Kuerten. Germany -- Colour paste and lacquer manufacturer ISL uses a variety of methods to ensure an energy efficient and environmentally benign production process, in addition to the highest quality for its products.
"We actively assume responsibility for people and the environment. With our environmental policy we have committed to reducing waste, optimising the use of resources and also to reducing the use of hazardous substances," said Dr Stefan Vollmuth, managing director at ISL, in a company announcement.
Central to better resource efficiency is an ONI cooling unit with a state-of-the-art heat exchange system, installed in 2010, says ISL.
This power controlled cooling system uses "considerably less energy than its predecessor," said ISL, with waste heat from the cooling system recovered and utilised for heating the production hall.
ISL says that, despite the recent cold winter, this resulted in 20 percent savings in heating gas.
Another strategy is to consistently replace outdated machinery. Two new triple rollers installed last year are working up to 60 percent more efficiently than he older models.
Improved energy efficiency has reduced power consumption in the production process. iSL uses a lab machine for efficient development of new products, and does preliminary trials on a small scale. Results can be adopted for production without having to carry out energy-intensive production trials, says the Kuerten, Germany-based company.
In its products, ISL says it has not used any toxic substances to make colour pastes or in-mould lacquers for several years. For new formulations, only substances that have either a very low hazard potential or none at all are considered.
Also, substances that might be considered problematic in the future are replaced by alternatives.
Out of 4300 tonnes production volume in 2011, ISL said just under one third was classified as hazardous material, and says this is "a very low value for a chemical company."
Renewable resources are becoming increasingly important, and ISL is using castor oil, for example, as binder for a newly developed range of polyurethane colour pastes.
Also, newly developed lacquers are all water- rather than solvent-based, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) emissions have been reduced continuously since 2005 at ISL, which also benefits customers.