CDPHE LogoCase Study


Wood Products & Furniture:
Equipment Modification to Reduce Solvent Use

Company Anonymous Colorado Wood Products Company
Person to Contact NA
Product or Service NA
Number of Employees ~150
Waste Stream Targeted Solvent-based cleaners, VOC/HAP emissions
Original System Solvent was poured from a squeeze-type plastic containeronto a laminated surface. The surface was then wiped with a cloth wipe to clean ink marks and glue off of the laminated fixtures and edges. Typical solvent cleaners contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as methyl isobutyl ketone and methanol which can be harmful to human health and the environment (primary ingredients of smog). This procedure allowed employee exposure to the solvents for an extended period of time.
New System
(with P2 Modifications)
Cleaning Solvent Cans with Plungers allow the employee to press a spring-loaded cup with the cloth wipe in hand. The 1- gallon metal plunger can dispenses a measured amount of cleaner into the cup and onto the cloth wipe. This procedure allows minimal employee exposure to the solvent cleaners and reduces solvent use.
Cost Savings
Initial Equipment Costs 15 plunger cans were purchased @ $37.50 each or $562.50.
Material Cost Savings 2,145 gallons of solvent are purchased per year. The company saved 10-15% in solvent materials with the new system. For 270 gallons/year @ $3.40/gallon, this is a material cost savings of $900/year.
Payback Period Payback is about 7 months.
Major Benefits Reduced solvent emissions by ~10-15%.
Material cost savings of $900/year.
Improved worker health and safety (prior to implementation of the new system, employees rotated work stations to reduce solvent exposure and comply with OSHA PELs).
Positive Business Image.
Reduced fire hazard (metal cans can be grounded during solvent transfers).
Product is available in metal or plastic, and 1 gallon, 1/2, and 1/4 gallon sizes.
Obstacles None
Time Since Implementation 5 months (1/22/96)
Source/Supplier W.W. Grainger
4531 Innovation Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Telephone: (970) 223- 2100
Main Reason Implemented Reduce solvent emissions. Improve worker health and safety.
Key to Success in Making this P2 Modification Vendor recommendation.
Training of employees in new system

Created by Lighthouse Communications Group, LLC.
Edited for use on this site by Ronald Lee Still and posted with permission of CDPHE.