Old coatings are stripped from wood products using a traditional flow tray system — the stripper is brushed or sprayed on and the excess flows into a catch tray for re-use. The stripper contains about 80% methylene chloride. Methylene chloride is a suspected carcinogen and is classified as a toxic air contaminant in California.
After stripping, the items are rinsed to remove the remaining solids and stripper. Viscarra?s historically used a solvent-based rinse system. Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from the rinse process were about 500 pounds per year.
Randy Viscarra was working with the APCD to revise our wood coating rule and expressed an interest in alternative processes. APCD’s Innovative Technologies Group put him in touch with the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance (IRTA). The APCD is a funding partner in IRTA’s Pollution Prevention Center in Santa Monica. IRTA helped Viscarra identify and adopt an alternative rinse system that uses continuously recycled water instead of a solvent.
The new high-pressure water spray system has three metal tanks designed to filter the solids by gravity flow. The cost of a new water rinse system is about $1,800. Mr. Viscarra was able to find a used water recycling system for $800 from a local shop that was closing. He also reconfigured his shop to make room for the new system.
“I like to do things that are environmentally sound,” said Mr. Viscarra. He is pleased with the new water system and is glad to eliminate the VOC emissions by converting to a water-based process.Viscarra is continuing to work with IRTA to test an alternative stripper with low methylene chloride content. Methylene chloride emissions will be reduced by one-third to one-half if the alternative stripper proves to be effective.
For more information on this or other projects of the APCD?s Innovative Technologies Group, call Jeff Carmody at (805) 961-8884.
Vendors Demonstrate Wood Coatings
On Saturday, September 21, the APCD, ICI Paint Stores, and Frazee Paint and Wallcovering hosted a demonstration of low-polluting, water-borne wood coatings.
The workshop, held at UCSB Residential Services, was attended by representatives from several local wood coating businesses, including Viscarra’s (see article above). The demonstration provided a chance for the wood coaters to apply water-borne stains, sealants, and top coats on their own products. The coatings performed well and were dry to the touch in minutes, despite a slight drizzle.
If businesses are interested, the APCD will host similar workshops for wood coaters and other industries. For more information, contact Tad Bixler, APCD Rules Section, (805) 961-8896.
Support for Manufacturers
Small and mid-sized manufacturing firms account for more than half the total value of U.S. production. They employ nearly 12 million people: two-thirds of all U.S. manufacturing workers. Many of these small firms, however, are operating below their potential. Limited budgets, lack of expertise, and other constraints pose significant barriers to learning about and adopting modern equipment, techniques, and business practices that can improve their ability to compete with foreign manufacturers.
The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a growing nationwide system of services and support for smaller manufacturers. The program was created by the National Institute for Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Technology Administration, to improve smaller manufacturers? access to new technologies, resources, and expertise. At the heart of the system is a network of affiliated, locally-based manufacturing extension centers. Each center is a partnership typically involving federal, state, and local governments; industry; educational institutions; and other sources of expertise, information, and funding.
Centers are private, non-profit organizations. The program began with three extension centers in 1989. Today 42 centers operate in 32 states, linking firms with engineers and other specialists who can help assess technological needs, identify opportunities for change, and implement improvements.
Surveys of client firms indicate that MEPs network of manufacturing extension centers is fostering significant performance improvements. Average per company benefits to the 610 companies that responded to the survey are 5.5 jobs added or saved, $43,000 savings in labor and material costs, and almost $370,000 of increased sales.
If you would like further information, including a list of MEP manufacturing extension centers, call (301) 975-5020, or e-mail:[email protected]. You can also find information on MEP on the Web at http://www.mep.nist.gov/.
MEP in California
The Pollution Prevention Center in Santa Monica, operated by the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance, is one of two manufacturing extension centers in California.
The APCD is a contributing member of the Pollution Prevention Center and many local businesses have benefitted from their expertise.
For more information on the Center, call Katy Wolf, (310) 453-0450 or Jeff Carmody of the APCD?s Innovative Technologies Group at (805) 961-8884.
The other center is the California Manufacturing Technology Center, Serving the five-county Los Angeles Basin, (310) 355-3060.
… and Automotive Service and Repair
Automotive service and repair shops have a new source of compliance assistance. The Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR), a coalition of 38 automotive industry trade associations, and the USEPA’s Office of Compliance have worked together to develop a national automotive compliance assistance center. The center provides a centralized information system on compliance requirements, technology, and pollution prevention information.
The center, named CCAR-GreenLink, plans to provide information on a variety of topics including used oil management, underground storage tanks, pollution prevention, solvents, paints, and thinners. CCAR affiliates include individuals and associations of automobile manufacturers and dealers, tool and equipment manufacturers, engine rebuilders, aftermarket dealers and distributors, automotive service providers, technicians, fuel manufacturers and suppliers, consumer organizations, and vocational education groups.
CCAR-GreenLink can be accessed using a variety of communications technologies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can call their toll-free number, 1-888-GRN-LINK to receive information by fax or mail, or to speak to a customer representative. You can also find the center at http://www.ccar-greenlink.org/.