Tank Cleaning for Copper Wire Manufacturer

January 30, 2015
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Project Challenge

An industrial relationship management (IRM) or on-site waste management company contacted Action Environmental on behalf of a copper wire manufacturer to request a site walk and proposal for tank cleaning services. The client manufactures different diameters and configurations of copper wire, predominantly for the electrical industry. The client’s tanks had not been cleaned for more than two years, causing tooling and production issues. Additionally the amount of suspended solids in the systems’ cooling oil was too great, inducing fouling and failure. Scheduling the cleaning added complexity as the copper wire manufacturer could only shut down one of the seven wire line systems at a time and only one wire line system could be shut down per week.  

Project Solution

Action Environmental proposed a work plan that offered a cost effective recycling method for the client’s waste water and copper sludge, as well as a schedule accommodating the system shut down restrictions. The recycling method saved the client money on disposal costs. The tank cleaning project was broken into three different segments, with increased or decreased manpower and equipment to facilitate scheduling restrictions and offer a cost effective approach.

The tank cleaning projects included the following:

  • Performed required safety protocol with the client to ensure safety while working with equipment.
  • Used a liquid vacuum truck with petroleum hoses to extract fluid (coolant and cutting oil) from ten 5,000 gallon tanks.
  • Removed copper sludge with an air mover guzzler vacuum truck connected to a flex hose and transferred the copper sludge into open top 55 gallon drums for metals recycling. Some of the copper sludge had to be removed manually.
  • Pressure washed the tanks with a trailer mounted 5,000 PSI hot water pressure washer, then wiped them down with absorbent wipes.
  • Cleaned an in-ground holding pit.
  • Scraped, pressure washed and wiped down three annealers.

Project Results

Clean tanks allow manufacturers to replace coolant and cutting fluid, resulting in increased production, reduced rework and increased profits.The client was extremely satisfied with Action Environmental's work and is now considering advice to perform tank cleaning bi-annually in order to create less rework and help maintain the integrity of their cooling oil and tooling. 

AL - Alabama | Action Environmental | Environmental | Industrial Services | Manufacturing | Tank Management
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