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FLEXO Magazine : Sustainable Spring 2009
The risk potential covers the physical hazardous during the production, use, and disposal phases and also considers the risk of explosion, flammability, storage accidents, worker illness and injury rates, malfunctions in product filling/pack- aging, transportation accidents, and any other risk deemed relevant to the study. For this analysis risk potential was characterized based on working accidents, fatal working ac- cidents, and working diseases. From an economic standpoint, lifecycle costs are evalu- ated for the following categories: capital investment, labor, supply chain, wastes, energy, raw materials, and environ- mental health and safety (EHS) programs. Raw material costs were based on the purchase price of the ink, films, and if necessary, the thermal oxidizer. The ink costs were calcu- lated based on the raw material costs in addition to an equal percentage mark-up and the film cost was based on the type of film used and average pricing. The costs for energy were based on prices for electricity and natural gas. As mentioned earlier, the production, use, and disposal phases were all considered during this study, including the production labor, drum handling and logistics, and solid waste disposal costs. Particularly, in the use phase, the model assumed a four-color CI flexographic printing press with each of the four stations applying 25 percent coverage of a solid color. The press was configured to print and dry/cure all three ink systems. Environmental Footprint and EEA Portfolio. EEA method- ology assesses environmental burdens and economic costs independently then aggregates and normalizes both to obtain an environmental footprint and eco-efficiency portfolio. In order to calculate the footprint and portfolio, two weighting factors are applied: a relevance factor and societal weighting factor. The relevance factor reflects the level to which the emission (or energy consumption) contributes to the total emissions (or energy consumption) in North America, whereas the societal factor accounts for the value society attaches to the reduction of the individual environmental impacts. The relevance factors are updated regularly and the values are obtained primarily from the US EPA’s toxic release and water release inventories. Public opinion polling, performed by an independent firm, is used to establish the societal weighting factors. Model Parameters. The assumptions and inputs in this study were modeled and from manufacturer equipment spec- ifications, and not collected from a live printing run. The ink, processing and energy parameters utilized for this study are given in Tables 2 and 3 respectively. A general assumption was made that the printed film scrap made during production was the same for all three ink scenarios. Table 2. Summary of ink and processing parameters Units Water Ink Variables Color Solids Weight per gallon Dry film thickness Printed weight – wet Printed weight – dry Processing Variables Per print station* Ink coverage (image) Web width Web speed Production rate Production hours (CB) Customer Benefit of printed product = Ink Consumption Wet ink usage / CB Wet ink usage / hr percent m m/min m2/min hrs/yr 1,000 percent lb microns g/m2 g/m2 # cyan 42 percent 8.4 2.0 4.8 2.0 1 25 percent 1.5 227 341 4,000 1,000 Solvent cyan 33 percent 7.9 2.2 6.4 2.1 1 25 percent 1.5 378 567 4,000 1,000 * four stations were printing in the model lbs/CB lbs/hr 2.6 54 3.5 120 1.9 58 Table 3. Summary of energy parameters Energy Electricity Drive power Inter-station – Drying Inter-station – Blower Main (final) – Drying Main (final) – Blower Inter-station cooling – UV lamps Main cooling – UV lamps Natural Gas Inter-station – Drying Main (final) – Drying Total Total FIGURE 3. Primary energy consumption. 1 2 Su s t a i n a b l e F LEXO kWh kWh kWh kWh kWh kWh kWh MBTU/ hr MBTU/ hr MBTU/ hr MJ/CB 108 - 12 - 18 - - 0.76 1.14 1.9 98 180 - 12 - 18 - - 0.64 0.96 1.6 50 159 130 - 65 - 24 36 - - - - Lifecycle Inventory Data. Environmental impacts for the production, use, and disposal of the three alternative print- ing ink systems were calculated from eco-profiles (a.k.a. S P R ING/SUMME R 20 0 9 www. f l e x oma g . c om UV- Cured cyan 100 percent 9.1 3.2 3.5 3.5 1 25 percent 1.5 333 500 4,000 Units Water Solvent UV-Cured