Light Industry

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Drive Productivity & Sustainability Through Innovation

The Light Industry sector includes manufacturers of a wide variety of products from automobiles to microelectronics, plastics to parts, and an assortment of other business and consumer goods. Manufacturing facilities use water in their everyday production processes and are concerned with environmental compliance, sustainability, profitability, and productivity. That is why an experienced water treatment partner is an essential piece of the manufacturing puzzle.

With innovative technologies aimed to create shared value, Kurita America uses a Total Solutions approach that incorporates chemical, equipment, engineering, and services to immerse, architect, deliver, and evolve, called "The Kurita Way.”

Segments We Serve

The global automotive industry has been shifting vehicle production toward electrification and is a major consumer of water for various production processes. Major water uses in the industry comprise surface treatment and coating, paint spray booths, washing, rinsing, hosing, cooling, air-conditioning systems, and boilers. In addition to the use of water for these processes, wastewater must be treated to high standards to meet environmental regulations. There has been a drive within the automobile industry to optimize every process and improve energy efficiency. In an increasingly competitive global market, every automaker is striving to meet these objectives.

Kurita America, as part of the Kurita Group, has established itself as a highly competent partner for all issues concerning water and wastewater management. With over 60 years of experience working with the automotive industry, we offer the most technically up-to-date water and process treatment solutions.

Several factors are driving growth in the battery manufacturing industry:  declining lithium-ion battery prices, rapid adoption of electric vehicles, a growing renewable sector, and increasing demand for consumer electronics. Battery manufacturers often consume thousands of gallons of high purity water each day in pre-treatment operations, therefore properly maintaining efficient and safe high purity systems is imperative. Wastewater is produced from many processes throughout plant operations, including utility heating and cooling blowdown, manufacturing processes, and cleaning systems. Through optimized liquid-solid separation (LSS) practices, particularly of metals and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), Kurita America helps manufacturers effectively manage the wastewater system to reduce total operating costs (TOC), meet environmental discharge limits, achieve sustainability goals, and potentially reuse effluent water within a facility.

Consumer products manufacturers are seeking ways to improve cost and operational efficiencies in critical processes, such as water purification and wastewater management. Reducing water losses and energy consumption are key areas of interest, not only due to the positive impact on operating expenditures but also because of their contribution toward mitigating operational risks and meeting environmental stewardship goals. Kurita America partners with manufacturers to boost efficiencies in many ways: upgrading or retrofitting old or underperforming equipment and outdated infrastructure, incorporating greater automation in treatment and cleaning and sanitization processes, or installing pre- and primary treatment technologies to address problematic constituents that may inhibit production performance.

Helped by the explosion of e-commerce and developments in digital printing technologies, the corrugated box industry is growing quickly. Any interruption or variation in steam quality may lead to poor bonding and increased waste of the corrugated box. Manufacturers will benefit from Kurita America’s state-of-the-art technologies to reduce steam requirements, which will lower energy costs, reduce CO2 emissions, and increase production rates. Manufacturers with lofty sustainability targets may also benefit from wastewater reuse opportunities with proper effluent treatment.

There are many uses of water in the manufacturing industry, and in most cases, the used water also needs treatment to render it fit for reuse or disposal. Raw water entering a manufacturing plant often needs treatment to meet tight quality specifications to be used in specific industrial processes. Kurita America partners with manufacturers to employ a water treatment system that encompasses all these aspects, which includes wastewater treatment, boiler water treatment, and cooling water treatment.

In many cases, effluent water from one process can be suitable for reuse in another process if given appropriate treatment. Kurita America helps customers meet sustainability requirements and reduce costs through reuse by lowering charges for water consumption and effluent disposal, decreasing energy costs due to the recovery of heat in recycled wastewater, and reducing CO2 emissions.

Other manufacturing segments that Kurita America serves:

  • Aeronautics
  • Ammunition
  • Commercial Laundry  
  • Concrete
  • Construction Materials
  • Containers
  • Industrial Gas
  • Medical Device
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Plastics
  • Textiles
  • Transportation and Storage

Water is critical for semiconductor manufacturing. When a facility is manufacturing 300 mm wafers, upward of 2,000 gallons of water per minute is used. Semiconductor fabrication requires ultrapure water to rinse wafers, making access to a high-quality water source paramount. With such extensive water needs, advanced fabrication plants cannot rely on municipal infrastructure alone and are already moving toward more onsite wastewater treatment and water reuse.

Due to the high volume of water used and the high cost of cleaning ultrapure water, Kurita America works extensively in the microelectronics industry to build custom water reuse systems, where efficiencies are driven by treating the water just enough for the next process to minimize overproduction and increase savings. Water that is reused must be treated to a higher level and requires a knowledgeable water treatment partner to meet the growing demand of manufacturers.

In tire and rubber manufacturing, reducing steam consumption and discovering other potential energy saving measures are crucial. Kurita America has a strong history in aiding both tire and rubber manufacturers to meet production and sustainability targets with innovative technologies designed to improve heat transfer efficiency, advance productivity, increase heat exchange rate, reduce CO2 emissions, and lower steam consumption.

As the key component within the system, any improvements within the vulcanization process can increase productivity and profitability. Kurita America works with tire and rubber producers to design a water treatment program that addresses production and sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs).

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