Bottled Water Companies Use Hollow Fiber Technology to Reduce Operating Costs

Product: Pall Aria

 

Challenges

Two prominent bottling plants were searching for new ways to lower their operating costs. Both produce spring water, but each one faced a unique challenge.

 

The first company is a well-known spring water company, with over 100 years of industry experience. The company encountered elevated levels of iron and manganese on one line. Initially, this was addressed by incorporating a conventional treatment process utilizing diatomaceous earth (DE).

 

DE is a consumable requiring constant expenditure, manpower and maintenance. More importantly, it may present possible disposal and occupational health and safety issues. While addressing these concerns, the impact of accruing operational costs surfaced. These types of operating costs for water companies are of critical importance to profitability.

 

Another example of high operational costs was witnessed by a different bottled water plant faced with suspended matter variations in the spring water. To keep the source water clean and free of suspended solids, frequent change-outs of disposable filters were necessary. The plant had been using pre-filters and 0.2-micron final filters. Operating multiple bottling lines, variations in suspended matter resulted in unexpected filter costs due to rapid blockage. This was a significant cost to the large operation.

 

In both cases, producing bottled spring water from various sources and by conventional methods resulted in costly, unexpected downtime and product loss. The spring water companies had different complications, but they were driven to find the same solution. They needed a company with the knowledge and technology to help them dry up their leaky profits.

 

Solution

The growing competition in the bottled water industry mandates that every bottled water company must keep a close eye on the cost to produce its brand. Large chain retailers continue to grow in strength, pressuring suppliers to improve quality, reduce costs and increase output. Gaining even marginal savings on operating costs can dictate success or failure for a bottler.

 

Pall Corporation is revolutionizing the production of higher quality bottled water, while reducing operating costs. The Pall Aria system utilizes 0.1-micron hollow fiber membrane technology in conjunction with a highly efficient air scrub regeneration, potentially eliminating the use of all disposable filters.

 

If a bottler encounters short filter life or operating costly conventional treatment systems, the Pall Aria system could be the solution for reducing operating costs. After accessing the inefficiencies in each bottled water factory, the technicians felt the implementation of the Pall Aria system would be the right fit for the job. The Pall Aria system was the best economical solution as it reduced their operating costs and could change how it produced bottled water.

 

Bottled water producers can realize the benefits of the Pall Aria system on all water sources – from spring to purified. Once installed the system use uniquely designed filtration modules in a hollow fiber configuration to remove viruses, bacteria, arsenic and suspended solids. And then the benefits begin to flow in. No matter the water source, or its variability because of frequent turbidity spikes, the hollow fiber technology is up to the task. The elimination of feed water variability, minimized cost and maximized uptime translate into cost-saving benefits for the producers that can’t be beat.

 

Results

The first bottler had to consider the expense of displacing its current treatment for a new system. It meant disrupting current production and coming to terms with the expense to replace and upgrade. But one of the many benefits of the Pall Aria system is that it is easy to adapt it to match the bottled water producer’s requirements. Since the system was very flexible, implementation for preliminary testing was very smooth. After a short demonstration period, the results came in and blew the first bottled water factory away.

 

Pall Aria water treatment systems are specifically designed to produce drinking water that meets today’s stringent standards. The quality assurance (QA) requirements were naturally extensive. Blind taste test challenges were mandatory, as were water quality profiles. The results showed no change in taste and complete removal of the desired constituents. A true success.

 

In addition to replacing a costly DE process, the bottler could produce higher quality water and perform an automatic integrity test. Now, the QA manager can confirm the integrity of the filter system each day. The result: current cost of operations decreased by 90%.

 

The second bottler with variations in spring water also purchased the Pall Aria system. The Pall Aria system eliminated incoming water variability. By doing so, the bottler was no longer caught by surprised by the need to change filters. Compared to their standard disposable cartridges, the system yielded a 10-fold increase in downstream filter life.

 

The quick turnaround provided a sense of relief for both bottled water plants. Minimizing operational costs enabled the companies to focus on financial gains – while still meeting, or exceeding, EPA standards. For more information about Pall Aria systems, contact our knowledgeable Food and Beverage team today.

 

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