Products Finishing

NOV 2013

Products Finishing magazine is the No. 1 industrial finishing publication in the world. We keep our readers informed about the latest news and trends in plating, painting, powder coating, anodizing, electrocoating, parts cleaning, and pretreatment.

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NEWS Powder Coaters Fume at New NOx Oven Rules Estimated cost of $10,000 jumps to more than $50,000+. More than a year into new regulations on the emissions of powder coating ovens, and fnishing shops in Southern California are starting to feel the sting of the new rules—in their pocketbooks. The South Coast Air Quality Management District instituted new emission standards for nitrogen oxide (NOx) as part of Rule 1147, which Courtesy KMI Systsems and Maxon frst passed in 2008, but was stalled while manufacturers pleaded for exemptions or reductions in the standards. Afer extensive hearings and negotiations during the summer of 2011, the rule has fnally gone into efect. The cost of what some powder coaters expected the new ovens to be to meet the emission standard—estimated at $10,000 in some documents fled by the AQMD when they frst proposed the rules—is now coming in at $50,000 and higher. This has a lot of powder coaters, who are being The cost of what some forced to purchase new powder coaters expected equipment, fuming at the the new ovens to be— higher-than-expected costs. "My question is how estimated at $10,000 in can you sell this idea of some documents fled a rule and say it will only by the AQMD—is now cost $10,000, when they knew it would be much coming in at $50,000 and higher for everyone?" higher. asks Shivie Dhillon, an owner of Sundial Powder Coatings in the Los Angeles area who also sits on the board of the Powder Coating Institute. "My anger is they went around telling everyone it would cost about $10,000 for a new oven, when the truth was that there isn't anything close to that cost on the market that would meet their regulations," he says. "They weren't straight up with everyone." Rule 1147 was adopted by the AQMD Governing Board in 2008. It established NOx emission limits of 30 to 60 ppm (at 3 percent oxygen) for new and existing combustion equipment in hopes of achieving emission reductions of 50 to 75 percent from ovens, dryers and furnaces. 8 NOVEMBER 2013 Ñ pfonline.com Compliance dates for emission limits are based on the age of the equipment, so that the rule is applicable to older equipment frst. Owners are provided 15 years of use before they must modify or replace existing equipment to meet the new emission limits, AQMD oficials say. But Tina Cox, a spokesperson for the AQMD, says her agency never quoted the price of new ovens. "Our analysis estimated the diference in cost between a new oven with burners that meet the Rule 1147 emission limit versus a new oven that does not meet the emission limit," she said. "The cost of retroftting existing ovens was also assessed. Rule 1147 does not require businesses to replace ovens." Like a lot of other powder coaters and manufacturers that use ovens and driers, Sundial feared getting a fne if it didn't get new equipment to meet the standards. So the company worked with vendors to get the best price it could to meet the new rules. The result? Sundial says it spent about $55,000 on the new equipment, including installation costs. "What was more absurd was that my cost for AQMD to inspect it and get a permit was about $7,500," Dhillon says. "I had to expedite the inspection because I was running out of time, but again I get hit with the fees." The other irony to the situation: Because the new ovens are required to burn cleaner, they ofen use more gas so that the burn is richer. That means more burning is taking place, thus more contaminants in the air. "Using more gas trumps the whole idea of using a lower NOx burner," Dhillon says. "You add all this up and none of it makes much sense."

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