Production Machining

APR 2018

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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Many are converting to a more environmentally preferred solvent that will comply with expected future regulations. Solvent Degreasing Regulations Explained CONTRIBUTOR Joe McChesney is the global product line manager, solvents, at Kyzen. He can be reached at 615-831-0888, or for more information from Kyzen, visit kyzen.com. By Joe McChesney I f your company is using solvent degreasing with older generation solvents such as perchloroethylene (PERC), trichloroethylene (TCE), methylene chloride (MC) or bromide or bromine (nPB) to clean your products, then you should already be aware of the current efforts and actions of the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Association Advancing Environmental and Occupational Health, and other organizations that deal with environ- mental health and safety (EHS) conditions to apply more restrictive regulations on these solvents or in some cases, complete phase out as required by new laws. ere is a current trend to convert to a more environmen- tally preferred solvent that will comply with expected future regulations. Some users are continuing to use existing solvents and equipment that are still legal under specific conditions until future laws are enacted. ere is a lot of confu- sion in the market about which direction to take. Cost of any conversion always enters the decision- making equation as replacement solvents are generally higher in cost. Modern equipment to replace older, less efficient units increases cost. Internal production specifica- tions (PPAP) compliance could add to this cost, as well. Most solvents (old and new) can clean—that is what they do. e main difference is environmental and health characteristics of the solvent being used. Users today are evaluating these new options to provide a safer workplace. In a constantly changing world, manufacturers concen- trate on their business, obtaining orders, meeting produc- tion requirements and making a profit. ere are a lot of items that go into this matrix, but the less new issues a manufacturer must deal with, the better. Time is valuable. Environmental compliance also comes with a cost. e ups and downs of environmental compliance and trying to plan for future compliance within a controlled cost is difficult, at best. And combined with confusion or variations of impending laws leads some manufacturers to consider process changes to reduce headaches. e decision makers may consider alternate methods of cleaning. ey are asking questions such as: Should I stay with solvent or go to aqueous? If aqueous, do I need new equipment, including waste water processing? Should I consider conversion to a more EHS-preferred solvent? Should I consider a new vacuum degreaser using modified alcohol or hydrocarbon blends - consuming very little solvent while providing operator isolation from the process? What are the advan- tages and disadvantages of each process? ere are alternate choices for all. In some cases, one process is generally perceived or proven as superior, based on several different inputs. End-user confidence of cleaning results generally influence the final decision. Why use solvent? Increased demands for quality and reliability calls for continuous improvements in many manufacturing processes, including cleaning. Cleaning methods must meet EHS concerns and must get the job done. An end product must meet all applied specifications in a manner that ensures operation success. e fact that today's cleanliness specifications for precision and critical cleaning cannot have any contaminant residue or rinse water residue on the end product drives some users toward solvent. Materials compatibility is a major area for concern where solvent is superior. Use of solvent in manufacturing is growing because of inability of water to perform in certain criteria, component spacing, restrictive drying process, and in some cases, water is not available or simply cannot be used. is is also why the government recognized the need for solvent cleaning and enacted certain laws to preserve this process until a better method is discovered. ere is an abundance of information available in today's world to consider the best cleaning method to suit your needs. From government resources, environ- mental organizations, equipment suppliers and chemical suppliers, to technical papers and consultants, there are companies that will perform cleaning analysis of your parts for free using a specific process to verify the results before you make a commitment. Use these resources to supple- ment your decision. LAST WORD 56 PRODUCTION MACHINING :: APRIL 2018

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