January 2021

January 2021

Inside the Newsletter:

Metal Fab Project | Recycling Contaminated Water | 2021 Intern ApplicationsMnTAP is Hiring

Metal Fabrication Best Practices – New Project for 2021

Metal Manufacturing and Fabrication is an important industry sector In Minnesota, with more than 1,000 machine shops that employ over 10,000 people and generate more than two billion dollars in annual sales.  Businesses in this sector realize the extra costs associated with managing waste streams as well as use of excess energy, water or time. Identifying and implementing the best options to reduce waste takes time away from critical production efforts and may end up on an ever increasing “to do” list.

The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is a no cost, technical assistance provider located at the University of Minnesota with a mission to help Minnesota businesses improve efficiency and save money through energy, water and waste reduction. MnTAP is launching a research project in collaboration with the Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association (MPMA) to define current, non-confidential, best practices in the metal fabrication industry for hazardous material and waste reduction.  Technical assistance services from MnTAP engineers will be available to metal fabrication businesses as part of this project.

Fabricated metal processes generate various waste streams; oily wastes from machining operations, heavy metal bearing streams from surface treatment and plating operations, hazardous and regulated solvents, alkaline and acid solutions from metal cleaning, chloride discharges from softened water and other sources. In addition to materials, energy efficiency and water conservation opportunities may be available to help businesses improve their overall sustainability performance and reduce operating costs.

We want to hear from you!  If you are a machine shop, or involved in metal fabrication, MnTAP would like to hear your story about the changes that have been made to reduce pollution or costs, regulatory concerns or just touch base and tell us how you are doing. Sign up for a confidential informational interview that can help uncover options for increased process efficiency.


If you would like more infromation about this project, contact:

Daniel Chang – Associate Engineer

Recycling Contaminated Water Streams – 2017 Intern Project

Johnson Screens, a brand of Aqseptence Group Inc. is the leading brand for screens used in a wide range of industries. In 2017 Johnson Screens hosted a MnTAP Intern to reduce the impact that its production processes have on the environment. The company used approximately 10 million gallons of water annually to quench the welds on the screens at a cost of $120,000 per year. As a company conscientious of its footprint, Johnson Screens was seeking to reduce the amount of water used by 30% by improving the water recycling systems.

The welding machines that produce screens were also producing a water discharge stream contaminated with particulates, burnt oil, free oil, emulsified oil and lubricant.  To clean up the water enough for reuse, the intern recommended and the company implemented a recycling system comprised of a centrifuge and ultrafiltration column at each machine to purify and remove all contaminants except for metal ions.

By implementing this change, the company saved 940,000 gallons of water and $7,000 annually. In addition, this same purification system could be applied to other machines for an additional 1.6 million gallons of water and $12,000 savings annually.


Don’t be Left Out! Call MnTAP to Plan Your 2021 Intern Project

MnTAP will be making company selections for the 2021 MnTAP Intern Program in the next few weeks. Make sure your project is on the list! In 2020, MnTAP interns helped facilities identify $4.25 million in process improvement opportunities. Are you ready to optimize your process, minimize waste and decrease operating costs? Apply online or call NOW to schedule your appointment with a MnTAP specialist to discuss technical assistance and intern project proposals for 2021. 

MnTAP anticipates supporting up to 15 projects that could focus on water conservation, energy efficiency, paint efficiency, solid waste, and pollution prevention. Check out Solutions 2020 to get an idea of what your MnTAP Intern could do in your operation. For more information about the MnTAP Intern Program or the application process, please visit the Intern Program section of our website, For Business


“The projects that were implemented during the internship have already benefitted our Bosch site and have been shared with other Bosch locations. We found this partnership with MnTAP to be really valuable and we look forward to working together again.”

~ Andrea Peterson, HSE Manager, Bosch Automotive Services, Owatonna, MN

If you would like to discuss a potential intern project, contact Matt Domski:

Matt Domski – Intern Program Manager

MnTAP is Hiring!

We are looking for great candidates to apply for the Pollution Prevention Specialist position.  The Pollution Prevention Specialist will report to a Senior Engineer and provide technical assistance, support on eliminating trichloroethylene (TCE) emissions and general pollution prevention outreach for businesses throughout Minnesota.

Important responsibilities of this position include:

  • Provide technical assistance focused on eliminating TCE emissions through process substitution with less hazardous products
  • Serve as a technical resource for Minnesota businesses seeking to reduce hazardous material use and emissions
  • Conduct outreach to businesses across Minnesota and engage facilities in MnTAP services
  • Supervise student intern and manage collaborative partner research projects
  • Create and update resources for post on the MnTAP website and as communication materials
  • Conduct technical training and give technical presentation in areas of expertise

Minimum qualifications include a BA/BS with a technical focus and 2 years of related experience; or a combination of related experience and education to equal six years.

Interested candidates should apply through the University of Minnesota Job Application System. Pollution Prevention Specialist position has been posted and is job opening 338537.

If you would like more infromation about the Pollution Prevention Specialist position, contact:

Jane Paulson – Senior Engineer