While manufacturers have adopted lean culture to minimize waste in their processes, the pretreatment process is often overlooked even though it holds great savings opportunities. It may seem easier to continue going through the motions using chemistry that's working – and view the costs associated with the process as an inevitable part of the equation – rather than hassle with implementing new strategies.
Chemical Method's approach is to gather and analyze data, illuminating areas of improvement. We then implement initiatives to reduce inefficiency and waste across the board, resulting in savings of tens of thousands of dollars for our clients.
Recently, a client who manufactures medium and heavy-duty trucks was discovered to be using far more chemistry than CMI deemed necessary. Chemical Methods alerted the company to their overuse and was enlisted to help reduce chemical usage in the pre-paint process.
Chemical Methods reviewed historical usage and throughput data for their wash process and determined areas of waste in their washer. It was found that the cleaner stage was utilizing freshwater for make-up rather than water from the rinse following the cleaning stage. As a result, chemical Methods worked with their maintenance team to backfill their cleaning stage from the next rinse. "This small change resulted in 25% annual cleaner cost savings", said Amanda Walden, Value Delivery Manager at Chemical Methods. "It is common for organizations to overlook this easy cost savings solution, resulting in significantly more chemical usage than necessary."
Chemical Methods also noticed their washer filters were becoming clogged several times daily and analyzed the media. It was discovered that the client had a bacteria problem, so Chemical Methods recommended and implemented organic growth inhibitor additions made daily on time disbursement. "In this situation, the lost production time coupled with the cost of excessive filter changes significantly impacted our clients' productivity. Utilizing this safe biocide in their final rinse quickly resolved the issue and greatly reduced filter changes," Amanda said.
A simple plumbing change to backfill the cleaner stage with rinse water helped our client significantly reduce their chemical spend. Over the year, they saved roughly $52,000, 25% of their annual chemical spend. From 2019 to 2020, their chemical spend was reduced from $316k to $215k. In addition, the reduction of bacterial growth resulted in fewer filter changes, saving them an additional $55,000 annually.
Chemical Methods strives to illuminate areas of improvement for our clients so they can run lean, efficient operations. We enable our clients to gain insights into their process that would otherwise be unknown, which empowers them to make educated, data-driven decisions concerning the flow of their operation. We are the only chemical supplier you'll meet who wants to sell you less chemistry. Chemical Methods specialties include customized formulations, inventory tracking, employee training, automated wash process management, and data reviews necessary to maximize efficiency improvements.
In this case, our goals were to reduce cleaner usage and operation costs for our client, and we accomplished both. "Typically, when we gain a new client, they become a client for life. Our teams have built strong confidence in the partnership and deep respect for one another. We're excited to continue looking for ways to improve their process for many years to come," Amanda said.
About Chemical Methods
Chemical Methods provides value through continuous improvement – using intelligent automation to gain real-time insights into your pretreatment process and improving quality, reducing costs, and optimizing your operations. Chemical Methods utilizes probes to measure the current state of your pretreatment process, including all KPIs. Each week you'll receive a Snapshot Report that provides a 7-day lookback of your operations performance. Our clients rely on these Snapshots to identify waste and risk then quickly address issues.
Plus, we supply state-of-the-art cleaning pretreatment chemistry, too. Our powerful monitoring technology alerts our team when your chemical inventory is running low so that you can avoid downtime.