Tank Cleaning Maintenance Tips from Alfa Laval – Save Money and Prevent Downtime

Tank Cleaning Maintenance Tips from Alfa Laval – Save Money and Prevent Downtime

When was the last time you had your tank cleaning device serviced? If you can’t remember, it’s probably time.

Preventive maintenance is important in many aspects of our everyday lives including when we take our car in for a tune up and oil change. We all know this is required to keep our car running well and to be sure it’s there to get you around. You would never want to be left stranded. 

Your tank cleaning devices are just as critical for your plant’s operation and keeping production at peak levels. Don’t let a down tank cleaning device shut down one of your tanks.

How often should tank cleaning devices be serviced?

All rotary tank cleaning devices have internal parts that are susceptible to wear. While Alfa Laval’s Gamajet tank cleaning device is well known for its long life and robust design, preventive maintenance is recommended after approximately 600-800 hours of run time.

If a Tank Cleaning device is used beyond the recommended run time, damage can result to more than just the “wear parts” that would be replaced during  average preventive maintenance service. This will make service costs more expensive.

It is much easier to keep your tank cleaning device in tip-top running order with preventive maintenance – run to failure is not an option for your production schedule. Preventive maintenance is also proven to reduce your repair costs over the lifetime of your equipment.

What to look for in a preventive maintenance service package

If you need your Alfa Laval tank cleaning device repaired right and guaranteed to work like new, be sure to contact our team at SepSol. You can’t get these kinds of benefits from a third-party or fly-by-night repair service.

Alfa Laval’s service and repair includes:

  • Renews your 1-year warranty.  A repaired unit is good as new.
  • Ultrasonic cleaning
  • Detailed inspection and report of recommended repairs
  • Guaranteed 24-48 hour turnaround
  • Always Genuine Alfa Laval parts
  • Hydraulic testing before return, guaranteeing as-new performance
  • Fully staffed shop with the repair parts needed to keep you up and running

Only with an Alfa Laval authorized service and repair can you expect to receive all these benefits. 

5 primary business challenges associated with dirty totes, tanks and other chemical processing vessels:

1. Dirty Tanks are the enemy of consistency.

Product consistency and quality begins with a clean vessel. Vessels used to manufacture multiple different products are susceptible to cross-contamination, because without proper cleaning, residual product from one batch can contaminate and spoil the next batch. The reusable nature of totes and IBCs makes cleaning them a particular challenge. The cleaning equipment selected must be adaptable to changing residue types and operating conditions. 

“We hear from companies daily that have had product recalls due to cross-contamination. Some have thrown away thousands of gallons of product due to spoilage,” says Andrew Delaney, executive vice president at Alfa Laval’s North American Tank Cleaning Competency Center.

2. Manual tank cleaning is unsafe.

Entering an industrial vessel carries inherent risks. Unfortunately, many companies don’t realize that an alternative to manual tank cleaning exists. Under no circumstance should any person be put in jeopardy to clean a tank or vessel, says Delaney. “Our hope is that once a customer is educated on the alternatives, they will take advantage of the latest technological advances.”

3. Conservation goals are prevalent.

For environmental and financial reasons, processing and manufacturing companies are striving to use less water, chemicals, energy, and materials to produce their products. Many companies have departments dedicated to sustainability in order to reduce their environmental footprint. The added benefit of sustainability is lower operating costs and higher profitability.

Water and energy consumption is easier to manage with the right cleaning technologies. Water conservation especially is growing in importance. “Water has become a valued commodity in portions of North America and the world,” notes Delaney. Material waste and spoilage is also avoided with better quality cleaning.

4. Efficiency improves profitability.

Faster, more efficient cleaning allows for more time in production. It decreases the time allotted for cleaning, allowing for higher operational throughput, and it avoids build-up and other issues that could slow the process, enabling increased capacity. Many companies have incentives based upon production goals, and with today’s cleaning technologies, the goals may be exceeded.

More efficient cleaning also allows for greater labor productivity. Replacing time consuming manual approaches with mechanical cleaning processes leaves more time available to complete higher-value tasks. These savings, plus the efficiencies generated through conservation and avoiding high-cost spoilage and waste, translate directly to higher profitability.

5. The regulatory effect.

The U.S. Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) heavily regulates the use of confined space entry for manual tank cleaning, and requires proper safety precautions. Though this compliance can be expensive and labor-intensive, companies can face stiff penalties for putting laborers in harm’s way.

“It pains me when I read about someone getting harmed when they enter a tank for cleaning purposes. With all the cleaning options available today, there is just no reason to have people enter a tank for that purpose,” says Delaney. ”I think the regulations will continue to evolve to protect the worker from harm, and this will be a good development.”

Tank and vessel cleanliness is also covered in regulations such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP/CGMP), the Environmental Protection Agency’s Transportation Equipment Cleaning Effluent Guidelines, and the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) Guide- lines. In addition, certain state and local regula- tions address this topic. Again, the consequences for noncompliance can be substantial.

Boost your productivity and bottom line

Want to learn more about tank cleaning devices from Alfa Laval? Our SepSol Team of Application Engineers can help!

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