Cello-Foil Products Inc.needed to replace its 15-year old carbon-bed recovery system. Megtec had a unit that met each of Cello-Foil's challenges.

During installation of a new regenerative thermal oxidizer, Cello-Foil's plant continued normal 24-hr operations.
Cello-Foil Products Inc., Battle Creek, MI, manufactures packaging for the snack food industry, extended wraps for multipacks of toilet paper, and packaging for pet foods, confections and pharmaceuticals. The company's 15-year-old carbon-bed recovery unit required an extensive amount of maintenance work and yielded unrecyclable solvents that were resulting in monthly disposal fees. Cello-Foil wanted a system that would handle a range of solvents, increase plant process capability and comply with strict air emission regulations, but the restricted solvent diet that recovery systems can handle limited the company's process flexibility options.

Rather than rebuild or replace the aging system, Cello-Foil decided to install a new regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO). The company interviewed six manufacturers and narrowed the list down to two. Ultimately, a proposal offered by Megtec Systems, De Pere, WI, was selected.

"We chose the Enterprise II for a variety of reasons," explained Ray Mayes, director of engineering at Cello-Foil. "First, Megtec provided de-tailed and credible answers to our questions and even supplied the formulas, calculations and backup. This gave us a great deal of confidence in their approach. Second, Megtec manufactures its products in-house. This gives them direct control over the quality of the end product. Plus, their production machinery is immediately available if we need a spare part in an emergency."

Cello-Foil's location further complicated the situation. The plant is located in a residential area with a hospital across the street. These factors had to be considered in the air-quality model. Even more challenging, however, was the placement site itself. The only available site for the new unit was between the back of the plant and a 90' bluff located immediately behind the plant. Megtec, Cello-Foil and engineers from an industrial equipment installation firm developed a plan for cutting a temporary road through the bluff. The operation required moving more than 15,000 yd of dirt as well as exhaustive logistical planning.

The RTO was built in Megtec's facility in Wisconsin and trucked to Michigan in late September 1998. During most of the installation, the plant continued its normal 24-hr operations. Final connections and testing required a one-day plant shutdown. Installation was completed in early October 1998.

To operate continuously on a 24-hr per day, seven-day per week basis, the plant's required VOC destruction efficiency was high. Stack testing of the installed oxidizer produced an actual destruction efficiency of 98.9% -- more than enough to satisfy regulatory requirements.

In addition to meeting air emission requirements, the system reduced plant operating costs. Fuel costs dropped 80%, and the company no longer has to pay for disposing unrecyclable solvent, which had run over six figures per year. The unit also eliminated the cost of 9,000 lb of water used daily for steam downs and allowed those employees who were maintaining the solvent recovery system to transition into value-adding positions.

"We anticipated a cost savings," stated Mayes, "but the actual results exceeded our expectations. The unit runs without auxiliary fuel about 90% of the time. Equally important, we now have the flexibility to run a wider range of solvents, so we're not limited in what directions we can go. We also are confident that we will continue to be a good neighbor to our community."