Ceramic Industry

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: CerMA Helps Guide Smart Manufacturing

August 1, 2007
Presenters at CerMA’s recent annual conference provided insights to help manufacturers maximize production.

Fifty attendees gathered at the Ceramic Manufacturers Association’s (CerMA) annual conference this past May in Pittsburgh, Pa., to explore the theme “Maximizing Production in Today’s Manufacturing Environment.” Technical and informational sessions covered issues ranging from environmental regulations and firing efficiencies to lab testing and automation options (see sidebar).

One key discussion focused on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) activities regarding the development of Clay Ceramics Area Source National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). Bill Neuffler of the EPA detailed the background for the Area Source NESHAP and the agency’s progress to date, as well as the proposed standards.

The EPA estimates that 9 tons per year (tpy) of HAP metals are generated by clay ceramic manufacturing operations. Lead makes up 50% of that total, while the remainder includes chromium (35%), nickel (10%) and manganese/cadmium (5%). The proposed new standards will be applicable to clay ceramic manufacturing facilities that are area sources with atomized glaze spray booths or kilns that fire glazed ceramic ware. An area source is defined as a stationary source that has the potential to emit less than 10 tons per year of any single HAP or 25 tpy of any combination of HAPs.

For facilities that use less than 250 tpy of wet glaze, an air pollution control device must be used or the wet glaze must consist of less than 0.1% of urban HAP metals. An additional waste minimization requirement will be in effect for facilities that use 250 tpy or more of wet glaze. Glazes consisting of less than 0.1% urban HAP metal content are exempt, as are organizations that use less than 50 tpy of wet clay (such as schools/universities, art studios and artisan potters). For manufacturers that fire glazed ware, the kiln temperature must not exceed 2700ºF. Additional monitoring requirements will also apply for both types of facilities.

CerMA has worked very closely with the EPA to educate agency personnel and coordinate industry response. The final rule is expected by December 2007.

Future issues of CI will include feature articles on many of the topics presented at the conference. Visit www.cerma.org for an attendee list and downloadable copies of many of the PowerPoint presentations.

SIDEBAR: 2007 Technical & Informational Sessions

Bill Neuffler, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Understanding the New EPA Industry Regulations
Dan O’Brien, Harrop Industries-A Practical Approach to Understanding Kiln Efficiency
Paul Kester, Micromeritics Instruments Corp.-Recent Advances in Particle Analysis
J.J. Lukacs, North American Manufacturing-Selecting the Proper Combustion Control System
Reed Slevin, Orton Ceramic Foundation-The Most Powerful Tool in the Ceramic Lab
John Pelleriti, RAM Products-RAM Process Meets Technology with New Instrumentation and Materials
John Barna, Saint-Gobain Ceramics-Low-Mass® Kiln Furniture Systems
Andrew Bopp, Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators-FDA and California Proposition 65 Updates
Gene Witt, West Penn Laboratories-Using Proper Analytical Testing Procedures