Kreysler & Associates Field Study (EPS Reduction)

  • 290 views
Uploaded on

 

  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
290
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0

Actions

Shares
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. EPS  WASTE   Field  Study  for   MS&E  264  REDUCTION  AT  K&A   Submitted by: Veronica Chau Kalpana Kumar Dangfun Pornnoparat Abrash Pervaiz
  • 2. Executive Summary Kreysler & Associates (K&A) is a company that produces composite FiberglassReinforced Polymer (FRP) for use in architecture, sculpture and industrial applications.Currently, K&A uses Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) as the material for making FRP molds,and Unsaturated Polyester (UPR) as the resin. EPS is widely used as a molding material inFRP-making due to these properties: (1) light-weight, (2) heat-resistant, and (3) cheap.However, the challenges with using EPS are: it is non-biodegradable; a significant portion iswasted in creating the mold; and it cannot be recycled once contaminated with resins. Hence,of the EPS purchased, 100% goes to waste. The objective of our project was thus to findways of reducing K&A’s EPS waste from 100% to as close to 0% as possible. This report begins with an overview of K&A supply-chain for EPS use. An LCA ofEPS and UPR production is presented to show its impact on the environment. Analysis of thepotential solutions for K&A falls under the broad categories of process re-engineering andassessing alternative materials. Process re-engineering focuses on changes in the currentprocesses that K&A can make to reduce or eliminate the various sources of EPS waste. AnLCA comparison of alternate materials to replace EPS and UPR is also carried out. Thiscomparison focuses primarily on four key parameters: energy consumption, carcinogens,ozone layer depletion and greenhouse gas emissions. Finally, the alternatives discussed are ranked on a matrix of sustainability versusfeasibility (the degree to which K&A can implement these changes). Based on the ranking,the final recommendations to K&A are to (1) use a dust sheet/filter to prevent contamination,(2) use advanced CNC machines such as 3D cutting to eliminate EPS dust while creating theshape, (3) down-cycle the clean chunks of EPS by selling them for alternative uses, and (4)continue using EPS and UPR as the foam and resin, respectively, until analysis into a moresuitable material can be done.   i
  • 3. Table of Contents    1. Company Background and Motivation .............................................................................. 12. Project Description ............................................................................................................. 13. Description of EPS Supply Chain at K&A ........................................................................ 24. Life Cycle Analyses of EPS and UPR................................................................................ 35. Sustainability Assessment of Alternatives ......................................................................... 4 a) Process Re-engineering .................................................................................................. 4 b) Alternative Materials and Resins.................................................................................... 66. Recommendations .............................................................................................................. 77. Areas for further research................................................................................................... 88. Conclusion and Key takeaways.......................................................................................... 8Appendix A: Financial Analysis.................................................................................................l List of ExhibitsExhibit A: EPS Pictures ..............................................................................................................a  Exhibit B: EPS Supply Chain at K&A..........................................................................................b  Exhibit C: Life Cycle Analyses of EPS and UPR........................................................................... c  Exhibit D: Process Re-engineering Options ..................................................................................e  Exhibit E: List of Contacted Companies ........................................................................................f  Exhibit F: LCA of Alternate Materials .........................................................................................g  Exhibit G: Recommendations Matrix ........................................................................................... k   ii
  • 4. 1. Company Background and Motivation Founded in 1982, Kreysler and Associates (K&A) is a custom fabrication shopspecializing in the design, engineering and manufacture of composite products, particularlyFiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) for architecture, sculpture and industrial applications. Theprocess of making FRP involves various combinations of fiber, polymer and resins that areunique to each project. Currently, K&A uses Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)1 as the material formaking FRP molds and Unsaturated Polyester (UPR) as the resin. EPS is widely used as a molding material in FRP-making because it has the followingproperties: (1) light-weight (made from 98% air), (2) heat-resistant, and (3) cheap. However,the challenges with using EPS are that it is non-biodegradable; a significant portion is wastedin creating the mold, and it cannot be recycled once contaminated (See Exhibit A for picturesof EPS and the waste generated). As an example, K&A purchases 3700 pounds of EPS onaverage for each project, but only utilizes 1800 pounds for the mold. Additionally, this EPSmold cannot be reused or recycled once contaminated with resins. Hence, of the EPSpurchased, 100% goes to waste.2. Project Description The objectives of our project are:• To find ways of reducing K&A’s EPS waste from 100% to as close to 0% as possible• To suggest potential alternatives to EPS and UPR that are more environmentally friendly and sustainable in the long run.1 EPS is commonly known as “Styrofoam”, which is a trademark brand developed by The Dow Chemical Company 1
  • 5. 3. Description of EPS Supply Chain at K&A Exhibit B gives a snapshot of the overall flow of the EPS supply chain. K&Areceives the EPS from its suppliers2 in the form of large, untrimmed blocks with dimensionsranging from 36” x 48” x 96” up to 41” x 49” x 288”. In order to use the EPS for molding,the large blocks are trimmed down to a rough size using a handheld hotwire. This initialtrimming results in scrap foam in large chunks (about 15% of the original block), which werefer to as “clean chunks”. K&A disposes these chunks by giving them for free to companiesthat want them3. The trimmed blocks are then put on CNC machines and are cut into the requiredshape for the mold. This machining process results in waste in the form of “foam dust”,which is about 35% of the original block of EPS. There are two categories of dust: clean andcontaminated. The clean dust, which forms 14% of all EPS bought, is normally picked up bythe foam suppliers for reuse as they drop off new blocks at K&A. As other materials share thesame machining space with EPS, a major portion of the dust (around 21% of the original EPSvolume) becomes contaminated with urethane foam, wood dust and fiberglass compositesfrom other parts of the shop. Additionally, a vacuum system which helps with cleaning upwas removed last year due to shop expansion. Without this tool, cleaning and sorting dust isdifficult. Even though the contaminated dust has 98% EPS by volume, recyclers demand100% purity and hence all the contaminated dust is landfilled. Of the EPS bought, 50% is actually used for molding; which is again discarded tolandfill after use as it is contaminated with UPR. Therefore, 71% of EPS used by K&Aresults in contaminated waste after taking into account both the initial and after-use scrap.2 Currently, the two main suppliers for K&A are ACH Foam Technologies (http://www.achfoam.com/) and Insulfoam(http://www.insulfoam.com/).3 New Image Foam (http://newimagefoam.com/) and Right Way Recycling (http://www.rightwayrecycling.us/) are the twocompanies currently picking up these chunks from K&A. “Craigslist” is also being used to find companies interested inpicking up these chunks, but this process is arbitrary and not standardized. 2
  • 6. A very small amount of EPS is used for packaging, but it is negligible, so we have notconsidered it in our analysis.4. Life Cycle Analyses of EPS and UPR With the given information, a life cycle analysis (LCA) was performed for EPS andUPR using SimaPro 7.2. While all the impact categories are important for any type of LCAor environmental consideration, this paper mainly examines greenhouse gas emissions, ozonelayer depletion, carcinogens, and energy resources for analysis. Exhibit C(a) gives an overview of the energy resources needed to produce, assemble,and dispose of EPS. The energy intensive stages lie in the raw materials acquisition andproduction stages of EPS, (Exhibit C(b)) while transportation and landfilling contributeminimally. Exhibit C(a) shows that the entire EPS life cycle requires 147,000 MJ. Puttingthis number into perspective, it would require the heat energy from lighting 10 millionwooden matches to produce 1 lb of EPS. 1 p (1 production unit) of each is created and 1 p of each is disposed of, showing the100% EPS waste that K&A currently follows. Similarly, when greenhouse emissions areanalyzed in Exhibit C(c), production of EPS accounts for almost 99% of the greenhouse gasemissions (transportation excluded) at 4,810 kg of CO2. Putting this into perspective, onecomplete life cycle loop produces about 1,200 kg CO2 more than a single car with 30 mpg(Honda Fit)4 driving 12,000 miles per year. Exhibit C(d) gives numerical data that corresponds to all impact categories in theLCA. Because raw materials acquisition and production of EPS is most environmentallyimpactful, Exhibit C(e) shows the total energy inputs and emission outputs of these twophases in the lifecycle.4 Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/42326638/30_Cars_That_Get_30_MPG?slide=6 3
  • 7. 5. Sustainability Assessment of Alternatives Our analysis of the potential solutions falls under the broad categories of process re-engineering and assessing alternative materials. Process re-engineering focuses on changes inthe current processes that K&A can make to reduce or eliminate the various sources of EPSwaste. A comparison of alternate materials to replace EPS and UPR was also carried out.a) Process Re-engineering Exhibit D gives an overview of all the options for process re-engineering. We brieflydiscuss each option below:• Customization at Suppliers: The first option to minimize EPS waste is to obtain customized molds from the suppliers such as ACH. However, as K&A’s architectural molds are heavily customized for each project, it would be difficult to communicate precise mold patterns to suppliers; therefore, this is not a feasible option.• Revenue-generation from clean chunks: Instead of giving away the clean chunks for free, K&A can sell them. From our research, EPS can be down-cycled into a number of other products such as coat hangers, picture frames and packing peanuts. We have contacted many companies that are willing to pay for and down-cycle clean EPS. The list of contacted companies is provided in Exhibit E.• 3D CNC-cutting machine: To reduce EPS dust in the cutting process, 3D CNC cutting tools (such as those provided by Streamline Automation5) can be used in place of a traditional CNC machine. These tools provide automated foam carving and foam cutting production processes, using state-of-the-art software and equipment that greatly reduces the volume of dust produced in the cutting process.• Shave-off contaminated surface: One alternative to increase the proportion of clean EPS is to shave off the contaminated surface from the mold, possibly with a handheld hot5 Streamline Automation (www.3dcutting.com) is a company that provides a full range of tools and services for CNCcutting. The approximate cost of their equipment and services ranges from $40-240k. 4
  • 8. wire. Due to the complexity of the customized shape, this would be difficult and labor intensive. It is estimated that a 250 cubic feet mold would require 2 hours of labor, costing $100/hour, to shave off its contaminated surface. Moreover, some amount of foam would still end up in landfill.• Revenue generation from contaminated chunks: There is a potential to sell contaminated chunks to Avangard Innovation, a recycling solutions provider in Texas. A sample of contaminated EPS scraps needs to be verified to see whether it can be recycled and still have some value. If the sample passes the test, EPS chunks can be picked up by Avangard’s partner warehouse located in California. K&A can earn the highest price if it supplies at least 35,000 lb, or earn less at smaller volume. As K&A uses limited volume of EPS, the amount of revenue that they can potentially earn from this source is restricted.• Melt contaminated EPS into styrene: Since EPS is made by synthesizing pentane and styrene, EPS can be melted in a process called thermal densification, after which styrene is recovered. This process, however, is dangerous as it uses carcinogenic inputs.• Compaction and disposal: K&A can save significant costs from transportation to landfill by using a compacter that compresses the EPS waste bound for disposal. Although this is not a revenue-generating option and requires investment in buying new equipment, this will compact the foam by a ratio of 70:1, thereby reducing the volume of EPS that requires transportation to landfill.• Use a dust sheet: While the vacuum system is out of use due to shop expansion, a dust sheet can be used to clean up dust during the cutting process to prevent dust from contamination. This will help increase the ratio of clean dust that can be recycled. 5
  • 9. To analyze the financial aspects of K&A’s EPS waste reduction efforts, we did a mock6 NPVanalysis to determine the “breakeven budget” for K&A for “x%” reduction in EPS waste. Theresults are outlined in Appendix A: Financial Analysis.b) Alternative Materials and Resins As EPS is lightweight, commercialized, cheap, and heat resistant, finding alternativematerials (see Exhibit F(a) for the list of materials considered) that exactly suited thesecharacteristics, were not found. The biofoam from the company, Green Cell, is made fromcorn starch, while polyurethane foam (PUR) is made from petroleum and vegetablesources. Exhibit F(b) was partially referenced to consider possible resin alternatives. According to Exhibit F(c), to fit K&A’s requirements, the foam is required to bedenser (37 lbs/cuft) than EPS. Exhibit F(d) compares all the materials against EPS as abaseline. Considering the same impact categories as the LCA (energy resources, ozone,carcinogens, and greenhouse gas), EPS performs the best against all the other viablechoices. Although both woods7 provide the best LCA results, they are not feasible options.The lightest wood, balsa (density 7-9 lbs/cuft8), cannot compete with EPS produced at 2lb/cuft. Additionally, while wood is a much better environmental option than foamed plastic(biodegradability of EPS is over 200 years9), it is not a sustainable option to cut down theequivalence of 3,700 lbs for each project that K&A pursues. Similarly, the alternative resinsconsidered perform extremely poorly against UPR (Exhibit F(e)). Interestingly, the biodegradable biofoam performed the worst, and by a large margin,in carcinogens and ozone layer. Exhibit F(f) shows that chemical additives and maizeproduction at the plant account for the majority of these emissions.6 See Appendix A: Financial Analysis for model assumptions.7 Basswood is also known as Linden (used this name in SimaPro)8 Source: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/wood-density-d_40.html9 Study of photocatalytic degradation of polystyrene (http://tinyurl.com/874mshq) 6
  • 10. 6. Recommendations To provide strong recommendations for K&A’s EPS problem, the alternatives discussedabove were ranked on a matrix of sustainability versus feasibility (the degree to which K&Acould implement these changes). Exhibit G shows this ranking:● Options such as using a dust sheet/filter were ranked high, both in terms of feasibility and sustainability, as we believe this is a cheap yet easy process change for K&A to implement. This option will help eliminate contamination in EPS dust.● Options that ranked high on sustainability, but low on feasibility (for example, selling contaminated EPS to the Texas-based Avangard Innovation) were so, primarily because of the uncertainty in implementation.● Options that were high on feasibility, but low on sustainability (using epoxy and polypropylene) fared so, because even though they were industry-standards, LCA showed that they did not perform well in terms of energy consumption, and hence were not sustainable in the long-run.● Finally, options that fared low on both sustainability and feasibility (biofoam and wood) did so, because they either performed very poorly in LCA, and/or were too expensive to use as a molding material. Based on Exhibit G, out final recommendations (in order of priority) are:● Use a dust sheet/filter to prevent contamination.● Use 3D CNC cutting machine to eliminate EPS dust while creating the shape.● Down-cycle the clean chunks of EPS by selling them for alternative uses.● Continue using EPS and UPR as the foam and resin, respectively, until more sustainable alternatives are found. 7
  • 11. 7. Areas for further research While our team conducted a preliminary analysis of alternate materials for EPS andUPR, given our limited knowledge in the chemical composition of materials, there is stillroom for research into an appropriate replacement for EPS that is both biodegradable andnon-toxic. Recent research has been conducted into biodegradable and bio-based thermosetsthat show potential to replace synthetic, fossil fuel-based thermosets. For instance, a team ledby Prof. Gadi Rothenberg and Dr. Albert Alberts of the University of Amsterdam have newthermoset resins that are made from renewable sources, and display properties ofbiodegradability and non-toxicity10. However, this research is still in its infancy, and it willtake some time before such products can be made commercially available.8. Conclusion and Key Takeaways The following are key takeaways that we learned from working on this project:• EPS is everywhere: The use of EPS is so prevalent these days that it is an integral part of our daily lives. Eliminating it from a key process is an extreme challenge.• EPS is highly recyclable as long as it is clean: Despite our efforts, we found that contaminated EPS has very little value. There is a need for process change to eliminate EPS contamination in the first place (Design for Sustainability).• Biodegradability does not imply sustainability: Many companies only focus on the sustainability during the end-of-life of a product, rather than throughout the life cycle of the product. The LCA results that we obtained on the biofoam were a classic example of this. While the foam was biodegradable, it was the most environmentally harmful in terms of ozone layer depletion and carcinogens. However, as we learned in the Herman- Miller case, there is a need to incorporate sustainability in every aspect of the product life cycle, beginning from its design.10 Source: http://biopol.free.fr/index.php/new-biobased-and-biodegradable-thermoset-resins/ 8
  • 12. Exhibit A: EPS Pictures (a) New EPS Blocks (b) Clean EPS Chunks (c) Clean EPS Chunks (d) EPS Dust (e) EPS Blocks before Molding (f) EPS Blocks after Molding a
  • 13. Exhibit B: EPS Supply Chain at K&A b
  • 14. Exhibit C: Life Cycle Analyses of EPS and UPR a) Energy Resources for EPS Production, Assembly and Disposal b) Energy Resources for EPS Raw Material Acquisition and Production c
  • 15. c) EPS and UPR Greenhouse Gas Emissionsd) EPS LCA Data Table d
  • 16. e) EPS LCA Data for Raw Material Acquisition and ProductionExhibit D: Process Re-engineering Options e
  • 17. Exhibit E: List of Contacted CompaniesNo. Company Company Website Location Brief Description Distance Name from K&A (miles)1 Rastra www.rastra.com Scottsdale Build a high quality 782 Engineering ,AZ building material from EPS2 Infiltrator http://www.infiltratorsystems.c N/A Use modified or fire- N/A Systems Inc. om retardant EPS in drainage applications3 Rapac Inc. http://ringcompanies.com/rapac Oakland, Manufacture EcoSix, 2137 home TN which is recycled Polystyrene foam4 Timbron https://www.facebook.com/Tim Stockton, Timbron International 76 International bron.International?sk=info CA collects, recycles, and converts waste Polystyrene (Styrofoam) into building products5 Alliance of www.epspackaging.org Napa, CA AFPR provides a full list of 11 foam EPS recycling drop off Packaging locations. Recyclers6 Plastic http://www.plasticsmarkets.org/ Multiple Connects recycled plastics N/A Markets Dot locations buyers and suppliers Org on website7 El Cerrito http://www.el- El Cerrito, Recycling Center 26 Recycling cerrito.org/index.aspx?NID=19 CA Center 38 G.B. http://www.gbimcorp.com/inde St. Union Recyclers and Plastics 55 Industrial x.htm City, CA providers Materials Corp9 Foam http://www.foamfabricatorsinc. St. Foam Providers 100 Fabricators, com/ Modesto, Inc. CA10 American http://www.americanrecyclingc St. Recycling Center, now 102 Recycling a.com/wpress/ Modesto, accepts EPS Company CA11 Tegrant http://www.tegrant.com/ Hayward, Provide thermal, protective 62 Corporation CA and consumer packaging12 F.P. http://www.fpintl.com/ Redwood "Environmental" Packaging 65 International City, CA providers13 Avangard http://www.avaicg.com/ Houston, EPS Recyclers N/A Innovative Texas14 Kurtz Ersa http://www.kurtz.de/ Germany EPS Recyclers N/A15 STYROCYC http://www.styrocyclers.com Marietta, EPS Recyclers N/A LERS, LLC Georgia16 GreenMax www.intcorecycling.com China EPS Recyclers N/A17 Streamline http://3dcutting.com Calgary, Providers of State-of-the-art N/A Automation Alberta, 3D CNC Cutting Canada f
  • 18. Exhibit F: LCA of Alternate Materials a) Alternative Materials and Resins Considered b) Comparison of Biodegradability of Bio-based Plastics g
  • 19. c) Polyurethane Density and Stiffnessd) Single Score Comparison of Alternative Materials h
  • 20. e) Single Score Comparison of Alternative Resins i
  • 21. f) Partial LCA – Biofoam Carcinogens j
  • 22. Exhibit G: Recommendations MatrixSustainability Feasibility • Green cells indicate the steps that K&A should undertake to reduce their EPS waste. Yellow cells indicate further possibilities which require more work to ascertain their feasibility. Red cells indicate steps that K&A should avoid due to lower sustainability impacts and/or lower feasibilities. • Items in ‘Blue’ indicate a material (as either a mold or a resin). k
  • 23. Appendix A: Financial AnalysisThe intuition from the financial analysis is summarized in the following table: Target Reduction Breakeven Budget Range 17%-50% 11 $0-$103,444 50%-100%12 $103,444-$258,159 It can be seen from the above table that in order to reduce the EPS waste (excludingthe contaminated mold), K&A can invest just over $100,000 in order to recover theinvestment based on the savings that they can get from reduced buying of EPS and thelandfill costs. Any added investment can be termed as an investment in reducing theenvironmental footprint of the company. This “breakeven budget” can be allocated to acquirenew equipment (such as the 3D CNC cutting machine) for re-engineering the processeswithin K&A such that they result in minimal waste. Our argument is that it can be financiallyfeasible for K&A to reduce its waste by re-engineering their processes to attain a certainwaste-reduction target. Please refer to the next page for the complete analysis.11 This range includes EPS waste in the form of clean chunks, clean dust and dirty dust. Anything below 17%has negative cash flows and results in no savings.12 This range considers the total EPS waste including the waste from contamsinated mold. l
  • 24. $300,000     $250,000     $200,000     Breakeven  Budget   $150,000     $100,000     $50,000     $0     0%   10%   20%   30%   40%   50%   60%   70%   80%   90%   100%   ($50,000)   ($100,000)   %  EPS  Waste  Reduc:on  Sample Data from Spreadsheet Model:Model Assumptions:1) Only one laborer working 40 hrs in a week at minimum wage is running and maintaining the machine.2) Cost of Energy is 16 cents per kWh and the equipment is rated at 20kWh and runs for 1000 hours in an year.3) The cost of one sheet of EPS was calculated using the minimum size given by K&A, and by getting the price from the Internet (http://univfoam.com/pricing-calculators/eps- pricing). m
  • 25. 4) Number of sheets used per project was calculated by assuming that K&A uses 1800 lbs of EPS per project.5) Transportation costs (costs to transport the EPS from ACH and other suppliers) are proportional to the amount of EPS transported.6) One trip (from ACH to K&A) costs $35 and there are four trips per week.7) Landfill costs have been calculated using the information given by K&A.8) 100% of the landfill costs will be eliminated using the machine (this is not entirely reasonable though, there will still be some mold left).9) Discount Rate and Corporate Tax Rate have been assumed at 10% and 30%, respectively. n