Water is a precious resource that sustains life on Earth, yet its availability is increasingly under threat due to factors such as climate change, population growth, and unsustainable consumption patterns. As a result, companies around the world are recognising the importance of water conservation and taking proactive steps to reduce their water footprint. Nanofilm as the leader in vacuum coatings, we aim for zero liquid waste discharge, and we have taken the initiative to lead the efforts in water conservation and to promote sustainable water management.
Nanofilm’s largest business unit is offering coating as a service, and we specialise in Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) and Filtered Cathodic Vacuum Arc (FCVA) coatings. Such coatings are categorise as vacuum coatings and they transfer materials from a target onto a substrate directly and physically without waste and toxic emissions. During production, there are two key processes that would affect the coating quality – cleaning and coating. It is important to ensure that we have pure water for both processes, and Nanofilm recognise that constant refilling of ‘new’ municipal water to support both processes will increase the water consumption greatly.
Nanofilm has implemented water recycling process in our cleaning operations since 2015, to ensure the wastewater from the cleaning process (prior to coating) is collected, filtrated and reused in our daily operations besides the cleaning process. However, to further improve our water recycling rates, we have installed a reverse osmosis wastewater recycling system in 2022 that purifies our cleaning process wastewater into the pure water suitable for the cleaning process. Cleaning solutions that cannot be reused will be combined with the brine generated from the reverse osmosis system and sent to a crystalliser where they will be crystallised and disposed as solid waste. As a results, we have achieved significant reduction in water consumption since implementation. Comparing YoY, there was a 22.5% reduction between 1H2022 and 1H2023.
Today, 60.5% of the water used in daily operations in our largest plants in China are recycled by our in-house water recycling system. Water conservation is a critical global issue, and Nanofilm is committed to doing our part in reducing our water usage and improving water conservation.