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Replacing Trike: improved performance at a lower cost.

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By switching to 3M™ Novec™ 71DE Engineered Fluid, BOC have improved health and safety, and reduced annual cleaning costs by up to 60%.

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    When used oxygen cylinders are returned to BOC, an industrial, medical and special gases provider, it’s imperative that any existing valve residue is removed and with it the risk of contamination. The new, automated cleaning process utilises 3M™ Novec™ 71DE Engineered Fluid with an ultrasonic vapour cleaning unit supplied by D&S Ultra Clean Ltd. The result is highly effective cleaning of all component parts. The new process sees a traditional Trichloroethylene (Trike) operation replaced by a more environmentally friendly bath system which is healthier for operatives, makes for cleaner cylinders and lowers lifecycle costs.

    The switch from Trike is important since Trike is highlighted under the REACH regulations as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC), and following a sunset date of April 2016, unauthorised use of Trike is now banned.

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New cleaning regime satisfies all requirements

The new solution satisfies all four elements of BOC’s safety, health, environmental and quality – SHEQ – cleaning agenda. It is a productive alternative to Trichloroethylene (Trike) cleaning, and crucially, the new system eliminates the need for operatives to undergo health monitoring. Since its launch it has been classed as best practice for BOC UK and Ireland and The Linde Group around the world.

Prior to making the switch, BOC quality analysts worked with 3M and D&S Ultra-Clean Ltd to conduct a thorough trial cleaning process which included repeated testing of contaminated cylinders, an in-depth emission monitoring study and toxicity reports. Novec 71DE fluid was selected for its strong environmental profile. It is based on a segregated hydrofluorether (HFE) formulation that has low Global Warming Potential, is non-ozone depleting and does not contain any hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) or hazardous air pollutants (HAPs).

“The new process is much healthier all round – for employees and the environment. In addition, while cost was not the primary driver for change, BOC has accrued significant savings since making the switch. As well as reducing vapour loss, it consumes a lot less energy and, in its first nine months of operation, used just over 30kg of Novec 71DE fluid compared to an estimated 300kg of Trike. It is also operationally efficient. The equipment requires less cooling time which, in turn, enables faster throughput. Automating the process reduces risk of human error.”
WAYNE DREW
Maintenance Foreman at BOC

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