APEX Program-Sustainable Technology for Paint Detackification
2012 - PACE Award Winner
What: APEX Program-Sustainable Technology for Paint Detackification
Judge's Citation: Literally all vehicle assembly plants spray liquid coatings onto their vehicles during the assembly process. Oversprayed paint is typically trapped on a water surface below the spray booth, detackified by the addition of detackification materials, and separated from the water before being removed to incineration or landfill. The booth water is them recycled. In a major departure from established paint booth chemical practices, Nalco's Apex materials are substantially derived from starch, which is of course a renewable material. In addition to being 'sustainable,' the starch based product is much more efficient than existing products at detackifying over sprayed paint. Because APEX is so much more efficient, chemical usage is reduced by about 80%, water usage is reduced and total waste generation is reduced by more than 50%. In a carefully documented assembly plant study, booth operation costs were reduced by $2 per unit and waste was reduced by nearly two pounds per vehicle. First introduced in 2010, the APEX program is now in nearly 100 assembly plants around the world.