The Challenge

It’s not just about increasing production for Fredman Bag’s president, Tim Fredman Jr., it’s also about being an environmentally conscious neighbor. A converter’s decision to expand their capacity is often made more complicated by a corresponding need to invest in air pollution control equipment. Recent expansions had Fredman Bag making major investments in their air pollution control equipment not only to meet EPA (Environment Protection Agency) regulations but also keep their reputation as a good neighbor.

The Solution

Fredman Bag, a Milwaukee-based flexible packaging converter purchased a new, eight-color, gearless CI-flexo press from Uteco Converting to adapt to their customer’s growing needs, enhancing their product offering and delivery capabilities. The gearless-press runs at faster speeds with a higher resolution, printing a superior-quality product and increasing production for Fredman Bag by nearly 40%.

The VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and HAPs (Hazardous Air Pollutants) emitted by a printing press are not only harmful to the environment but also people who breathe them. Fredman Bag had been using an Anguil 6,000 SCFM (9,630 Nm3/hr) catalytic oxidizer as an effective means of air pollution control before their expansion but the increase in emissions and flow from the new press was beyond the capacity of the existing 10-year old oxidizer. After serious consideration, Fredman again turned to Anguil Environmental Systems, also a Milwaukee based firm, to address their pollution control needs.

The Result

Anguil’s application-specific engineering, stressing air volume reduction, energy-efficiency and improved emissions capture provides an affordable and flexible solution.  Taking into consideration future growth, a 12,000 SCFM (19,260 Nm3/hr) Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) was selected to ensure regulatory compliance.  The Anguil RTO technology provides significant operating cost savings.

The Anguil two-chamber RTO heats exhaust air from the printing presses as it passes through beds of ceramic media located in an energy recovery chamber.  The process air moves from the recovery chamber toward the combustion chamber, where the VOCs are oxidized, releasing energy into the second energy recovery chamber.  A diverter valve switches the airflow direction so both energy recovery beds alternately store and release energy to minimize operating costs by reducing any auxiliary fuel requirement.  This system is designed for heat recovery of over 95% and is self-sustaining, requiring little if any auxiliary fuel even with low VOC loadings.  This energy-efficient recovery means the Anguil RTO offers lower operating costs over other emission treatment methods.  As a result of Fredman’s decision to use the energy-efficient Anguil oxidizer, the company was eligible for Wisconsin Energy’s, Focus on Energy program.  The incentives they received allowed them to go ahead with the project sooner than they had initially hoped.

Lost production was another concern for Tim Fredman, Jr. Air pollution control equipment doesn’t increase a manufacturer’s bottom dollar like other capital equipment does but it can often cost them significantly in downtime.  Anguil took careful measures to assure that there were no disruptions in Fredman’s process.  By utilizing existing ductwork, preparing accordingly and coordinating with the customer, Anguil was able to install the complete system in under three days.  The oxidizer was delivered to Fredman Bag on a Thursday during a scheduled maintenance shutdown, installation was complete by Saturday and start-up was done that same day, saving the converter any lost production.

The Anguil system can be monitored and controlled 24/7 from remote locations for ease of troubleshooting and adjustments, eliminating unnecessary service calls.  It has a high volumetric turndown capacity to minimize operating costs during process idle, downtime or on weekends.  The Anguil oxidizer has been operating, maintenance free at 99% destruction rate efficiency since start-up.  A trouble free air pollution control system allows Tim Fredman Jr. to concentrate on production and sales, knowing his company is in compliance.