Manufacturing facilities use industrial ovens to cure, heat treat, and dry parts. The use of industrial ovens is vast and the heat transfer and cleanliness impacts operational costs and quality, respectively.
A bearing manufacturer contacted Snow White Services to find a new, efficient method to clean industrial ovens used for heat treatment.
The Industrial Oven Cleaning Challenge
The long downtime required for cleaning impacted production and the manufacturer wanted a faster and more economical solution.
Each year, the manufacturer cleaned the walls, floors, and ceilings of each oven (8 ovens, cleaning area = 3,872 square feet). The traditional cleaning method involved 10 technicians who removed the industrial oven residue using wire brushes and chemical cleaners. The process consumed 792 hours of labor (7 days), 20 wire brushes, 132 cans (12 oz.) of industrial cleaner, and 1,000 white cotton terry cloths.
The Dry Ice Blasting Solution
Snow White Services tested and developed a cleaning protocol using dry ice blasting. Dry ice blasting equipment mixes dry ice (solid carbon dioxide, CO2) pellets with compressed air. The compressed air accelerates the pellets through a blast hose near supersonic speeds. As the solid carbon dioxide exits the blast nozzle and impacts the surface, the solid CO2 converts to a gas (sublimation) and the rapid gas expansion of CO2 facilitates the removal of the surface contamination.
The dry ice blasting services effectively removed the surface residue from the walls, floor, and ceiling.
The Benefits Of Dry Ice Blasting
The new technique used 4 technicians, 48 labor hours (2 days), and 4,000 pounds of dry ice. The dry ice blasting solution reduced cleaning costs by 40%, labor time by 94%, and project time by 71% compared to the traditional cleaning method.
In addition, dry ice blasting removed the residue without generating a secondary waste stream and avoided the use of harsh chemicals.
Now, the manufacturer calls Snow White Services each year to clean and restore the industrial ovens via dry ice blasting.