Optimizing your OpEx with a small investment in CapEx


By Jon Cleveland Optimizing OpEx

“It costs money to make money”, so the old adage goes. As businesses mature, and their infrastructure ages, those costs can creep up, and no one may even know it’s happening. So, it was with a food manufacturer in the area who contacted us about solids from their DAF. For decades, the solids had been collected in a large tank, and on a weekly basis, the tank was pumped out with the sludge being sent for land application. 


Over time, the cost for that service increased. Every month a bill was sent in, and every month, like clockwork, it was paid. This went on for decades until a new engineer asked about the nearly $1 million spent on trucking solids every year. Well, that’s just the way the plant works, was the reply. The engineer reached out to the experts at TTX Environmental for guidance. Was there nothing that could be done? Optimizing OpEx


TTX conducted a site survey with the customer and concluded there was indeed a sizeable cost reduction to be achieved. By pressing the DAF sludge through a TTX plate press, the liquid could be removed, and the resulting drier, and far less bulky, solids could be sent to the landfill. 


The family’s management was skeptical, if this could be done, why hadn’t it been done before? Would the sludge, which was high in milk fats, actually press effectively? Again, TTX was ready with an answer; let’s do a field trial and make sure the technology would work. 


TTX deployed its unique, 1 cubic foot rental press to the site for a multi week period. On day one, the cake being produced was dry and easy to remove from the cloths. TTX assisted in adjusting the DAF flocculant polymer dose to further dewater the sludge in the press. The resulting cake was taken to the solid waste disposal contractor to be sure it could be added to the landfill bound waste dumpster. After chemical and physical analysis came back positive, the cake was sent to the dumpster with disposal costs reduced by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Optimizing OpEx


Further analysis is being done to determine if there is a market for the solids, which contains high amounts of milk fats, as an animal feed or other beneficial use.


The pilot study proved the case, and in 2023, the CapEx budget was approved for the project, and in less than 2 months, the OpEx savings paid for the press. Optimizing OpEx


TTX Environmental consists of engineers with decades of experience in industrial wastewater pretreatment. Contact us at sales@ttxinc.com to arrange a consultation regarding your industrial treatment challenges. We’ll see if there is some low hanging fruit for substantial savings. Reducing your overhead means higher margins, and your product being more competitive in today’s economy.


Jon Cleveland currently works at Therma-Tron-X, Inc. as Sales Engineer for the Environmental division, and brings nearly 30 years of experience in instrumentation and control, highlighting his expertise in municipal and industrial water treatment. Process optimization has been a passion of his from the start. Jon looks forward to working with you to get the most out of your water treatment systems.

Further Reading: The cost of a gallon of water, TTX Water Reuse at its Simplest

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