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Oil & grease is the lifeline of a manufacturing industry as the entire production line’s efficiency depends on it. But, post use, its residue if not cleaned properly can contaminate the whole premise, a nightmare for the workers at the shop floor. Manufacturing facilities must address the issue separately with required combination of chemicals and machines. Ramesh Kanna, Sr. Manager (Marketing)-Sealed Air on oil & Grease treatment in manufacturing Industries…

In order to accomplish a lasting result, oil stains must be treated under specialized cleaning task with a proper understanding about the floor to be cleaned, its limitations, type of soil, etc. Mineral oils form almost 90% of industrial stains and the rest are petroleum additives. While in automobile industries, epoxy floor is laid to minimize the oil stain penetration, in other industries, it may vary from mat finished vitrified tiles to acid resistant tiles or polished specialty concrete to plain cement concrete. Other than Epoxy, almost all other floors have high levels of porousness leading to staining due to oil spillage. If the floor is highly porous, not just chemical but also a suitable mechanized cleaning option has to be included in the cleaning programme to optimize the cleaning spend.

Many industries use soap solutions for floor cleaning. These can perform cleaning but in a limited way only. Soap oils leave a film on the floor which will make the surface look even worse, despite repeated cleanings. Detergents, primarily surfactants produced easily from petrochemicals, oxidizers or alkalis can also be used for the purpose. They lower the surface tension of water, essentially making it ‘wetter’ so that it is less likely to stick to itself and more likely to interact with oil and grease. Detergents do not leave a film/residue (when used as per manufacturer’s. recommendation) and can sequester the minerals in the hard water suitably. To give a desirable cleaning results, some of the Diversey products like Taski Spiral, Taski Spiral HD, Taski R20 stripper, etc are designed after detailed research to suit industrial floors and work very well to provide an appreciably lasting result both in manual and mechanized cleaning forms.”

As mentioned, using generic cleaning products will only give temporary results. In the long run, they spoil the surface and may lead to the floor being replaced prematurely. The cleaning product must be designed to clean dirt, grease and scuff marks from hard floor surfaces. It must be suitable for use on surfaces such as tile, concrete, slate and linoleum leaving no residue behind. Using a hyper concentrated product ensures that one would not pay for water but only for the cleaning agent, thus ensuring savings in both short and long run. While choosing chemicals, one should determine what is the desired level of cleaning and at what cost– both actual cost and opportunity cost. On an average, by shifting to an industrial grade floor cleaner, one can expect 20-30% savings in labour, capital investment and subsequent machines consumables and cleaning agents, put together. And it is always recommended to see any cleaning spend in totality and not in isolation.


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