Two-wheeler manufacturers race to conserve water
India is the No.1 Two Wheeler manufacturer in the world: in FY 2020, 17,730,687 units were sold. However, in this article, we will not be discussing the sales numbers but the steps they are taking in conserving water.
Chennai Based Two Wheeler manufacturer TVS Motor Company is using innovative methods at its plants, as it is optimizing usage of its groundwater, surface water, and harvested rainwater for its water needs.
“We have been adopting innovative water conservation measures towards making our company ‘Water Positive’. In our manufacturing plants, water is used for domestic and industrial purposes. The water used for food preparation, utensils cleaning, drinking, floor cleaning, and sanitation is classified as domestic water. Water that is used in the manufacturing process is called Industrial water,” says a company spokesperson.
Some of the conservation methods being adopted are :
Accurately accounting for the water consumption
Water withdrawal and consumption are accounted for through electro-magnetic flow meters at both production and office blocks. These records are then segregated based on their consumption need: domestic or industrial usage. The accounting system has been digitized.
Eliminate progressively water-intensive processes.
Maximum water consumption is done at the Paint shop. This is being reduced by process innovations and the older plants being equipped with modern and water-efficient technologies.
Wherever feasible, textured parts have replaced aesthetic painted parts. This will eliminate the need for painting itself. And copper plating (in connecting rods) is being replaced with induction hardening.
Practices like dry hobbing, vacuum cleaning, air-cooled radiators for heat treatment sealed quench furnaces. All these processes can result in water conservation.
Advancement in waste-water management:
Membrane Bio-Reactor (MBR) in Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) is being used for industrial effluent, and the treated effluent is again recycled in multi-stage RO. This is followed by a Multiple Effect Evaporator (MEE) and the recycled water is reused.
This has resulted in “zero trade effluent discharge”.
Percolation ponds, recharge pits with contour trenches, stormwater drains with recharge pits, earthen check dams in all the plants are the steps taken in this regard.
At its Hosur Plant, there is a rainwater harvesting tank with a capacity of 1.500,000 liter. This has resulted in net water positive in that area. The borewells are now self-reliant.
Also, it has invested in a green belt area of 340,000 sqm and 57,000 native tree species. There are also 7 large ponds developed by it – attracting a large number of migratory birds every year.
New tech to enhance water efficiency:
Cooling towers have been replaced with closed looped air-cooled radiators, for eliminating water loss due to evaporation and blowdown. And reverse osmosis has been adopted in place of resin technology.
A fully automatic vehicle wash system has also been installed, wherein the wastewater is collected and reused. Only topping up needs to be done, in most cases. The same has been replicated in more than 250 of its authorized service stations too.
Another India Two-Wheeler major Yamaha Motors has been targeting sustainability.
It has introduced many scientific processes and procedures for water management at its two factories in Surajpur, Greater Noida, and Chennai.
At its Surajpur factory, a digital piezometer has been provided to keep track of the groundwater table. The new die-casting shop on the premises is using 70 percent (approximately 12,000KL) of STP-treated water for construction purposes. And the treated water is used in horticulture (14,400 KL / annum), preparation of dosing tanks in effluent treatment plant (84KL / annum), and its stripping process only utilizes treated water from the ETP.
By the innovative practice of reuse of steam condensate water, which is meant to be discharged from the steam trap, at its Chennai factory and the reuse of evaporator gland cooling water at Chennai, it is playing its part in conservation initiatives.
The company says that in line with the Group’s global commitments, environmental protection, health, and workplace safety (EHS) assessments are held at dealerships alongside awareness campaigns to enhance the competency of employees working at its service centers. This trained and competent team at dealerships then develops a thought process conducive to a sustainable environment.