BFGoodrich Tire Plant in Indiana Saves Nearly 10 Million Gallons of Water Annually with GE’s Chemical Technology and Expertise

Posted: Monday 2nd May 2011

The BFGoodrich tire manufacturing plant in Woodburn, Ind., has significantly reduced water and chemical usage while simultaneously increasing efficiency with help from GE’s advanced water chemical technology.

The water supply at BFGoodrich’s Woodburn facility comes from a well that produces very hard water, resulting in the need to chemically treat the water that is used for boiler feedwater in the steam systems. Lower quality water was not allowing the boiler systems to run at optimal levels, thus limiting efficiency and increasing water usage. BFGoodrich turned to GE to help develop a solution using GE’s advanced water technology.

With the installation of a reverse osmosis (RO) system and with the proper chemical treatment program, BFGoodrich improved the quality of the boiler make-up water, which allowed for an increase in total boiler cycles, leading to fuel cost savings. The tire manufacturing plant now conserves 9.9 million gallons of water annually, reducing the impact on the environment. The company also reduced operating expenses and improved overall safety conditions. These improvements resulted in the facility earning a GE ecomagination Leadership Award.

Other savings included a reduction in steam, as well as an elimination of costs for sludge removal to a landfill and elimination of costs for chemicals such as lime and soda ash. GE’s solution also enabled the Woodburn facility to improve safety conditions by reducing the amount of chemicals needed to treat the boiler water as well as the increased efficiency of the boilers due to the improved quality of water.

“The improvements to our boilers and make-up water after installing GE’s water treatment system resulted in fewer mechanical issues and less chemical handling by the operators,” said Paul Cagle, plant manager at BFGoodrich’s Woodburn facility. “This is a significant improvement, especially from an EHS standpoint, because it reduces the chances for accidents or injury to our operators.”

In addition to improving operational costs and safety of the Woodburn facility, BFGoodrich’s selection of this technology also was driven by the company’s desire to reduce the plant’s environmental impact.

GE has awarded BFGoodrich an ecomagination Leadership Award to recognize the company for its noteworthy reductions in water consumption, chemicals and waste using GE technology. GE’s ecomagination Leadership Award recognizes the achievements of industrial users that significantly surpass and improve environmental and industrial operational goals while balancing industrial demands.

“We are pleased to present BFGoodrich with an ecomagination Leadership Award for its water conservation efforts and reduction in operating costs at the Woodburn plant,” said Adrian Peace, North American business leader, chemical and monitoring solutions business—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. “By utilizing GE’s advanced chemistry and leveraging our field personnel’s expertise, BFGoodrich has been able to meet its environmental objectives, as well as improve safety conditions and reduce costs at the facility.”

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