There usually isn’t just one way to perform a given industrial chemical cleaning task. A significant part of the cleaning process is often thinking through the possible methods and deciding which is best for a particular situation, given all the factors.
Facility managers typically want to know that the team planning and executing their industrial cleaning job has the experience, creativity, and familiarity with equipment to optimize processes and save them as much time and money as possible.
Here’s an example of a cleaning process at its best, illustrated by a recent job that our team performed.
Identifying the Industrial Chemical Cleaning Challenge
The cleaning job in question took place at a pulp and paper mill in South Carolina. Part of the mill’s bleaching process includes magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2) lines ;one of which had become fully plugged by Mg(OH)2 solids, and the other was heavily scaled.
The mill asked our team to generate a solution to clean the lines, and our engineers got to work sorting through the options for chemical cleaning on-site. They settled on a plan that would minimize alterations to the process line as a whole, if successful, thereby reducing downtime prior to startup. Our project managers work hard to achieve minimum downtime for each client.
Sticking with the Plan
The plan for clearing the magnesium hydroxide from the lines was based on dissolving the scale with acid. However, due to the amount of plugging, we had to first clear the plug slightly and achieve at least a trickle of flow. We accomplished this by using high pressure seal water, which was capable of achieving minute flow through the plug, in conjunction with slugs of dilute, inhibited acid; this process managed to enable sufficient flow through the piping to perform our acid cleaning service.
This element of our plan departed from the “traditional” methods that chemical cleaning services would use to solve this particular challenge. In more common cleaning processes, technicians would actually cut the magnesium hydroxide lines close to the plugging point, blast the plug to clear the line, then repair the line before production could resume.
We knew that our alternative method would avoid the need for mechanically altering the line, bypassing a significant amount of downtime. We were confident in our analysis of the situation and the capability of our equipment that we executed our plan and achieved the desired results.
Chemical Cleaning Services at Their Best
The result of our team’s work on the pulp and paper mill’s magnesium hydroxide lines is familiar to our clients: completely cleaned equipment that is ready to return to full production capacity in a significantly shorter timeline than expected.
The facility managers were extremely pleased with the work our team performed, and specifically noted the attention to safety that the team exhibited throughout the process. Our chemical cleaning services division fully understands the importance of following strict safety protocols when working with caustics, acids, and other hazardous chemicals; they regularly receive excellent feedback for their adherence to client safety policies, OSHA regulations, and our own internal guidelines.
High Quality Chemical Cleaning Services
Pulp and paper mills, with their dependence on the use of powerful chemicals and their tough mineral scale by-products, present some of the greatest challenges to our chemical cleaning division. We also perform efficient, safe cleaning of residue at rubber/plastics manufacturing facilities and other sites with incredibly difficult cleaning challenges.
At the other end of the spectrum, plants that produce food products or pharmaceuticals require our teams to plan and execute chemical cleaning activities. These cleaning activities effectively clean systems, while ensuring no residual cleaning solvents remain in the process due to stringent contamination regulations. With many decades of combined experience in this division, our clients have learned that they can trust the judgment of our project managers to devise the most efficient, safe, and cost-effective method for cleaning their equipment and lines.
We would love to make your facility our next success story.
Routine maintenance of boilers and associated equipment is a core competency for Thompson Industrial Services, but we are equally prepared to address unique tasks with factors that make them extremely difficult or apparently impossible.
Contact us today for more information.