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Metal Casting Technologies : December 2007
METAL Casting Technologies December 2007 42 Environmental Report 1981. The EIA has to be prepared by a registered consulting company. It is used to identify the environmental implications of any new project or activity. The EIA is evaluated by the Environmental Impact Evaluation Bureau (EIEB) who, for each case, use an Expert Review Committee made up of expert members who are qualified or specialized in disciplines related to the project under review. This committee may approve or reject the EIA report in relation to permitting or rejecting the project. However in spite of the EIA regulations Thailand has some serious air and water pollution problems caused by industry in general, since up to the present time only large companies, based on production capacity, have to gain EIA report approval. For the Iron & Steel industry approval is needed only if the production capacity is 100 tons per day or more calculated by using the ton/hour furnace capacity multiplied by 24 hours. For the Non-ferrous sector the figure is 50 tons/day or more. Most foundries in Thailand have production capacities less than 50 tons/day so that they do not need to follow the EIA process. INDUSTRIAL OPERATIONS ARE COVERED BY DEPTARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL WORKS The Department of Industrial Works (DIW) under the Thai Ministry of Industry covers health and safety, hazardous substance control, water technology and industrial pollution in relation to industry and business operations. In these respects the DIW (www.diw.go.th) is responsible for: ■ Supervision and coordination of industrial business operations by following the guidelines of environmental preservation, safety, hygiene and energy efficiency ■ Promotion and support of capability and improvement of industrial business operations for sustainable development ■ Provision of a national information center for industrial works, machines, and for chemical, hazardous and volatile substances ■ Representation of Thailand's interests in international agreements regarding environment, safety and security The DIW has also published a number of industrial sector codes of practice for pollution prevention. Relevant to the metals industry are guides relating to melting of non-ferrous metals  and electroplating . As part of a Thai-German Technical Co-operation Programme, the DIW has attempted to encourage, via training and pilot schemes, the non-ferrous industry to adopt Environmental Management Systems (EMS). This type of scheme has not yet been expanded to cover ferrous melting or other foundry process operations. All sectors of Thai industry, not just foundries, need to be better informed about the value of EMS adoption. Thai industry must become proactive on both quality and environmental issues rather than just be reactive to the demands of customers or regulators. Ethical arguments for sustainable development are not always effective, the SME sector of industry should be shown the potential cost reduction benefits of being clean, preferably using real case examples. According to the Thai Industrial Standards Institute (www.tisi. go.th) 1429 companies in Thailand are currently certified to ISO 14001, with 77 of these companies involved in the processing of metals and alloys including cast metals. THE ROLE OF ACADEMIC AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS The main non-governmental organization focusing on envi- ronmental issues and the conservation of natural resources in Thailand is the Thailand Environment Institute (www.tei.or.th) which was established in May 1993 as non-profit making. The TEI promotes shared environmental responsibility by work- ing in co-operation with the private sector, government, local communities, other civil society partners, universities and with international organizations, The TEI helps to formulate environ- mental directives and link policy to encourage environmental progress in Thailand. The concept of EcoDesign to integrate economic and environmental considerations into product design was introduced into Thailand in 1999. EcoDesign considers the whole product life cycle from raw material extraction through processing and manufacturing of the product, marketing, distribution, use, and reuse or recycling and disposal. Together with government departments a number of Thai institutions including TEI have become involved in life cycle assessment and EcoDesign to promote a variety of projects and activities, for example, a study of the impact of European Union directives on the Thai Electrical & Electronics industry. This sector makes use of a number of cast components. Late in 2006 the National Metals & Materials Technology Centre (MTEC) set up the Thai Green Design Network (TGDN) together with the Federation of Thai Industry, the Thailand Automotive Institute, the Thai Research Fund and others (www. ThaiGDN.net) . MTEC has also recently established a trace elemental analysis laboratory to support the production of toxic free products in Thailand and to comply with international requirements such as RoHS, ELV and WEEE. It is the first laboratory to provide analysis services for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in parts and equipment. The major universities in Thailand now all offer a variety of programmes and special courses in environmental related subjects. The main provider is the Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment (JGSEE) at King Mongut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT). This School focuses on research