Koch provides ultrafiltration equipment to BMW Spartanburg plant

June 30, 2009
WILMINGTON, MA, June 30, 2009 -- Koch Membrane Systems Inc. has been selected to provide KPAK ultrafiltration (UF) modules for use in BMW Manufacturing Co.'s expanded Spartanburg, S.C. assembly plant...

• KPAK™ Ultrafilter equipment improves plant efficiency and environmental performance

WILMINGTON, MA, June 30, 2009 -- Koch Membrane Systems Inc. (KMS), a pioneer in membrane technology filtration systems, engineering and process expertise for close to half a century, has been selected to provide KPAK™ ultrafiltration (UF) modules for use in BMW Manufacturing Co.'s expanded Spartanburg, S.C. assembly plant.

The UF system is used for paint recovery, paint bath control, and hazardous waste minimization at the plant's new electrocoat/phosphate facility. The KPAK modules increase the capacity of the electrocoat paint system by about 68 percent. The new facility is part of a major $750 million expansion of BMW's South Carolina factory, which will add 1.5 million square feet and an expected 500 new jobs on-site to produce three models and to increase production capacity.

The KPAK UF system completely replaces the plant's existing ultrafiltration system and offers BMW several benefits versus their old system, including increased energy efficiency, provisions to allow 100 percent of flow over the membrane surface, superior cleanability of the UF modules, and a safe, easy installation. Also, the KPAK UF system's efficient operations allow paint recovery to be maintained at more than 95 percent within the closed-loop rinse system, thus reducing wastewater treatment plant load, ultimate disposal costs, and environmental impacts.

KMS has delivered two ultrafiltration skids designed to generate a total of 57 gallons per minute of permeate, to be used for gray cathodic electrocoat. Each skid was designed by KMS to clean one spiral membrane module at a time during production without shutting down the system. The plant's old system required shut down and cleaning during non-production periods.

"I have very high expectations for the KPAK UF system," said Mark Beckwith, BMW's Section Manager/Engineering. Since beginning operations with the unit in April 2009, the plant has significantly increased its recovery rates and maintained a stable flux rate. We are successfully cleaning the spiral UF modules with the easy-to-use and operator-friendly clean-in-place process."

The KPAK modules feature a "potted spiral" design, in which the spiral-wound membrane is secured with epoxy to the inside of a PVC shell, forming a single, integrated structure. The potted construction allows for zero bypass of paint or cleaning solution, resulting in maximum use of paint and excellent energy efficiency, as well as improved cleaning. The increased membrane area packaged in the module enables greater turbulence during cleaning, leading to enhanced flux recovery. Together, these features can lead to higher permeate rates.

Koch Membrane Systems Inc. offers a wide range of products and engineering services which span industrial applications in water & wastewater, food and life sciences and industrial processes.


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