Working under impossible deadlines and overextended budgets, a Fortune 500 company made it their mission to bring new life to a closed textile manufacturing plant in South Carolina.
A Fortune 500 company based in South Carolina recently embarked on an accelerated plan to open an additional manufacturing plant. Rather than build a brand-new plant, the company was set on finding a suitable location in in South Carolina that could be equipped to meet their needs.
They worked with state and local authorities to acquire a closed 250,000 square foot facility formerly used for textile manufacturing. New production equipment ordered from Europe was on a tight delivery schedule by the time the location was chosen, and the deal closed. Finding the ideal location to set up shop was only half the battle. In order to breathe life back into the old building, new equipment had to be installed, and tight deadlines meant the company would need to set up production lines while the wastewater discharge permitting process was underway.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the Fortune 500 company was finding an affordable solution to treat the wastewater produced by their plant. The manufacturing process employs electroless copper plating and was expected to generate 30 gallons per minute (gpm), 24/7 of wastewater containing high levels of copper. As a hazardous waste, hauling and treating off-site was prohibitively expensive. Pretreatment of the discharged wastewater would be required to remove the copper and stay within regulatory guidelines for discharge to municipal sewer. With an intense timeline for installation and start-up, and facility costs already running over budget, the company sought quotes from several wastewater treatment professionals.
After considering all bids, the company chose to go with WaterProfessionals®, which was the only vendor to offer a Vendor-Owned, Vendor-Maintained outsourcing option. As part of the solution, WaterProfessionals® was contracted to build and install a $650,000 on-site industrial water treatment facility dedicated to treating the wastewater from the new manufacturing plant. However, it would be impossible to complete the construction of a permanent facility within the looming production deadlines.
Due to the urgency of the project, installation and start-up of plating lines needed to occur before plans for the wastewater treatment facility were approved by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and a discharge permit issued. WaterProfessionals® had the solution.
To meet the interim need, which ultimately stretched over eight months, WaterProfessionals® delivered and installed a temporary system which was approved and permitted as a pilot wastewater treatment plant by DHEC as a way to treat reduced flows of copper-containing wastewater during construction of a permanent facility. A full-time operator holding a SC Physical-Chemical Class A license was hired by WaterProfessionals® to operate the interim pre-treatment system.
WaterProfessionals® has since completed building a permanent industrial water treatment facility and the new manufacturing plant is in full operation. The wastewater treatment facility, located next to the manufacturing plant, is highly automated and equipped with sophisticated remote monitoring and alarm capabilities. The facility operator, along with several designated back-up personnel, can remotely access the treatment system’s programmable logic controllers via the internet from their computers, iPads and iPhones.
To maintain compliance with DHEC requirements, WaterProfessionals® conducts monthly monitoring and analysis of the plant’s wastewater and files reports in accordance with the discharge permit. All activities including maintenance, provision of consumables, operation, monitoring and compliance are handled by WaterProfessionals® in a totally turnkey fashion, freeing the Fortune 500 company to concentrate on their manufacturing process.
The Fortune 500 company was resilient in overcoming each hurdle it faced in repurposing the old textile plant into a modern-day production plant– a true example of refurbishment at its finest.