Three FTA members participated in a private ribbon cutting ceremony June 27, where Sunshine FPC Inc officially inaugurated its new Ship & Shore Environmental Inc Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO), as well as its new 52-in., 10-color Windmoeller & Hoelscher (W&H) Miraflex press—Sunshine FPC’s third central impression (CI) press from the machine manufacturer.
The recently expanded Ship & Shore Environmental RTO at Sunshine’s Montebello, CA site is designed to destroy more than 98 percent of the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) present in the exhaust from the printing presses generated during the company’s 24/7 operations. The RTO also has a thermal efficiency rate of 95 percent, essentially allowing it to operate with minimal gas consumption and operating costs.
It is important for printers to consider air quality and pollution because VOC emissions generated from printing operations can lead to smog, ozone and health issues, says Anoosheh Oskouian, CEO of Ship & Shore Environmental, adding that all manufacturing facilities, including printers, require air quality permits in order to stay in compliance with air quality rules and regulations, not to mention the rising health concerns that air pollution brings about.
“Through our years of experience working with the packaging and printing industry, we have noticed that these companies, especially our customers, have become much more proactive—They are constantly searching for more sustainable, innovative solutions,” says Oskouian.
At Sunshine FPC, sustainability has been a priority for the company before the subject became a common inquiry from its clientele. The printer says increased social awareness of sustainability and the environment serves as an impetus to utilize sustainable substrates and alternative material to improve efficiency in production, reducing carbon footprint, material sourcing and strategic planning.
“For us, sustainability drove innovation by reducing the footprint, weight, material, etc. for packaging. It also improved operating efficiency,” says James Chuang, president of Sunshine FPC. “The challenges imposed by sustainability can actually function as a motivation for companies to think differently and therefore innovate and improve.”
Ship & Shore Environmental said it has worked with W&H on numerous projects in the past. The partnership’s history meant the only concerns faced were the stringent rules, regulations and necessary permitting for presses and printing facilities, especially for the local Southern California Basin area.
Sustainability and machine efficiency are also important at W&H, says Vladimir Utovac, the company’s product manager. He explains that every module of a W&H machine is optimized to be as efficient as possible, with one example being its exhausts and dryers. Utovac points out that running exhaust through an incinerator means a bigger carbon footprint and expense with more gas being used.
“Our presses have a higher drying capacity with less exhaust volume going out to the incinerator,” he adds. “Another thing is all of our machines always come standard with LEL control, which also relates back to dryer and incinerator. What we do with LEL is basically we’re recirculating the air, so we’ll take exhaust air that’s run through the dryer and pump it back into the system. So that way we’re not taking more fresh air that has to be exhausted. We’re trying to reuse the air as much as possible.”
As air is recirculated, you are building you solvent concentration, Utovac continues, which means concentrated air is being send to the oxidizer, and less gas is used by the machine.
Sunshine FPC believes that great packages and sustainably-focused packages no longer have to be mutually exclusive. “Companies should accept both requirements for packaging as a norm to offer brand owners and consumers, so we can all work toward a better future for the environment,” says Chuang.