In this edition we take a look at what seems to be a pioneering solution for the treatment of waste in the district of Selwyn.
Rather than dump tonnes of sludge (that includes up to 80 percent water) into a landfill, the council is now using a high-tech greenhouse to dry sludge to just 10 percent water – all thanks to the power of the sun. That makes the sludge lighter (and so cheaper) to transport to a landfill.
The firm that recommended the system is MWH, and Rainer Hoffman – its chief process engineer – says the system could be used at numerous waster water treatment plants across the country.
Right now though, this ‘solar drier’ is the first in the country. But as Rainer says, the German designed system is used right across Europe and in Australia.
As you may know, I like to keep an eye on developments in 3D technology. It is already disrupting established businesses around the world, and as 3D printing machines become faster and more sophisticated we will soon be able to print all manner of objects in plastic or metal in our offices and factories.
But I was surprised to see that one firm has designed a 3D printing machine that uses standard A4 paper as its raw material.
On the maintenance front, we report in this edition how one firm decided to send its managers back to school – so they could learn about the machines it uses on the shop floor.
The idea is already paying dividends for the firm as senior staff better understand how the machines they rely on actually work, and what maintaining them involves. It’s the perfect example of a bottom up – top down maintenance regime. Read all about it on page 27.
As always, your feedback and story ideas are welcome.