Case Studies


Case Studies:

DuBois Offers Technical Expertise Across an Entire System, Saving Resources, Improving Quality, and Minimizing Process Waste


The customer manufactures a wide variety of construction equipment, including concrete vibrators, trowels, earth compactors, generators, pumps, and steer loaders. Their products are used on construction sites around the world and necessitate an extremely durable finish. Their products are produced suing laser cutters and 38 CNC machines, organized into 16 manufacturing cells. After cutting and machining, all the parts are cleaned using 16 cabinet washers, one for each cell. After cleaning, the parts are processed through an 8-stage spray washer to remove the laser scale and pretreat the parts with a phosphate-free zirconium coating. The parts are then painted, assembled, and packaged. Throughout these operations, the customer identified several opportunities for improvement and contacted a DuBois team of experts to assist them throughout:


• Incumbent coolant caused dermatitis issues with operators
• Reduce concentration of coolant and improve control to reduce spend
• Recycle coolant carried out on chips
• Improve EH&S profile with bactericide-free chemistry

Process Cleaning:

• Reduce labor associated with hand wiping excess coolant from parts
• Eliminate discoloration on aluminum parts caused by incumbent cleaner
• Save energy by reducing operating temperature
• Eliminate foaming in washers


• Improve corrosion performance
• Eliminate flash rusting of parts coming out of the washer
• Reduce use of alkaline corrosion inhibitors in rinse stages
• Reduce overall chemical consumption


DuBois audited the customer’s process to identify the appropriate solutions to improve their system without compromising quality, efficiency, or safety. With the assistance of in-house laboratory resources, the following changes were implemented:


• Implemented Pearl-Z 3452D as the coolant, a bactericide-free, medium oil content product
• Reduced concentration from 18-20% to 7-9% charge, and 5% to 2% make-up
• Added step to collect coolant from bottom of chip bin and returned sumps to avoid waste haul cost

Process Cleaning:

• Charged washer with GX Proof 1225, a low-foaming, aluminum safe, cleaner and rust preventative
• Reduced cleaning temperature from 130-140°F to 90-110°F • Eliminated hand wipe step with appropriate cleaner selection


• Charged the system with:
o GF Clean 1052 (Stage 1 Alkaline Cleaner)
o Laser-TERJ SA 310 (Stage 4 Deoxidizer)
o DuraTEC 200 (Stage 7 Zirconium)
• Made mechanical adjustments to minimize carry-over
• Replaced RO water in two post-decaling acid stages with less reactive city water to reduce potential for rust


• Elimination of dermatitis
• Avoided waste hauling 10 gallons of coolant per machine per day (340 gallons per day total)
• Parts now come out of the process cabinet washers clean without pre-wiping
• Aluminum parts are no longer discolored in cleaning
• Parts meet 1000 hour salt spray requirement and flash rusting is no longer a concern
• Estimated to reduce annual chemical spend from $400K to $250K – a $150K annual savings!