Green light to sustainability

Nikolay Roletsky, Chief Engineer at Conflex, reveals how to minimise the environmental footprint with air pollution control equipment.

Conflex

Launched in 2001, Conflex manufactures flexible film packaging for food and FMCG segments. A top 10 flexible packaging company in Russia, it has been continuously improving its technologies and increasing the number of orders.


Every business has its purposes guiding it throughout its lifetime. Profit making and business development are, perhaps, the most essential. That is obvious, and we at Conflex share this view. Our packaging has made its way into 15 food and FMCG segments. All customers want to pay less without compromising quality or aesthetics. One might think that this should always encourage packaging companies to cut costs and pay little attention to anything but the main purpose of their business. That is not the case with Conflex, as our set of values and reference points is broader.

As we put it on our website, “The world around us is huge and multifaceted, and Conflex is an integral and organic part of the world”. I would like to stress the importance of those words – integral and organic. We are proud of our products. We buy goods that are wrapped in this packaging, and we inhale the air in the industrial zone where we work.

Every professional knows how many specialty auxiliary technical fluids are used by packaging companies. As we developed and evolved over the years, our emissions increased along with our production capacities. To address that issue, the management made a strategic decision to minimise our environmental footprint by investing in special-purpose equipment.

In summer 2018, we launched a regenerative thermal oxidiser – a piece of equipment used to control air pollution. The installation followed extensive research into different treatment techniques (involving cold plasma, recuperation or thermal oxidation). We opted for thermal oxidation, as it ensures a 98% treatment efficiency for solutions and recovers some of the heat to bring it back into the production cycle. The latter allows us to cut diesel fuel consumption, and as such is yet another way to protect the environment. It also means that less heat is discharged into the atmosphere. Lower volumes of fuel burnt translate into lower risks related to the greenhouse effect – one of the most serious threats to our planet.

Equipment installation.

Lower volumes of fuel burnt translate into lower risks related to the greenhouse effect – one of the most serious threats to our planet.

We had some special requirements regarding the equipment’s design. In contrast to many European companies, we use an oxidiser that has a diesel-fired burner instead of a natural gas one. So the burner and the entire oxidation process had to be designed differently as compared to the standard option.

Large enough to require sophisticated logistic arrangements and engineering solutions for its delivery and installation, the whole unit was transported to St Petersburg from Germany by sea. We had to use a 200-tonne mobile crane to install it, applying the utmost care due to limited space on-site.

This project has been very important to us, as we focus on sustainability and social responsibility as much as on profit making. Look at our logo – it is no coincidence that it is green.


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