Molded bottle caps: typical scrap generated at show
No Landfill for These Plastics
So big is the NPE international plastics exposition that every day the equipment in operation at the show generates thousands of pounds of reusable plastics scrap. The companies that run the official recycling program at NPE 2006 say they hope to collect and reprocess half a million pounds (227 metric tons) of such material, keeping all but a small fraction of the scrap out of Chicago landfills. NPE 2006, featuring 2,000 exhibitors, takes place at Chicago’s McCormick Place June 19-23.
TUBE TALK: Conveyors Make the Difference
Tectubes produces a million plastic tubes each year for the food, personal care and pharmaceutical industries. In order to keep up with growing production demands and to improve manufacturing efficiency, the company decided to replace its mechanical conveyors for transporting plastic granules with a pneumatic vacuum conveying system. “Handling all of the plastic granules was too labor-intensive, and we sought a system that would lower our expenses by automating and streamlining the process,” said Tommy Andersson, production engineer at Tectubes.
PIAB IC Series
The new conveyors were developed by PIAB, a global leader in industrial vacuum technology. The conveyors are compressed air driven and specifically designed for industrial applications. They use a vacuum pump to draw granules from a feed station through a conveying tube and into a closed container. When the container is full, the vacuum pump is stopped and a valve at the bottom of the container opens and discharges the material from the tube. The conveyors are completely enclosed, protecting users from inhaling potentially harmful ingredients. Thanks to an advanced air filter, the conveyor’s design protects the vacuum pump from the plastic granules and eliminates dust and contamination in the plant. During each cycle, compressed air cleans the filter to ensure a hygienic environment. Since the installation of the first conveyor a few months ago, Tectubes has enjoyed a significant reduction in maintenance costs, energy consumption, dust contamination and employee-related injuries. Consequently, the company installed additional conveyors and is considering the automation of other manufacturing processes.
NICE RECOVERY: Top Environmental Issues Take Center Stage
New Orleans is ready to welcome Air & Waste Management Association’s 99th annual conference and exhibition next month. A majority of the region’s hotels and many of the best restaurants are open, and flood-related debris has been removed from the central business, arts and entertainment districts as well as the French Quarter. The Morial Convention Center, the venue for A&WMA’s conference June 20-23, has undergone renovation and is expected to have eight of its 12 halls open.
New Orleans says it’s ready for A&WMA’s conference and exhibition.
Getting to and from New Orleans is expected to be close to normal. By January of this year, 10 of the 14 airlines that provided pre-Katrina service to the city had resumed operations, and the number of flights has been increased since then. According to the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA), the city’s famed streetcars are back on track. Routes currently service the convention center from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, connecting the center to popular tourist areas such as Canal Street and the French Market. NORTA also is operating 24 bus lines in the downtown area on a complimentary basis. The New Orleans Convention & Visitor’s Bureau reports the city’s largest taxi company has more than 50 percent of its taxis on the road. In addition, airport shuttle service has resumed throughout the metropolitan area, and rental cars are available. A&WMA’s conference this year offers 160 sessions. Highlights include a PM and health symposium, which presents a critical review of PM measurement and management; a smart leak detection and repair symposium, which features a panel discussion on compliance challenges at refineries; a homeland security symposium, which offers sessions on air and waste management issues that have relevance to public security; and a mercury issues symposium, which reviews new regulations and control technologies. There also are sessions that address the current waste management issues in Mexico and in trans-boundary movement between Mexico and the U.S. Details about other sessions, as well as registration information, can be obtained at or by calling 412-232-3444.