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Operational Group engineering solutions bring multiple benefits to foil packaging and print plant

Energy and environmental engineering specialist Operational Group has achieved a range of efficiency, process and safety improvements at a leading European foil packaging and print plant.

Operational Group, which has offices across continental Europe and the UK, achieved the improvements through the design, supply and installation of a new, bespoke central exhaust system for the factory operated by Bischof & Klein in Lengerich, north-west Germany.

Bischof & Klein is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of flexible packaging, laminate packaging and technical films. The Lengerich plant operates technical foil, printing and lamination processes.

Foil can be used for a variety of packaging for products such as food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Flexible, lightweight converter foil can be combined with other materials such as paper and polymers to make numerous packaging products.

The Bischof & Klein Lengerich site’s printing presses are solvent-based machines so require an abatement system to treat volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contained in emissions released during the printing process.  VOCs are substances that emit high levels of vapours or gasses at ordinary room temperature. VOCs can be natural or artificial. Some can be dangerous, such as flammable solvents used in printing inks, and are regulated for safety and environmental reasons.

At the Lengerich foil packaging and printing plant, the site’s old central exhaust system and plenum chamber had, over time, reached their process capacity. Operational Group was given the task to optimise and convert the existing factory duct work system to enable Bischof & Klein to install two new printing presses into the current system.

Hans van Collenburg, Managing Director of Operational Benelux & Deutschland, said: “After Operational conducted a detailed on-site survey, we proposed a solution to design, supply and install a new, tailor-made central exhaust system.“

“The bespoke installation included a new plenum chamber with a capacity of 225,000 m³/h (cubic metres per hour) and modification of the central exhaust system to meet the respective requirements. We drew-up a detailed project and work plan, which led to the project being completed successfully and with minimum disruption to the factory within nine working days.

“Our engineering solutions optimised the foil packaging plant’s overall system. The benefits included reduced production limitations and abatement problems, increased production capacity due to increased exhaust air volume; improvements to thermal oxidisers, which destroy VOCs and odorous emissions, improved thermal efficiency, and additional capacity for future production growth.”

Read the technical case study here