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Tag Archive: maintenance

  1. How To Assemble Hoses And Seals With P-80® Temporary Rubber Lubricants

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    Cars, trucks, buses, locomotives, motorcycles, boats, airplanes, refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers, pumps, construction equipment, conveyor belts, cable assemblies, and machines…What do all of these familiar items have in common?

    All of them are composed of countless rubber parts that help them function properly and efficiently. Have you ever considered all of the uses for rubber hoses and seals? Without hoses, seals, grommets, O-rings and so many other rubber parts, most everyday items would leak, fall apart or otherwise malfunction.

    Since rubber parts play such an integral role in product function and design, manufacturers have to be careful to assemble them properly to avoid problems down the line. While this sounds simple enough in theory, the reality is that assembling rubber parts can be quite difficult.

    The slip-resistant nature of rubber makes it difficult to install, cut, remove or manipulate. Improper part alignment or installation can lead to part failure and safety issues. Repair and installation of rubber parts can take considerable physical effort and time.

    Temporary assembly lubricants help solve this problem. When applied to rubber parts, temporary assembly lubricants reduce friction during assembly to make installation easier. Once dry the slipping action goes away and parts stay in place.

    What is the best way to apply temporary lubricants to rubber parts?  Brushing, sponging, spraying, dunking and dipping are all effective manual application methods. Since each assembly process is unique, the best method is often based on personal preference.

    Watch this short video for International Products Corporation’s (IPC) suggestions for assembling hoses and seals with P-80® temporary assembly lubricants:

    P-80 temporary assembly lubricants are water-based and do not contain alcohol or petroleum distillates, so they will not cause rubber to swell, dry out or harden. And, they do not contain silicon or other persistent ingredients, so once dry the slipping action goes away and parts stay in place. P-80 lubricants are free of hazardous ingredients, making them safe for workers and the environment. Most P-80 products are biodegradable.

    Want to learn more about P-80 temporary assembly lubricants?
    Contact IPC’s technical team or request a free sample.
  2. Reclaiming Water To Maintain Future Economic Growth

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    The Challenge

    How do you provide a consistent, high quality supply of water when you have a large volume ethanol distiller located in your backyard? The city of Fargo, ND came up with the perfect solution: reclaim water through the municipal wastewater treatment plant!

    The History

    The wastewater treatment plant in Fargo, North Dakota has an auxiliary effluent re-use facility constructed specifically to produce reverse osmosis quality water destined for ethanol production. A local corn to ethanol distiller, Tharaldson Ethanol, requires approximately 1,000,000 gallons (3.8 million liters) of reverse osmosis water per day above the wastewater treatment plant’s normal processing volumes. Fargo’s wastewater control systems manager, Jeff Hoff, manages the effluent re-use facility to ensure this additional volume is met on a daily basis.

    The Problem

    A key component of the effluent re-use facility is the ultra-filtration process, which uses 0.4μ polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) membranes with an upper pH limit of 10.0. These membranes are fouled primarily with petroleum sulfonates and bacterial secretions. Particularly in cold weather, the upstream BOD step has frequent “upsets,” where the bacteria die and secrete a water soluble foulant that adheres strongly to the PVDF polymer and significantly increases the trans-membrane pressure (TMP). These “upsets” must be resolved quickly to ensure a plentiful supply of pure water.

    The Test

    In order to determine the optimal cleaning regimen to resolve these upsets, Jeff systematically evaluated the performance of twenty different cleaners and hundreds of different combinations and concentrations, including commonly used commodities and many formulated membrane cleaners.

    The Solution

    Jeff discovered that Micro-90®, a formulated cleaner from International Products Corporation (IPC), stood out because it performed better than all of the commodities and other formulated membrane cleaners, particularly on the bacterial secretions. What Jeff found most impressive is that this formulated cleaner worked effectively without the use of phosphates, silicates, and strong alkalis, at a membrane compatible pH of only 9.5, and at a 0.3 percent concentration.

    The Product

    Micro-90® is a mild, yet powerful, multipurpose, alkaline cleaning concentrate that is used for membrane cleaning as well as in laboratories, industrial applications, and critical cleaning processes. A unique chelating detergent, Micro-90® contains anionic and non-ionic ingredients which combine to produce a variety of cleaning actions. Micro-90® is compatible with UF, RO, Ceramic and NF Systems.

    The Long-Term Success

    This same formulation has been in use at Fargo’s effluent re-use facility since October 2010. Some of the original PVDF membranes are still used and continue to see significant TMP drops after cleaning. Although the bacterial upsets cannot be prevented, their fouling can be resolved in a predictable manner with the use of this formulated product.

    The engineers at the facility recognize that using Micro-90® for regularly scheduled preventative maintenance and cleaning of the membranes proves to be an effective, safe, and economical method of keeping the plant running efficiently and the water flowing continually. Based on its effectiveness, safe profile, compatibility and economical cost per use, they have recommended Micro-90® to design engineers at similar effluent re-use facilities.

    Read more about cleaning filter membranes here:
    How To Choose the Proper Membrane Cleaner
    Make Your Membranes Last…A Simple 10 Step Guide
  3. How Can You Help Customers Install Your Parts? P-80® To The Rescue!

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    Did You Know? P-80 Fun Facts…

    Major manufacturing companies have used P-80 lubricants for years for the assembly of engine mounts, bumpers, seals, belts, bushings, O-rings, hoses, grommets, grips, plugs, moldings, tires and many other rubber or soft plastic engineered parts.

    Did you know that you can help your customers to easily install those same parts? Simply include a tube of P-80 along with the parts in replacement and repair kits!

    The slip-resistant nature of rubber makes it difficult to install, cut, remove or manipulate. Improper part alignment or installation can lead to part failure and safety issues. Repair and installation of rubber parts can take considerable physical effort and time.

    What is P-80?

    P-80 temporary assembly lubricants reduce friction during rubber assembly to make it easier to install parts. They are water-based and do not contain alcohol or petroleum distillates, so they will not cause rubber to swell, dry out or harden. P-80 lubricants do not contain silicon or other persistent ingredients, so once dry the slipping action goes away and parts stay in place. And, P-80 lubricants are free of hazardous ingredients, making them safe for workers and the environment. Most P-80 products are biodegradable.

    P-80 temporary assembly lubricants are available in six different water-based formulas, so you can find the product that’s right for your assembly needs. There are even two special formulas that are registered with the NSF as H1 lubricants approved for incidental food contact applications.

    A Win-Win Solution

    P-80 is available in re-sealable 10 mL tubes that are perfect for inclusion in kits for repair or replacement parts. Companies that include P-80 in kits have found that less damage occurs to their products during repair or installation, saving money in the long run. Their customers are happy because the installation of the part is much easier. Since the tube is re-sealable, it can be used multiple times after opening.

    Many jobs can benefit from the reduced friction and increased safety provided by P-80 temporary rubber assembly lubricants. Use P-80 to install or replace seals, grommets, hoses, valves, belts, bushings, grips, bearings, boots, bumpers, engine mounts, fuel lines, moldings, O-rings, wire harnesses, sleeves, gaskets and tires. Any time you encounter rubber parts…P-80 can help!

    Subscribe to the IPC Blog for more information and helpful tips about using our products!
    Want to include 10mL tubes of P-80 in your parts replacement and repair kits? Download our product bulletin or contact our product specialists today!
  4. Save Time And Money With Preventative Maintenance

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    It’s summer! It’s time to relax and enjoy the warmer weather. Kids are out of school, daylight hours are long, families flock to beaches and it seems like just about everyone takes a vacation.

    While summer means various things to different people, for many manufacturers summer means factory shutdowns, plant retooling and scheduled maintenance operations.

    What is Preventative Maintenance?

    We’ve all been there. Any of these scenarios ring a bell? A long road trip and your car won’t start. You’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner and your oven isn’t working. Or, it’s the worst heat wave of the summer and your air conditioning unit dies. Regardless of the scenario, we can all agree that malfunctioning equipment is extremely aggravating. If only there were a way to prevent these things from happening!

    While we can’t prevent all unplanned breakdowns, there are actions we can take to minimize their occurrence. That’s where preventative maintenance steps in.  Preventative maintenance refers to regularly scheduled maintenance operations designed to keep equipment functioning optimally throughout the year to help prevent unplanned breakdowns.

    Similarly to taking your car to the shop for regular oil changes or servicing your air conditioning unit annually prior to the summer heat, manufacturing plants can take steps to regularly inspect and service their equipment to help prevent costly and untimely breakdowns.

    Why Should You Perform Preventative Maintenance? 

    Simply put, preventative maintenance saves you time and money. Equipment breakdowns are costly and inconvenient. Depending on its function, one piece of malfunctioning equipment can bring an entire plant to a grinding halt leading to lost production and expensive repairs.

    Isn’t taking a piece of equipment out of commission to perform preventative maintenance equally as time consuming and expensive? Absolutely not! Sure, maintenance tasks take time and cost money, but planning for them minimizes the bite.

    Would you prefer to take your equipment out of commission during a slow period or on your busiest day of the year? Imagine the oven at your local pizzeria breaking down on Super Bowl Sunday. There’s no way to recoup those lost sales!

    Parts and labor almost always cost less when it isn’t an emergency repair situation. Having spare parts shipped overnight is not cheap! And, finding service personnel who can drop everything and come right away isn’t always a reality.

    Many manufacturing plants shut down for a short time during the summer for retooling in preparation for new production runs. Planning preventative maintenance to coincide with scheduled plant shut downs is a win-win.

    7 Benefits of Preventative Maintenance

    1. Increase equipment life
    2. Improve functionality and reliability of equipment
    3. Decrease unplanned breakdowns
    4. Less costly repairs
    5. More productive operations
    6. Maintain product quality
    7. Reduce risk of worker injury

    The expression “the best offense is a good defense” perfectly sums up the principle of preventative maintenance. Advance planning keeps costs down and helps keep your equipment running smoothly and efficiently.

    Setting Up A Preventative Maintenance Plan

    Obviously, every manufacturing plant is unique and each one may have distinct maintenance needs. But, universal considerations that come into play when setting up a preventative maintenance plan include frequency, responsibility, identification of specific tasks and monitoring of the process.

    Frequency

    How often should equipment be inspected and repaired? This will depend upon your industry and the type of equipment. Scheduled maintenance is often based upon time intervals, equipment usage, or specific trigger events.

    Time triggers are based upon specific calendar intervals. Do you inspect and service the pumps in your plant every three months? Or, do you check the antifreeze in your vehicle prior to the onset of cold weather? Similar to your annual physical with your physician, time triggers are maintenance activities based upon the passage of specific periods of time.

    Usage triggers are based upon how and when the equipment is used. Examples of usage triggers are changing the oil in your car every 5,000 – 10, 000 miles, or cleaning the processing lines and tanks in your manufacturing plant after each production run.

    Event triggers are marked by equipment performance. In wastewater treatment facilities, filter membranes are often cleaned when their flux rate drops by 10 percent. Other examples of event triggers are sharpening a knife when it becomes dull or filling your car tires with air when the pressure drops below a specified level.

    Responsibility

    Who is responsible for performing scheduled maintenance services? Are the drivers and technicians that use the equipment expected to perform preventative maintenance activities? Or does your facility have a specified maintenance team that inspects and repairs equipment on a regular basis? It’s important for the entire team to know who to go to for regular upkeep of their equipment.

    Identify specific maintenance tasks

    What maintenance operations should be conducted on a regular basis?  Not only will this vary based upon your equipment and your industry, but it may also differ from one plant to another. A checklist of each and every preventative maintenance task should be developed and followed. Common maintenance tasks may include inspecting and testing functionality, cleaning equipment and replacing parts.

    Maintain records

    All maintenance activities should be recorded and tracked. This helps in planning future maintenance schedules, estimating and keeping track of costs, and monitoring equipment safety and functionality. Most companies use software designed for this purpose, but manual records can also be used.

    Plan Ahead     

    When things are running smoothly it’s easy to overlook common maintenance chores and rationalize that it’s not worth the time to regularly inspect and repair parts. But nothing could be further from the truth. Proper maintenance helps ensure that your equipment is working correctly and your facility is functioning efficiently. Investing the time and money to set up and follow a regular maintenance plan will provide long-term savings by keeping your business functioning smoothly and efficiently.

    Need help getting started setting up a preventative maintenance plan for your facility? IPC’s temporary assembly lubricants and specialty cleaners are routinely used in preventative maintenance programs. Read more industry specific guidelines here:
  5. Everything You Need To Know For Easy O-ring Installation

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    The O-ring…the little part that plays a big role!

    “What are the parts of a car?”  Most people will answer with “engine, thermostat, radiator, water pump, battery, alternator, ignition, steering wheel, tires, windows, doors, and seat belts”. Not too many people will mention O-rings. But, O-rings play an integral role in the manufacturing and operation of vehicles of all kinds, as well as most other everyday items such as appliances, pumps, and medical devices.

    What Are O-rings?

    An O-ring is “a loop of elastomer with a round cross-section, designed to be seated in a groove and compressed during assembly between two or more parts, creating a seal at the interface.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O-ring). Like the name implies, an O-ring is a round, rubber ring. O-rings are used to create a tight seal between assembled parts to prevent fluids or air from passing from one part to another. The simple little O-ring is often one of the most important components in finished goods. Without properly installed O-rings leaks and product failures could occur.

    Common Installation Problems

    O-rings need to be properly installed to do their job and function properly. When installed correctly, O-rings can prevent leaks and add to the service life of the component. Incorrectly installed O-rings may cause leakage resulting in part damage, requiring taking apart and reassembling the component.  Some common problems that occur during O-ring installation include tears, twisting and turning, and overstretching.

    5 Guidelines for Installing O-rings

    Installing O-rings properly at the outset saves time and money in the long run. These installation tips can help you avoid problems that may cause application issues down the road.

    1. Size Matters: Use the right size O-ring for each unique assembly. O-rings that are too small are more prone to tearing and breakage. O-rings that are too large will not provide an adequate seal.
    2. Avoid Overstretching: Each O-ring has a maximum stretch point. Overstretching can cause O-rings to break or tear during assembly or use. Engineers need to ensure that the stretch does not go beyond the maximum elongation of the O-ring. It’s also important to stretch the O-ring evenly, not just on one side or the other. In general, try to stretch the O-ring as little as possible for a tighter fit.
    3. Slide, Don’t Roll: Rolling an O-ring down a shaft for installation leads to spiraling. Spiral wound O-rings cannot be properly installed and their functionality will be limited. This can result in leaks and/or damage to the finished assembly. Sliding the O-ring into place, rather than rolling it, helps avoid spiraling. Using a lubricant helps the O-ring slide easily into place.
    4. Ease O-rings Over Threads: O-rings are often mated with threaded parts. The threads can easily tear the rubber O-rings. Covering the threads with masking tape during installation and using an assembly lubricant can help protect the O-ring from nicks and tears.
    5. Keep Away From Sharp Edges: Some mated parts may also have sharp corners or edges that can damage O-rings. Sometimes these tears are so small they are not visible, resulting in leakage problems later on. Avoid forcing O-rings onto sharp corners and edges. Lubricating the O-rings makes it easier to slide them into place.

    Overall, it’s best to avoid using excess force while installing O-rings. Using an assembly lubricant helps ensure that many of the above problems are avoided.

    O-ring Lubricants

    Using a lubricant for O-ring assembly can prevent tears, twisting, pinching, cutting and abrasion of the rubber.  A thin film of lubricant applied to the O-ring fills in any gaps, holes, or spaces between the O-ring and the mated part, allowing them to slide across each other. By reducing the surface tension between the two surfaces, the O-ring can slide into place easily, providing a tight fit.

    Advantages of using assembly lubricants for O-ring installation include:
    • Reduce force needed for installation
    • Accelerate assembly processes
    • Achieve closer fits by helping to properly seat the O-ring
    • Aid automated assemblies
    • Improve product performance and reduce failures
    • Increase production rates
    • Help avoid worker injuries

    Types of O-ring Lubricants

    There are numerous types of lubricants that can be used to install O-rings. Some common choices include soap and water, petroleum distillates, solvents and ester based products. Many traditional choices may cause damage to the rubber O-ring or present safety concerns.

    For example, petroleum based products can cause rubber to swell or dry out. Solvents provide poor lubrication, contain high VOCs, may be flammable, and pose possible health risks. Soap and water, while safe, provides inconsistent, nominal lubrication and may reactivate when wet causing problems after assembly.

    Ester based lubricants are an ideal solution. They provide excellent reduction in friction, offer temporary lubrication, and are safe for both workers and the environment.

    Here is a comparison of some common lubricant choices:

    Lubricants Comparison Chart

    Reduction of Friction Chart

    So, how do you choose the right product? Consider these factors:

    The Perfect Solution

    P-80® Temporary Rubber Assembly Lubricants are an excellent choice for O-ring assembly. P-80® lubricants significantly reduce friction helping rubber parts slide easily into place. And, they do not contain any hazardous ingredients, making them safe for workers and the environment. P-80’s unique, water-based formula is temporary; once dry, P-80 stops lubricating and parts remain in place.

    O-ring installation without lubrication:

    O-ring installation using P-80:

    Installing O-rings doesn’t have to be a struggle. Remember, these small rubber parts can make or break the functionality of your finished assembly. Take the time to install them properly and use a temporary assembly lubricant to aid the process and protect the part.

    Contact International Products Corporation to learn more about using P-80 Rubber Lubricants for O-ring assembly.

    Have an O-ring you need to install? Request a free sample for testing

  6. How To Keep Your Tablet Press Clean

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    10 Easy Steps for Cleaning Your Tablet Press

    Nothing can slow production down like equipment that malfunctions or stops working altogether. Performing regular, preventative maintenance of equipment is essential and helps keep pharmaceutical tablet presses functioning efficiently and smoothly.

    Tablet presses that are not well maintained can cause a multitude of problems, creating defective products that are mal-formed, contaminated or contain improper dosages. One of the most important steps to maintaining your tablet press is keeping it clean. It’s also important to have systems in place to validate and document the cleanliness of the equipment.

    10 Key Steps For Cleaning Tablet Presses:

    1. Clean the Exterior: Wipe away all visible dirt on the exterior of the press and vacuum off any excess formulation. Do not use compressed air to blow off excess powders. Compressed air can trap powders in hidden housings, crevices and pockets causing problems down the line.
    2. Visual Inspection: Examine the press to assess the condition of the parts. Look for signs of wear or damage on tablet punches and punch heads, and earmark any parts that need repair or replacement.
    3. Prepare the Press for Cleaning: Carefully dismantle removable machine parts for thorough cleaning. Tooling, punch heads, feed frames, guards and plates can often be removed for cleaning purposes.
    4. Use the Proper Equipment: Stiff nylon punch guide brushes and die seat cleaning tools help to access hidden areas of the press that might contain traces of debris. It’s important not to use any unnecessary force, since tablet presses are delicate and can be easily damaged if not carefully handled.
    5. Choose the Right Cleaner: Your choice of cleaner will depend largely upon the soils that are on your press. Are you removing Oils? Gels? Starches? Enzymes? Use this chart to help match a cleaner to the soil. You’ll also want to consider the surface you are cleaning to be sure you are choosing a compatible cleaner.

    6. Set Up a Proper Cleaning Method: In addition to using the right cleaning product, it’s also important to consider other variables to establish your cleaning protocol. All of the following should be considered:

    a. Amount of Detergent
    b. Temperature
    c. Dwell time
    d. Cleaning method
    e. Type of water

    7. Rinse: Thorough rinsing should follow the cleaning. Rinsing removes any excess detergent left on the item. For critical cleaning applications it is best to use deionized or distilled water, as rinsing with ordinary water may introduce new contaminates.
    8. Validation: Cleaning validation helps identify if there is any remaining residue from soils and cleaners, and helps prevent contamination. Quantitative validation methods, available from most manufacturers, should be used for critical cleaning applications.
    9. Disinfect: If required, disinfection should be done after the press is cleaned and soils are removed.
    10. Dry Parts Thoroughly: Parts should be completely dried to prevent rusting, corrosion or discoloration.

    Setting up an established cleaning routine for your tablet press will help keep it running smoothly and efficiently, and may even extend the serviceable life of your equipment. Regular cleaning will also help prevent regulatory issues and product problems. A few small steps spent on regular cleaning can be a giant leap toward savings and efficiency in the long run.

    For more information on setting up a cleaning regimen and choosing the right cleaner for your application, visit International Products Corporation’s website or contact one of our technical specialists for assistance.

  7. Rubber Lubricants Make Helicopter Maintenance A Breeze

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    Assembly and repair of helicopters can be difficult. Helicopters are composed of numerous rubber parts, many of which can be hard to install or replace. Rotor blades, shafts, landing skids, control rods, stabilizer bars, pitch levers, blade grips, isolators, bushings, hoses, rotor seals, and tail booms are some of the many helicopter parts that are either composed of rubber or connected with rubber parts.

    Unlike traditional airplanes, helicopters have a unique ability to land and take off vertically and to hover in place. A helicopter’s ability to lift and thrust comes from its rotors. These unique properties must be designed to exacting standards, with no room for compromise. High quality materials should be used to ensure that parts are properly installed and assemblies are completed perfectly every time. Reliance on anything other than specialty lubricants, formulated specifically for rubber assembly, creates risks for failure from the onset.

    Rubber is naturally slip resistant, making it difficult to work with. Installing, removing or manipulating tight fitting rubber components can be a real challenge. Parts that are improperly aligned or installed may result in performance or safety issues. Temporary assembly lubricants make rubber installation easy.

    This diagram shows some of the many helicopter parts that can benefit from using a temporary assembly lubricant for installation.

    P-80® Temporary Rubber Assembly Lubricants significantly reduce friction helping rubber parts slide easily into place. And, P-80 lubricants do not contain any hazardous ingredients, making them safe for workers and the environment. P-80’s unique, water-based formula is temporary; once dry, P-80 stops lubricating and parts remain in place.

    Advantages of using P-80® lubricants:
    • Reduce the force required for installation
    • Increase production rates
    • Reduce part breakage and rejects
    • Allow for closer fitting part design
    • Reduce risk of musculoskeletal and slippage related injuries

    Try using a rubber assembly aid the next time you’re installing rotor blades, seals or dampers and see how much easier the job becomes. Want to try P-80 for your assembly or repair needs? Request a free sample.

    Read more about temporary rubber assembly lubricants, including how to use them and factors to consider when choosing a lubricant. Or, contact our technical team to help you find the best solution for your assembly needs.

  8. Stop Struggling … See How Temporary Lubricants Make Rubber Assembly Easier!

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    Have you ever struggled with rubber assembly? If so, you’ve probably experienced for yourself the excessive force needed to properly install hoses, seals, gaskets, O-rings and many other rubber parts. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone came up with a better way?

    Your wishes have been granted! Temporary rubber assembly lubricants were developed specifically to solve this common problem. Temporary rubber lubricants can ease assembly processes and significantly reduce the force needed to assemble rubber parts.

    So, how effective are temporary assembly lubricants? Why not see for yourself? International Products Corporation (IPC), manufacturer of P-80® temporary rubber assembly lubricants, put together this short video showing the reduction in force obtained by using P-80® Emulsion to assemble a rubber hose.

    m90-wipe

    The results of this test are dramatic. A 63% reduction of force was achieved by using P-80 Emulsion for this assembly. A digital force gauge manufactured by Mecmesin was used for measurement. The amount of force needed to assemble a dry piece of hose was 196 Newtons. IPC’s test lab then lubricated the same hose with P-80 Emulsion and the amount of force needed for the same assembly dropped to 72 Newtons. That represents a reduction of force of 124 Newtons or 63%.

    What are some of the advantages of reducing the force required to install rubber parts?
    • Allow for tighter fitting part design
    • Improve product performance
    • Increase production rates by allowing for faster assembly
    • Reduce worker injuries by decreasing the assembly force required
    • Reduce part rejection

    The next time you’re having trouble with hoses, seals, gaskets, O-Rings or any other rubber part, remember to use a temporary rubber assembly lubricant and watch the parts slide into place with much less force. Temporary lubricants are ideal for rubber assembly because they reduce the friction needed to assemble parts.

    Want more information about temporary rubber assembly lubricants, including how to use them and factors to consider when choosing a lubricant? Contact IPC for help finding the best solution for your assembly needs.

  9. Special P-80 Formulas…Perfect For Pumps In The Food Industry

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    Pumps and seals perform vital functions in food and beverage processing plants. Using the right assembly lubricant for pump maintenance makes all the difference.

    Manufacturing facilities strive to keep operations running smoothly and effectively at all times. This is true for all types of plants, whether they manufacture industrial products or foods and beverages. While many factors contribute to achieving this goal, one simple way to help reach this objective is to perform regular equipment maintenance. Most plants use a variety of different types of pumps. Maintaining and replacing pump seals on a regular basis helps to ensure that systems continue to function efficiently.

    Replacing standard pump components, such as seals, O-rings, and other rubber parts, can often lead to frustration because the slip resistant nature of rubber makes it difficult to install, cut, remove or manipulate. Parts may roll or tear. Repair and installation can take considerable physical effort and time. In addition, improper part alignment or installation can lead to part failure and safety issues.

    Pumps play an extremely important role in food and beverage manufacturing. They are used for fermentation, separation, evaporation, homogenization, filtration, processing and dosing. Mechanical seals are frequently used to help ensure that no contaminants enter the processing system. 

    Mechanical seals help to minimize leaks, avoid flow irregularities and maintain product integrity. They can help prevent the transfer of ingredients from one product to the next, and prevent formation of deposits inside the pump that can develop into mold or bacteria, causing contamination.

    Food processing plants have added concerns that must be considered. Food and beverage manufacturing is a highly regulated industry. Therefore, all parts and processes must comply with federal regulations and industry standards. Mechanical seals need to be made of food grade materials, and all lubricants used for seal maintenance must also be approved for incidental food contact applications.

    Properly functioning pumps help plant managers in food and beverage manufacturing plants address the following concerns and challenges:

    • Safe and hygienic processing
    • Cleanliness
    • Quality standards
    • Traceability
    • Product integrity
    • Safety
    • Regulatory compliance
    • Risks of contaminants entering the system
    • Avoidance of trace ingredients and impurities during manufacturing

    Just like in industrial settings, pumps used in the food industry should be well maintained to avoid costly repairs and minimize downtime. Maintenance procedures must meet strict FDA and USDA requirements.

    Using the proper assembly lubricant can turn a difficult chore into an easy task. Many jobs can benefit from the reduced friction and increased safety provided by an assembly lubricant. They are the perfect solution for pump and seal repairs and have been used for years by plant managers to maintain equipment and replace parts such as mechanical seals, O-rings, hoses, grommets, and plugs.

    Temporary rubber assembly lubricants can:

    Reduce Installation Force: A thin film of lubricant allows rubber surfaces to slide across each other. By reducing the surface tension between two surfaces, lubricants help rubber parts slide easily into place. Once dry the lubrication is gone, resulting in a tight fitting assembly.
    Achieve Closer Fits: Engineers can design lower tolerance parts. The force needed to install the parts when a lubricant is used is greatly reduced. Since the lubrication is only temporary, once dry, the parts stay in place resulting in a tight fit.
    Improve Product Performance: Improper part alignment can lead to part failure and safety issues. Using a rubber assembly lubricant, which enables the parts to slide easily into place, can solve these problems by reducing or eliminating damage to parts.
    Increase Production Rates: Applying an assembly lubricant to the rubber part makes the rubber slippery, so parts can easily slide into place. After the lubricant dries, the lubricity goes away and mated parts maintain a tight fit. The assembly process becomes more productive.
    Help to Avoid Worker Injuries: Lubricants reduce the insertion force needed for rubber assembly. Workers can more easily push parts into place, reducing the amount of musculoskeletal, slippage, and repetitive stress related injuries that can be caused by using too much force to insert a rubber part.

    There are many types of lubricants available, so how does a plant manager choose the right one for the job? It’s important to consider the performance and safety of each to make the right choice.

    Types of lubricants:

    Solvents offer poor lubrication (as compared to other choices). More importantly, these substances may be flammable and pose various safety risks. They may also dry out the rubber parts.
    Soaps and Detergents offer nominal lubricity but can reactivate later on when wet, causing parts to move when they need to remain stationary.
    Petroleum Distillates are often not compatible with rubber parts causing them to swell. The lubrication is not temporary.
    Specially Formulated Ester Based Products offer temporary lubrication providing excellent reduction in friction. These lubricants are safe for the environment, the parts and the workers.

    Plant managers need to choose a lubricant that will work well, yet meet all safety requirements and federal regulations. They must also consider variables unique to their specific needs such as surface compatibility, dry time, conductivity and chemical composition of the lubricant.

    Specially formulated, temporary rubber assembly lubricants are a preferred choice. They have a consistent composition, favorable compatibility with most surfaces and are not harmful to the environment. In fact, many of these lubricants are biodegradable. Food and beverage processing facilities must also be sure to use specially formulated temporary assembly lubricants that meet federal regulations and are approved for incidental food contact applications.

    Many food and beverage processing plants rely on P-80® Temporary Rubber Assembly Lubricants to help with pump maintenance. P-80 lubricants enable rubber parts to slide easily into place with minimal force. Once dry, P-80 stops lubricating and parts remain in place, resulting in a tight fit. Since P-80 does not contain silicon or any other persistent ingredients, once dry the slipping action goes away. P-80® Emulsion IFC and P-80® THIX IFC meet FDA regulation 21 CFR 178.3570 and are NSF-Registered as H1 lubricants. Both are biodegradable and non-toxic, ideal for use in incidental food contact applications when a thin film of lubricant is desired.

    The next time you’re having trouble replacing a pump seal, inserting a grommet, or pushing a hose into place, try using a temporary rubber assembly lubricant. See how much easier the job becomes.

     

     

  10. Make Your Membranes Last…A Simple 10 Step Guide

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    What Are Membranes?
    Membranes are filters used to separate different substances. They are used for a variety of applications throughout many industries, including wastewater treatment, food & beverage processing, pharmaceutical manufacturing and laboratory operations. “A membrane is a thin layer of semi-permeable material that separates substances when a driving force is applied across the membrane. Membrane processes are increasingly used for removal of bacteria, microorganisms, particulates, and natural organic material…”  (https://www.mrwa.com/WaterWorksMnl/Chapter%2019%20Membrane%20Filtration.pdf)

    Why Clean Membranes?
    Once membranes become fouled from use they become less effective. Clean membranes allow for the proper flow of water and are essential for maintaining an optimal flux rate. Therefore, it is important to implement a regular membrane cleaning regimen to help ensure that they are operating effectively. Instituting a regular maintenance program for cleaning membranes can help extend membrane life, saving money on equipment and operating costs.

    Where Do I Begin?
    Establishing a regular membrane cleaning regimen can be overwhelming. There are so many variables to consider from choosing the right detergent to figuring how much cleaner to use and how often to clean.

    Follow this simple 10 step guide to get started:

    1. When should I clean membranes?
    Use a 10/10/10 rule to determine cleaning frequency. Membranes should be cleaned whenever flux rate decreases by 10%, trans-membrane pressure (TMP) increases by 10%, or permeate water quality decreases by 10%.

    2. What cleaner should I use?
    Using the proper detergent can greatly affect the outcome. The soils fouling the membranes directly impact your choice of cleaner. Read more here.

    3. What type of membranes are you using?
    It’s always important to check with the membrane manufacturer for any specific operating conditions.

    4. Should I soak before cleaning?
    This will depend upon the condition of the membranes. An initial soak may be required if membranes are extremely fouled.

    5. How much cleaner do I use?
    The amount of cleaner used will vary based upon which detergent you are using and upon the parameters of your membrane system. Fill equipment up to 50% of its total volume to provide low pressure and high flux for optimal cleaning. The manufacturer of the cleaner should be able to provide specific guidelines.

    6. Should I use a quick or slow flow rate?
    Start with a slow flow rate to prevent any suspended soils from re-fouling the membranes. Then, gradually increase the flow up to its maximum rate.

    7. Do I recirculate?
    This helps to effectively clean the membrane. Recirculating provides agitation in and around the membrane. Air bubbles are introduced from recirculation, creating a turbulent flow. This turbulence causes a subtle, pulsating change in pressure at the membrane surface that assists in dislodging foulants. Recirculation may also increase the temperature of the cleaning solution by a few degrees, which bolsters detergency.

    8. What’s the proper temperature?
    As with any cleaning application, heating the cleaning solution will improve results. Check manufacturer’s guidelines for maximum operating temperatures for both the membranes and the cleaners.

    9. Do I need to rinse?
    A thorough rinsing step is important to make sure that all of the soils, as well as any excess cleaning solution, have been removed from the system.

    10. Can I set it and forget it?
    Absolutely not! It’s important to monitor the process to check for any abnormalities or changes in temperature, pressure or pH. However, using a safe and compatible cleaner allows more forgiveness in the cleaning regimen if operator error is introduced.

    Make Your Membranes Last
    Cleaning membranes on a regular basis restores membrane flux which aids in prolonging membrane life. Membranes are extremely expensive. Keeping them clean and functioning optimally saves money.

    When selecting a membrane cleaner find a manufacturer that provides a range of proven products and offers free technical support, free product samples, customer referrals and on-site assistance. International Products Corporation (IPC) offers a full line of membrane cleaners that have been proven to restore 100% membrane flux and extend membrane life.

    One of IPC’s customers treats industrial wastewater generated by the engine plant of a major automotive manufacturer. At this facility, up to 168,000 gallons of wastewater are treated per day using an ultrafiltration (UF) membrane system. They have used IPC’s Micro-90® Concentrated Cleaning Solution to clean their membranes for over 14 years with 100% flux recovery. Prior to using Micro-90®, their initial two-step process used caustic materials and acids. A 1% solution of Micro-90® not only removes the organics and metals that blind the membranes, but it provides savings through reduced energy, reduced chemical use and less downtime. They did not need to replace any of their membranes for over 14 years, representing a cost savings of over $500,000.

    Download IPC’s CIP Guidelines for Membrane Cleaning for help in setting up a membrane cleaning regimen. Establishing a regular cleaning schedule for your membranes can add years to their life!

     

Detergent Selection Guide

= Used ; = Preferred
SOILS Micro-90® Micro® Green Clean Micro® A07 Surface-Cleanse/930® LF2100® Zymit® Low-Foam Zymit® Pro
Adhesives
Biofilm
Biological soils: Blood, Feces, Mucous, Sebum, Sweat, Urine
Dyes, Inks
Eggs, Butter, Fruit Stains
Emulsifiers
Fat
Fingerprints
Flavor, Fragrances
Gelatin
Gels
Grass
Insoluble Salts
Milkstone
Oils
Oxides
Paraffins
Petrolatum
Proteins
Scale
Shop Dusts, Soldering Flux
Silicons
Starch
Tar
Tissue
Titanium Dioxides