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RE: (All) Waste Prevention Technology


There is no resistance.  It is your need to label and pigeon-hole people
as "incrementalists" that is the problem.  You fail to recognize the
constraints that are placed on people when they are hired to consult.

If I am hired by a car company to eliminate paint waste, I am
constrained by the product design to "paint".  The paint can be
solvent-borne, water-borne, powder, UV cure, etc. I can dip coat, flow
coat, electrocoat, spray coat, etc.  As a consulting engineer, it is my
job to eliminate the most amount of waste for the lowest capital and
operating cost.  If I can retrofit a system, then I can save my client a
lot of money.

Some P2 systems make a lot of economic sense, but only if you are
starting with a grass roots system.  If you walk into an operating
facility, it is much harder to justify ripping out everything and
starting over.  You are constrained by the existing infrastructure.

Now if I am designing a brand new product or facility, then my choice of
options is much greater.  With cars, I can use injection molded plastic
and eliminate all painting.  The public may not want a plastic car, but
it is an option available to the designer.  It is not available to
someone who has to produce a steel-based car.

Your examples are good but you need to consider the market.  Does the
user care if his x-rays are produced by photographic means ?  No, he
just needs an accurate image.  How it is produced is irrelavent to the
end user.  If this system is cheaper, faster, better, more accurate, and
easier to use than photographic methods, then it will succeed.  If its
only benefit is that it doesn't produce waste, it will fail.

What you need to do is define the product and establish what aspects of
its design you can alter at will and which ones are cast in stone.  Once
you have done this, you can begin to see where wholesale changes in
production can be made and where only incremental changes will be
tolerated.  You need to be doing this with the product designers because
once it reaches the stage where engineers are involved, the design has
been too locked down and all we can do is make incremental improvements.

Just some more of my two cents,

> ----------
> From: 	rpojasek@sprynet.com[SMTP:rpojasek@sprynet.com]
> Sent: 	Wednesday, January 14, 1998 6:09PM
> To: 	p2tech@great-lakes.net
> Subject: 	Re: (All) Waste Prevention Technology
> Response to Alexander Ross,
> Most firms still paint many colors.  They cannot affort the cycle time
> hit for 
> cleaning out the booth between every color change.  Therefore there is
> much waste powder paint to dispose of since the mixed colors do not
> blend but 
> rather go on in a speckled version.  P2TECH had an extended discussion
> of this 
> last year.  It is still a problem.  For the UV cure, what happens to
> the liquid 
> that does not get on the part?
> I have given some examples of entirely new processes that do what the
> old 
> wasteful processes do (Helios technology at Polaroid and etchless
> printed wiring 
> boards at Printron) with almost no wastes.  These DO NOT violate the
> laws of 
> thermodynamics as environmental engineers would suggest.  I have found
> that 
> industrial engineers and process engineers can be very good at
> eliminating waste 
> with quantum leaps in technology if we just direct them to do so.
> Incremental 
> changes in efficiency seems to be the way we would rather see them go.
> Is it 
> because it is safer to do this?  I am getting real curious as to why
> there seems 
> to be so much resistance to the use of technology to help eliminate
> waste from 
> certain process operations.
> Bob Pojasek
> rpojasek@sprynet.com