Restarting Your Process

As many of our customers are beginning to restart their facilities, they are asking for help to bring them back on-line safely and efficiently.

With the unexpected shutdowns due to COVID-19, many metalworking fluids, cleaning and pretreatment processes, quench tanks, leak detection tanks, etc. became stagnant as production stopped.  As systems remained idle for weeks, soil solids either precipitated out, accumulating on the bottom of a tank, and/or floated to the surface.  These soils possibly created conditions which allow bacterial growth to thrive.

With water-based fluids, like metalworking fluids, cleaners and pretreatment chemistries, there is concern with bacterial growth.  There are many types of bacteria, but with starting up systems after COVID-19 shutdowns, we are primarily concerned with anaerobic bacteria.  Anaerobic bacteria grows in the absence of oxygen.  So water based systems that remained idle for days, became deficient in oxygen.

Also, when solutions remain idle, oils float to the surface forming a blanket and completely blocks oxygen from getting into the fluid, creating the perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria growth. The proliferation of anaerobic bacteria will cause a rotten egg smell when pumps are turned on and fluid starts to recirculate.  To minimize the release of these offensive odors, there are steps that can be taken before start up mitigate this issue.

Other processes such as high temperature conveyors have additional important start-up steps that must be taken to avoid costly damage to your equipment.

Following are some of our tips for a smooth and successful restart.

An important part of preparing for a potential reduction in production is to make sure to have inventory on hand for charge-up immediately.