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Jacob pipes help Ricoh stay green

28 September 2009

JACOB (UK) has supplied an extensive modular pipework system for Ricoh in Telford... assist the recovery and recycling of toner materials used in the manufacture of printer consumables.

As one of the largest IT companies in the world, Ricoh’s reputation as a provider of office automation solutions is well established. Equally important is Ricoh’s reputation for protecting the environment, with the company recognised through a host of awards for its strategic approach to reducing the impact of its manufacturing processes on the environment and for achieving a high level of sustainability in all its operations.

Evidence of this commitment to minimising waste and achieving zero landfill can be seen at the Ricoh manufacturing plant in Telford, where JACOB (UK) has supplied a modular pipework system designed to extract surplus toner and other manufacturing waste prior to filtration and recycling.

Ricoh senior projects engineer at Telford, Bryn Lowndes said: “The advantage of having a modular pipework system should not be underestimated, as this gives us the flexibility to quickly change the pipework layout when machines are moved or relocated.”

Centralised vacuum system

A network of galvanised pipes measuring from 60 to 80mm diameter collect surplus toner from manufacturing areas using a balanced high pressure vacuum system to maintain operational efficiency throughout the plant, irrespective of the volume required at any one time.

Vacuum efficiency is maintained in the JACOB modular pipework system by using conductive U-shaped seals manufactured from Keltan (EPDM) at all the connection points. This has the advantage of providing excellent conductivity for powder materials whilst giving the added benefit of being ATEX compliant for 3D equipment in Zone 22, for use in hazardous areas.

Low pressure system

Working alongside the high pressure vacuum system is a high volume low pressure extraction system, operating continuously to remove powder and dust particles from the air in the vicinity of process equipment. The modular JACOB pipework system increases from 200 to 300 mm diameter and is galvanised for long life.

Extracted materials are conveyed to an external bag filter, which separates and recovers the toner materials. These are then classified as non-waste byproduct and sold as raw material.

Hidden flexibility

Despite being one of the largest extraction systems of its type, the majority of the JACOB pipework system is located out of sight, high in the ceiling ducts but accessible via maintenance gangways.

With pipework diameters from 60mm to 800mm and a comprehensive range of forks, bends, T pieces, valves and distributors, JACOB modular pipework is ideal for creating an efficient and flexible extraction system, one which can adapt to changing requirements.

Every JACOB pipe section has a machine-lipped end, which when fitted with a specially designed “U” shaped gasket and removable connector, a 3-bar overpressure certified connection is created.

John West, Director of JACOB UK said: “Ricoh is justifiably proud of its environmental plan and considerable achievements, for which we would like to think that JACOB (UK) has made an important contribution with its modular pipework system.”

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