Controlling and removing the presence or accumulation of combustible dust is a problem that requires consistent attention for several reasons. The dust decreases the efficiency of plant operations by causing possible malfunctions and damage to machinery parts. Also, the presence of combustible dust particles can lead to potentially harmful conditions for workers and the environment. Finally, from a financial standpoint, all of the aforementioned factors adversely affect a company’s bottom line.
Fortunately, foam cleaning technology offers an intelligent, holistic solution that can eliminate production byproducts simply and efficiently. Foam cleaning can remove both combustible and non-combustible dirt, dust, grease, oil and other particulates through the use of 100 percent biodegradable, non-flammable, low volatile organic compounds. The foam is not harmful to water tables and wildlife, and uses non-TDG regulated content that uses non-phosphate materials. Plus, foam technology allows the solution more time to cling to surfaces for a more effective clean.
For the workforce, applying the foam solution:
- Provides a safer work area by eliminating harmful odors and irritants
- Decreases the number of safety-related incidents
- Shortens the downtime for plant production and provides preventive measures to stave off future shutdowns
- Removes the time-consuming aspects of power-washing, scrubbing and rinsing and allows employees’ man-hours to be directed elsewhere
Testing out a new technique can be challenging, and thankfully, there are knowledgeable specialists out there who are trained to handle such a project. For instance, when leaders at a Virginia manufacturing facility decided to move from coal fuel to natural gas, they needed to eliminate 30 years of coal ash and dust from the plant before the transition could take place. The company enlisted MPW and its foam cleaning method to ensure the highest standards of safety and efficiency were being met, but three decades of accumulated filth would not disappear easily.
In order to scour the plant’s boiler, power house, precipitators and coal silos, MPW’s 35 on-site technicians first utilized three to four high-tech Supersucker Vacuum Trucks and followed up with foam cleaning services of the coal storage unit and other areas to remove the combustible and non-combustible grease, dust and dirt. After nearly four months and working in the summer heat and humidity, the project was complete with no safety issues, lost-time injuries or OSHA-recordable incidents.