Many of the parts washers at a local automotive assembly plant were running without heaters at ambient temperature. Washer performance was deteriorating (increased down time and lost production) based on a buildup of solids in the pump and washer lines. Operators complained about the odor in several of the washers and the area around the washer. The chemical manager determined that high biological growth was the problem. More frequent and aggressive cleaning was tried but the problems did not go away. It was determined that a buildup of scum and oily dirt deposits on the walls and in the pipes of the washer were creating an ideal environment for biological growth. Biocides were only good for short periods of time and did not solve the problem of reduced washer performance.
Cleaning the washers was done with ambient or cold water. The proposed solution was to raise the temperature in the wash tank to help break up the deposits. To test out the solution, a portable heating system was rented and hooked up to a washer. After several tests were run, the following process was developed: 1) the system is set up and left running on the washer for 24 to 48 hours with the temperature set at 150 F (at the end of that time most, if not all, of the deposits are broken up or loose), 2) the tank is drained and power washed, 3) the remaining deposits are shoveled out, and 4) the washer is recharged with fresh water and cleaner.
The portable heating system is a self contained portable unit. It includes a 25gpm pump, 36kw heater system, heater controls, high temperature shutdown and flow sensors all mounted on a heavy duty steel base. The system runs on 440 volt, 3 phase 60 Hz power and is wired to plug into a welding receptacle.
There are numerous benefits of the new cleaning process, including:
Based on the success of the test program, a decision was made to purchase the portable heating system and make it part of the maintenance program.
For more information about this application call Paul Hampton, Industrial Fluid Systems, at 586-754-8220.