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NCH Europe advises on shutdowns

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The difference between a spring clean and summer shutdown is the fact that there is nothing stopping one from cleaning behind the fridge any day of the week. Shutdown is often the only chance engineers and plant managers have to spruce up machinery. Peter Crossen, VP of the Maintenance and Partsmaster Innovation Platform at global water, energy and maintenance solutions provider, NCH Europe, looks at how to take full advantage of plant shutdown.

Plant engineers approach summer shutdown on a mission to replace broken parts and upgrade systems. While all of this is necessary to keep production at optimum levels for the next twelve months, it is also important to take advantage of this time to clean everything thoroughly.

Plant engineers need to clean and degrease all machinery and parts before beginning maintenance work, as this will take away any grime concealing problem areas that could result in downtime during the rest of the year if missed.

To make this step easy and effective, the right degreaser for the job should be chosen, and there is a lot to consider. For instance, is a degreaser needed that is low foam or silicate free? Is the degreaser chosen NSF approved for use in a food production plant? Is a solvent-based degreaser actually needed?

Making the right choice will make degreasing easier, faster and more worthwhile. To help, a provider should be approached, that can offer a variety of options, such as NCH Europe’s Aqua-Sol range of water-based degreasers, as well as the knowledge to support the decision.

Out with the old

Shutdown is the only time where oils and greases can be swapped out. However, a new lubricant can’t simply be throwninto place; all trace of the old one will need to be removed.

For optimum performance, the new lubricant needs to be in direct contact with the part being protected and cannot be contaminated with particulates that have accumulated during the year. Something like NCH Europe’s Flush and Clean solution will dissolve deposits and neutralise any acidic contaminants.

An effective cleaning product works by being allowed to run through the system for a brief period of operation. This separates the deposits from the system surface, leaving them suspended in the old lubricant so they are removed during change out.

To remove rust and apply protective coatings space and time are needed, so shutdown is the best time to approach things like this. At NCH Europe, a full range of products to make all of this as straightforward as possible has been developed. For instance, the Salvage 2+ is an epoxy formulation that combines treatment and protection against rust into one step by encapsulating rust and preventing it from causing further corrosion, while at the same time creating a protective layer that locks liquids out.

The most hardwearing industrial floor coatings on the market, DuraBond, as well as Impervo – a coating that will protect external walls from the elements, are also offered.

Going into shutdown without factoring in cleaning undermines the long term benefits of any maintenance work undertaken. An empty plant is the ideal environment to get everything spic and span before production starts up again to make a new mess.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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