Machine Cleaning – In Place, During Operations, Option B

We have a unique ability with our dry ice technology.  That’s the ability to go into a fully operational facility, while they operate, and clean a machine or multiple machines, and even painting them, all without disrupting the other processes going on around us.  Granted this is not Option A, it can cause a lot of sightseeing and minor headaches, but it’s nice to know Option B is available if you need it.

You cannot do that with sandblasting, or power washing, or slurry blasting.  You could use sanding or grinders, but that’s hard to do if there is grease, machine oil or quench liquid, and of course that’s what is almost always on the machines.

Dry ice is not a miracle solution by any stretch, but it’s a great option to operate when you need no extra dust or liquids introduced into the work area, when there’s a lot of grease or when you want to operate around the other machines that are working.

Cleaned and Masked for Paint

Let’s create a typical scene.  Say it’s a 1200 ton press, as big as a house trailer standing on its end.  Has a little bit of grease, but lots of machine oils, with numerous hoses and wiring, a standalone control center with a 747 cockpit level of controls on it.  It’s surrounded by a grating that is over the quench tank.  And there are 10 other presses that need to operate while you get this one cleaned and you want to get it painted once it’s cleaned.  Or maybe it’s being retooled, and a new automatic feeding system added, so you want to clean it and paint it while it’s be refurbished.

Let’s now use the cliff’s notes version of how we’ll proceed, remember to mask areas that need protected beforehand.

  1. Two scissor lifts, and we’ll wipe down the entire machine to remove the excess liquid.
  2. Then we’ll dry ice blast them from top to bottom, pushing everything down from the top.
  3. Once that’s done we’ll prep the machine for paint with mineral spirits or similar agent to make sure we have a good surface.
  4. Mask all non-painted surfaces.
  5. Paint the new color.
  6. Paint the guards safety yellow.
  7. Clean up the area and egress back to the plant.

Now that’s a simplified checklist, but every step above can be done while towmotors run down the aisles, presses on either side operate, and processes continue to flow, with the possible exception of the painting step, not because of the ability to paint, but because of the paint fumes which sometimes cause employees in the area to be affected.

Often the work can be done on weekends or an off shift, so we don’t need to work during production, but if that’s the fastest, cheapest option the customer needs, the option is there.

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