aerosol-cleaners

Testimonial – How to Replace HCFC-141b

Safety, Savings and Sustainability for Multi-National Automotive Manufacturer

An automotive manufacturer of Pyrotechnic Airbag Inflators, Stored Gas Airbag Inflators, Electrical Initiators and Micro Gas Generators was faced with a very perplexing situation: How to Replace HCFC-141b from a 24×7 production that was critical to their production and profitability.

For decades the client consumed an HCFC-141b based, non-flammable solvent in a highly explosive environment – i.e. pyrotechnic airbag inflators.

Pros: cost-effective ($7/can in early 2000), fast drying (classified as a refrigerant), non-flammable, plastic safe and cleans well (high kb value).

Cons: volatile raw material pricing ($2/lb to $20/lb within 5 years), Class II ozone depleting potential (ODP), discontinued production effective 1/1/2003

 Ecolink received an urgent call from a US-based automotive manufacturer to design a cost-effective, compliant alternative to Big Bath aerosol (HCFC-141b based) solvent.

We’re in a tough spot. That’s why I think we should lay everything on the table and come up with a Win / Win.
-Larry, Buyer Manager

Customer priority list:

  • Pricing & availability – HCFC 141b phase-out of production effective January 1, 2003 causing prices to increase and an uncertain supply availability beyond phase-out
  • Just-in-time (daily) delivery – very limited storage (15 cases/day maximum)
  • Plastic (Lexan) compatibility
  • Process improvement – punctured over 40,000 -50,000 cans/year with an 10% average loss factor
  • Reduce solid waste, including recycling content
  • Save green ($, money) by going green (fewer air/VOC emissions)

After two years of in-person meetings, team interviews among end users, engineering, environmental health and safety team, Ecolink partnered with the client to custom design a flammable solvent-based aerosol and bulk degreaser that had no short to long-term regulatory supply disruption. The design collaboration encompassed all aspects of the product (chemical composition) and packaging (product name, valve type, can size, spray pattern) and the creation of ECC-22.

Results:

  • Eliminated 25,000 – 30,000 aerosol cans per year + 6 x 55-gal drums of hazardous waste disposal generated per year
  • Saved over 7,000 lbs (3.5 tons)/year of steel
  • Reduced VOC emissions by 14x (44% vs 2.5%)
  • Converted 10% of annual aerosol consumption to bulk use reducing amount of freight, handling, inventory, tracking and disposal costs
  • Replaced $10/can (and rising) to $4-5.50/can saving more than $6,000,000 [$6M] over 7 years (and counting)
  • Zero (0) plant shutdowns – 7 consecutive years of just-in-time delivery to meet revolving production schedule

 

Turbine-cleaning

Rescuing Brake Cleaner & Carburetor Cleaner Victims

Wind farm operation and maintenance is extremely difficult work. High winds (duh) attract all kinds of contaminants that impact the performance and longevity of high value parts including gearbox. Conducting wind turbine preventive maintenance takes place both in the field and shop environments. Having the right cleaners and degreasers makes the job cleaner.

For dozens of years over-the-counter aerosolized brake cleaner and carburetor cleaners have been the choice degreaser for wind turbine maintenance. Why?

Pros: cheap ($3/can), fast drying (50-90% acetone content) and cleans well (witches brew of co-solvents including benzene, xylene, isopropyl alcohol, propanol, butane to name a few of the usual suspects).

However, there are always
Cons: flammable (energized equipment not a good fit), dries ‘too’ fast (use more chemical), wasteful packaging (10-15% loss factor)

Ecolink received an urgent call from a CA-based wind farm generating more than 576 Mega Watts per year from over 2,500 wind turbines in operation for more than 25 years in Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Hopefully your folks can come up with a solution to our problem.
– Scott, a Production Assurance Specialist & Safety, Environmental Coordinator

Customer priority list:

  • BAAQMD VOC compliance – 45% and scheduled to 10% by content
  • Worker safety – non-flammable without any health affects
  • Process improvement – punctured over 30,000 cans/year and generated 330 gallons of hazardous waste annually
  • Reduce solid waste, including recycling content
  • Save green ($, money) by going green (fewer air/VOC emissions)

After a series of in-person meetings, team interviews among end users, environmental health and safety team, Ecolink narrowed the list of ‘compliant’ alternatives to a few solvent-based aerosol and bulk degreasers along with an industrial strength aqueous cleaner.

Results:

  • Eliminated 20,000 aerosol cans per year + 6 x 55-gal drums of hazardous waste disposal generated per year
  • Saved over 5,000 lbs (2.5 tons)/year of steel
  • Reduced VOC emissions by 14x (44% vs 2.5%)
  • Repurposed and unused parts washing unit
  • Converted $36/gal (concentrate of case of aerosols) to a $8/gal aqueous cleaner saving over $80,000/year (x 5 years and counting)
  • Replaced 65% of non-compliant, flammable & wasteful with a BAAQMD compliant, non-flammable and high performance cleaner

To learn more about the hazards facing wind farm technicians, check out this episode of Dirty Jobs:

http://www.tv.com/shows/dirty-jobs/wind-farm-technician-1198513/