When PremaTech Advanced Ceramics needed advanced industrial water systems to expand and enhance its in-house capabilities and processes, the company turned to Process and Water, Worcester, Mass., to help PremaTech integrate the processes that it had previously outsourced.

PremaTech manufactures component parts made from ultra-hard materials, often with special thermal, electronic and mechanical characteristics. Focused on creating products that have high precision, complex geometries and tight tolerances, PremaTech wanted greater control over every step of the machining, grinding, lapping and polishing of the basic and complex components made of high-purity silicon carbide and other advanced ceramics.

To accomplish this, Process and Water, East Bridgewaster, Mass., is building PremaTech a solution with two main components. The first is an electronics-grade high-purity water system that will be used to support demanding processes such as dicing, cutting, forming, machining and finishing its ultra-hard precision components. The system will utilize both low pressure reverse osmosis and deionization processes to deliver water that meets rigorous, high-purity electronics water specifications. A fully automated system with automatic controls and alarms, it will handle prefiltration of particulate matter from incoming water flows as well as reduction of chlorine in the water using carbon filtration. The deionization segment of the system will have a polishing bed in which strong acid cation and strong base anion resins will remove all ionic constituents from the water.

The second is a pH neutralization capability for handling post-production water flows. To ensure that PremaTech's new processes will be compliant with all relevant regulatory requirements, the new system will automatically adjust the pH of process streams by increasing their acidity or alkalinity as needed to keep them within the defined acceptable range for discharge. To ease compliance reporting requirements, they system will track the numerical value of the final pH reading and discharge flow rate, and continuously record them on a built-in digital chart recorder.