Waste Reduction Case Study



Peabody and Associates fleet painting, a 6 employee firm located in Reno, received grant funding from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) to switch from a conventional high volume low pressure (HVLP) paint system to a heated air assisted airless high volume low pressure gun system. Peabody purchased a hydraulically assisted heated wall mount model that includes 2 HVLP spray guns, and a touch up gun. Peabody also installed a solvent recycler to recover spent solvents from painting and wash-up operations, which they were previously disposing of off-site.



Peabody does fleet vehicle painting of heavy truck trailers. Prior to the installation of the heated air assisted airless HVLP system, Peabody was using traditional HLVP guns in their fleet painting operations. These conventional airspray guns use air at 65 to 85 psi pressure to atomize the paint. The pressure in the paint line is usually around 30 to 40 psi, depending on the individual job. This technique produces a fine finish, depending on the operator and can be used on most surfaces. While HVLP provides higher spray efficiency than traditional atomizing, additional efficiency improvements are possible with the use of systems like air assisted and heated air assisted HVLP system.


Peabody's paint process previously involved four distinct steps: One, blasting to remove old paint; two, priming, a metal prep painting process to ensure the final paint adheres to the surface; three, primer wipe down with solvents to remove excess primer, and four, painting. A thinner was used to reduce the viscosity of 'the paint before the actual paint application. Peabody's paint usage averaged 100 gallons a month. Peabody was purchasing about 50 gallons of primer and 10 gallons of wipe down thinner per month and generating about 50 pounds of paint and filter waste per month. The waste was disposed off-site by a private hazardous waste hauler and cost them $120 a month.



Peabody wanted to purchase a system with a high transfer efficiency and the also the ability to apply high solids paints. The air assisted airless spray technology is a proven alternative to conventional spray painting techniques in teens of spray efficiency and reduced overspray. Peabody installed a Binks hydraulically assisted heated wall mount model 42-5046 which consists of MACH 2 HVLP spray gun with 0.018 x 60° spray tip assembly. The new Binks MACH 2 spray gun utilizes the hydraulically-assisted HVLP technology to atomize the paint to yield reliable application of high solids paint. The hydraulically assisted atomization allows the fluid to be delivered to the spray gun at hydraulic pressures up to 1000 psi. The fluid is pre-atomized at an airless tip, and atomization is completed by introducing high volume of air at a low pressure ranging between 10 and 20 psi to the pattern. The high paint pressure results in a finely atomized "soft spray," which is a wetter spray,, allowing more of the paint to adhere to the surface. This spray produces a finish that is as high in quality as any finish obtained with air atomization. The air assisted airless spray has a high paint transfer efficiency,,- a low bounceback and good atomization.. of paint. This means more of the paint adheres to the vehicle and less is wasted.


The system Peabody purchased allows the paint line leading to the gun to be heated. Tubes of heated ethylene glycol are | wrapped around the paint line, thus heating only the paint in the paint line. The heating of the paint line results in a decrease in the co-efficient of viscosity of the paint, allowing the use of a higher solids content paint. High solids content paint have- a high resin concentration. The solids content in this paint is typically between 50 to 70 percent. The major advantage to using higher solids content paint is the reduced VOC and HAP emissions. it also results in reduced solvent usage, reduced fire hazards and a fewer coatings to achieve the desired film thickness.


"The system is great," says Dwight Peabody, partner of Peabody and Associates, "However, the cost of learning to use the system was pretty-high. If you are planning to switch over to a similar system, make sure your volume is large enough to support the use of this equipment and most importantly, demand factory training on the use of the equipment from your dealer." With the heated air assisted airless system | and the use of high solids paint, the paint temperature is a factor. A couple of trial runs should be performed to determine the temperature that will work best for your business. Al Peabody, the ideal temperature is about 110° F.



Most of the waste lacquer thinners used for decreasing in a painting operation is managed as hazardous waste due to its hazardous constituents. Typically, lacquer thinners contain hazardous constituents such as xylene, MEK, acetone and other F listed solvents (40 CFR 261.31). Under the State and Federal regulations, solvents used in degreasing operations containing more than 10% cumulative of the F listed solvents are considered hazardous when they are spent. The majority of businesses contract with an outside management company to haul waste off-site for recycling. Generally, it is expensive to haul waste that is considered a hazardous waste. One alternative is to recycle these solvents on-site through a distillation unit. This not only eliminates the cost of disposal, but also saves the business on the cost of virgin solvent purchase. There are various technologies and equipment available in the market to reclaim solvents. The most popular technology is the use of a solvent still or a distiller. In the past, Peabody was generating about 16 gallons of spent solvent, which was picked up by an outside waste hauler for recycling.


Peabody recieved partial funding from NDEP to purchase the solvent reclaimer. Peabody installed a Binks Model 40-3500 "Reclaimer." Waste solvent is added to the 7.5 gallon capacity stainless steel tank and the heat cycle is turned on. The reclaimer can run from 1 to the total 7.5 gallons in a batch and shuts off when the solvent is reclaimed. The still can recover Up to 85 % of the spent solvent. The still bottoms are regulated as hazardous waste. Peabody estimates it generates one 55 gallons drum full of stall bottoms a year.



With the new air assisted airless system on-line, Peabody has reduced the paint and filter waste to 15 pounds per month from about 50 pounds a month, saving them $84 in disposal costs. The waste is disposed of through a private hazardous waste hauler. The installation of the new air assisted airless system has brought down the paint usage to approximately 60 gallons from 100 gallons per month. The paint and thinner material purchase saving is approximately $1,000 per month. Peabody also estimates a total of 10 man hours per month saved as they have eliminated the priming and wash down step. At the ran of $14 average hourly rate per employee, there is a saving of $140 per month, which provides a total saving from this system of $1,22 4 per month or $14,688 per year.


By reclaiming their own lacquer thinner, Peabody is saving $160 per month on virgin thinner purchase and approximately saving about $200 a month on waste disposal costs. However, Dwight estimates the employee time involved to operate the still and to handle the still bottoms at an additional 4 hours; at the rate of $14 per hour, this amounts to $56 a month. The monthly saving on this project is about $304. Over a year, with one drum of still bottoms to dispose off at the cost of $250, the savings from reclaiming solvent on-site is $3,398 for Peabody.


The initial costs associated with switching to the new paint system (S 9,468 total for the complete system, and plumbing, installation and wiring $970) was $10,388. The initial cost to set up the solvent reclaimer ($5,870 for the reclaimer, and wiring /accessories $76) was $5,946.. The total initial waste reduction project cost at Peabody sums up to $16,333.96. NDEP provided half the amount in grant money. With a total savings of $18,086, it took Peabody less than 11 months to break even. Each subsequent year Peabody will save an additional $18,000 in avoided waste management and material purchase costs.



Transfer efficiency is dependent on various parameters, some of which are in the control of the operator. Generally, the high efficiency guns are designed to operate at optimum flow rates. Excessive air pressures and flow rates will reduce the efficiency. Proper maintenance of guns is important to maintain a proper paint spray. Operator training is very critical, as Dwight says, "The major problem we faced in implementing this project was the length of time spent to train our employees to use this new system with absolutely no technical training from the manufacturer or the dealer." Dwight Peabody can be reached at (702) 359-1777. Regarding the solvent distillation unit, Dwight says, "It is an obvious benefit to both the environment and the business; I have only one thing to say, businesses are simply throwing money away by not installing a solvent reclaimer.




935 S Rock Blvd

Sparks, NV 89431

(702) 331-2866

Don Ellis



P.O. Box 495

Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

John Oxendorf; Dean Segal



Automotive of Nevada

2901 S Highland #10 b

Las Vegas, NV 89109

(702) 791-0177, Bob Seltzer



(419) 536-7384

Thomas Hoffman



Reno Area

Allied Auto Parts (702) 323-2756

Barretts Paint Supply (702) 329-2756

Fuller Color Center (702) 329 4478

ReNeva (702) 331-2886

Reno Paint Mart (702) 826-2900

Sierra Filtration (702) 348-7010


Las Vegas Area

B&L Auto Paint (702) 457-8882

Charleston Auto (702) 642-0616

Sherwin William (702) 367-1622


This case study was developed by the Business Environmental Program of the Nevada Small Business Development Center with funding provided by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.