GST: Fighting Against the Source of Contamination
Fighting Against Hexavalent Chromium by Probing Into the Source of Contamination
Real Events on Heavy Metal Contamination in Cycling Industry
Rustproofing or other treatment technologies have been applied in many industries, and metal "chromium" is frequently used in these technologies.
Trivalent chromium and hexavalent chromium are the most common form of chromium compounds. Chromium is an odorless element present in the wastewater that originates from anti-rust treatment used on metal surface.
If the manufacturer fails to deal properly with this heavy metal prone to be deposited in the soil and water, it will begin to jeopardize our environment, and what’s worse, may be absorbed into human bodies.
An Electroplating Tank Working on Surface Treatment
In cold and damp environment or a place near the sea, rustproofing is required for many products, especially for the parts that matter to personal safety.
Most of the metal products you can see in the market have been rustproofed, and the produced waste matter of heavy metal from the anti-rust treatment, like the wastewater in the electroplating tank shown above, is not permitted to discharge. Once drained illegally, it will pollute rivers and soil.
In the movie “Erin Brockovich,” the factories drain industrial wastewater directly into the river, causing severe pollution of the environment.
Carcinogen Facts Presented bythe United Nations
The Threatens of Hexavalent Chromium
Uses: Used as chromic acid in electrochemical industry and pigment stains, as well as used in cooling water circulation system.
Hazards: Class 1 skin allergens, class 2 carcinogen, class 1 hazardous substance to the water environment, all at dangerous level.
Heavy Metals in Bicycle Parts
As inferior products are increasingly flooding the bicycle market, which causes frequent occurrence of accidents, consumers are losing their trust of bicycle quality, thereby affecting the sales figures of Japan’s entire bicycle industry.
In September 2004, Bicycle Association Japan proposed Bicycle Association Approved ( BAA ) labeling for quality certification. Although voluntary, this certification labeling, with the Association’s advertising campaign, has become known to Japan’s consumers, who gradually approve of BAA labeled products.
As of the end of 2007, the number of BAA labels issued has reached over 8 million. In the past, BAA quality certification was focused primarily on overall assembly, framework and the braking system, according to combined reference to the standards of Japan’s JIS, France’s NF and Germany’s DIN.
To both enhanceresource recycling and restrict the use of hazardous substances.
Bicycle Association Japan decided to add into its bicycle safety benchmarks the restrictions of six hazardous substances (see the table below) specified by RoHS directive after referring to the EU’sdirective on the restriction of the use of some hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.
A Growing Surge in Wastewater Treatment Costs
Where will the wastewater go next? The answer is that it must go through an entire wastewater treatment process, including sedimentation, filtration and other standard operations before it can be discharged without affecting the environment.
The hazardous substances must be disposed by a special unit. Let me take “TAYA CHAIN” company for example. They plan a budget as high as US$16,000 per month for wastewater treatment, and additional costs of outsourcing labor, water and electricity, waste removal, and activated carbon have made this expenditure a minimum of US$ 34,000 per month.
Unfortunately, many illegal events have taken place as quite a few cost-oriented factories cannot afford such environmental expenses.
A stop in the wastewater treatment process
Wastewater treatment process is a complex and rigorous one. Covering a rather large area of the factory, the wastewater treatment facility is exclusively used to dispose the waste matter produced in the process.
For an enterprise that values environmental protection, developing more advanced, eco-friendly technology is one of their important policies and core values.
As can be seen in this photo, the entire facilities are huge and complete
You may still be puzzled at what anti-rust treatment is all about. In fact, the chain, screws or metals on your bicycle, even home building materials, appliances, vehicles, hardware and so many are rustproofed.
You are exposed to these things almost every day. Assuming that toxic heavy metals are found in all the stuff, will you hold the idea that environmental protection is none of your business?
If stuff like metal screws, furniture, electrical appliances, vehicles, stationery, toys, play equipment, bicycle parts, kitchen utensils and cleaning supplies are found to have contained heavy metals, will you stay indifferent to this case?
And if these factories are present here in Taiwan, will you choose to become an accessory to environmental pollution by purchasing these illegally-processed products?
Why Was TAYA Chain’s Exclusive GST ( Green firST Treatment ) Tech Developed?
Metal materials can be categorized into several classes like titanium alloy, stainless steel, ordinary alloy and so on. As being rustproof is characteristic of the first two metals, they do not need additional anti-rust treatment.
At present, a lot of bicycle parts are made of titanium alloy, resulting in higher prices. Stainless steel, however, is not used to make bicycle parts. Why is that? Insufficient hardness is the main reason.
Even though stainless steel is rustproof, this drawback has led toits inability to meet some technical requirements.
Ordinary alloys, with lower cost but enough durability, will become ideal for mass production after treated with TAYA’s DHT ( Diamond Hard Technology ) to improve hardness.
The alloys’ ability to resist corrosion, however, is their Achilles' heel. As early as 15 years ago, some anti-rust treatment technologies began to be introduced to Taiwan’s manufacturers, but the prices of the processing agents have been very high.
When we analyze the proportion of alloy screws in terms of cost structure, we will find that titanium has 100 units, stainless steel 40 units, GST Tech 32 units and eco-unfriendly treatment using DACROMET (processed with hexavalent chromium) about 4 units. This proportion indicates that GST process is 8 times higher than the eco-unfriendly one in terms of cost.
In order to maintain high profit margins, quite a few manufacturers risk using lower-quality agents or draining wastewater secretly.
They even give priority to some metal parts when taking cost into account. Having said that, I wonder what you might think they are. The answer? Make a good guess!
GST Technology is a great invention co-developed by TAYA Chain and China Steel Corporation, mainly aimed at CQI-11, an international standard for plating system assessment.
As auto industry has a very strict environmental requirement, even stricter than bicycle industry and other industries do, TAYA Chain experienced a tremendous boost in its sales figures of upmarket products after the introduction of manufacturing process at auto industry level.
Following the period of prosperity, however, TAYA’s competitors in surface treatment began to illegally use unapproved processing agents and discharged untreatedwastewater for a lower disposal cost, which resulted in TAYA’s revenue shrinkage by more than 50%.
Enduring nine consecutive years of losses in profit, TAYA Chain finally saw its clients come back after they experienced problems caused by low-quality products.
TAYA has held the belief that continued development of greener and higher-quality products will eventually get them out of the cycle of cut-throat competition.
In the early stage when industries in Europe and the US began to move out, many manufacturers chose to set up production bases abroad. This may not only lower their production costs, but create economies of scale.
Nevertheless, migrating enterprises may also become rootless ones if they have failed to develop their core values and ability to innovate. TAYA Chain has decided to keep its core technologies in Taiwan by continuing the research and development of eco-friendly technology.
It has also improved its own production line by developing a faster and more precise process. TAYA’s automatic production of precision products and product information traceability system can both effectively increase productivity and competitiveness.
All these competitiveadvantages are an efficient instrument by which TAYA Chain maintains superiority in strength over its competitors.
Lastly, we are looking forward to all the manufacturers in the supply chain of bicycle production disciplining themselves and creating a greener environment for the bicycle industry.