Metal Cleaning

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing, from Anodizing Technologies

Posted on: 8/1/2003

Question: In our business we sometimes have to send parts (old gas tanks, boat tanks, rusted or heavily scaled pieces, etc.) out to be cleaned, stripped or derusted.

Question:

In our business we sometimes have to send parts (old gas tanks, boat tanks, rusted or heavily scaled pieces, etc.) out to be cleaned, stripped or derusted. We have to send these parts to metal cleaning shops. Who would I contact if I wanted to add this type of business(metal cleaning) onto our existing business?

Answer:

The first thing to do is understand the entire process you would need to do. Then understand the potential environmental ramifications of the business. Finally, you would have to specify equipment for the cleaning and environmental/waste treatment side. You will have to consider the degree of automation you would want to put into the process line.

To address the first part, understand how all your parts are currently processed. Are some greasy or oily and require an alkaline cleaning step first? What would be necessary to do this? How are the parts stripped and derusted? Is it a single tank only or a mixture of different ones that is necessary to process all your parts? Is there any mechanical cleaning involved with the stripping derusting? Are the chemicals proprietary blends or are they commodity chemicals?

You will have to then understand the environmental side of the business. What kind of wastes are generated and how they are currently treated and disposed of? What are the reporting requirements? What type of worker protection will be required?

Once you feel that you understand the process well enough, it is time to put together a purchasing specification to submit to potential businesses that can build the cleaning line and waste treatment equipment. You will want to shop these request for quotations to a few vendors since each will quote it differently and may present you with a variety of prices and options. One of the early decisions you will need to make is whether or not you can afford or justify equipment automation.

After the reviewing the capital investment and regulatory issues necessary to get into this side of the business, you may choose to continue with your current arrangement.

 


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