by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
button in toolbar for more information.
Metal Casting Technologies : December 2006
METAL Casting Technologies December 2006 34 TECHNICAL FEATURE There is considerable work ahead for the Interim and next government to clarify the environmental rules and regulations, to revise and rationalize these where necessary, to provide easy to understand information for foundries (e.g. as in the Best Practice programme in the UK) and not least to facilitate wider and improved training of environmental engineers to work in industrial environments rather than in a laboratory. TRAINING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE The universities in Thailand already provide a number of research, educational and training programmes in environmental subjects. For example, in the School of Energy and Materials at King Mongut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) in Bangkok there are now well-established qualifications at both under, and post-graduate levels in Energy and Environmental Technology. Special focus is on air pollution problems from combustion sources and control of hazardous waste. KMUTT, together with the Asian Institute of Technology, Chulalongkorn University, Khon Kaen University, the Dept. of Energy Development and the Thailand Environment Institute is part of the Thailand Energy & Environment Network -- TEENET. The role of this network is to provide government departments and industry with information on energy and environmental issues. It also encourages the exchange of information and co-operation between institutes involved in research and consultancy on environment problems. Also in Bangkok, at Kasetsart University a Clean Technology and Eco-Design Special Research Unit (KU-CTED) has recently been established to co-ordinate the university's work in cleaner production, pollution prevention, life cycle assessment and design for the environment. One of its missions is to train and update engineers in cleaner technology and in eco-design. There is a considerable scope and need to extend such training and in particular to tailor the training material to the particular situations met in the foundry industry. THAI FOUNDRYMEN'S MASTER PLAN The Master Plan drawn up for the Thai metal-casting industry by the Thai Foundrymen's Society (TFS) and other bodies recognized the problems of poor environmental performance in SME foundries. Because of delays in funding this plan has had a rather slow start but nevertheless it does seek to address environmental problems by the wider introduction of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and by then encouraging and providing practical help for small foundries to develop their own systems. Once a foundry has its own EMS it can more easily progress to achieve certification to ISO 14000. The foundry plan envisages that by 2010 some 80% of Thai foundries will have a validated EMS in operation, with 20% satisfying ISO 14000, with the latter figure increasing to 70% by 2014. SPECIAL ENVIRO PROBLEMS FOR SME'S For SME non-ferrous foundries there is already a sound base from which to initiate improvements thanks to project work started around 10 years ago by the Department of Industrial Works with support from the German Ministry for Economic Co-operation under a general Thai-German Technical Co- operation Programme. One part of this work addressed the special environmental problems encountered in SME companies involved in the melting and casting of non-ferrous metals. The first stage of the work was completed in late 1998 with the publication of environmental management guidelines for the non-ferrous industry5. Later on these guidelines were used in a pilot scheme to set up EMS in four non-ferrous foundries who in later feedback sessions reported positive experiences gained from the scheme. The project did reveal some alarming facts in that all companies were unaware of the dangers posed by many of the raw materials being used e.g. chemical binders and by emissions and waste from their processes e.g. exposure of workers to Dioxins during melting and from open skips containing cooling hot drosses. In future there are clear benefits to be gained by extending this type of project to the SME ferrous foundries since these are usually dirtier and dustier than their non-ferrous counterparts. PROCESS CONTROL LEADS TO PROFIT Much progress could be made relatively quickly, and with profit, if the SME foundries paid more attention to process control to reduce their scrap rates and thus waste less materials and energy. Energy efficiency could be considerably improved by better combustion control and maintenance of furnaces and An example of a 'foundry in a garden' on one of the new industrial estates in Thailand. Courtesy of Asahi Somboon Metals Co., Ltd., Laemchabang Industrial Estate, Chonburi. The foundry produces Grey and Ductile Iron parts for the automotive industry including brake discs, camshafts, flywheels and hubs.