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RE: Solvent Alternative

I don't have an alternative solvent for you. I have, though, been down this
same road in the tobacco industry and in the rubber tire making industry.
The problem is keeping grease and oil out of the product during
manufacturing. Specifically, keeping the grease and oil from falling from
the conveyors onto the product. The best way I have found, and it is
revolutionary, is to change your thinking about greasing the equipment.
Let's limit it to conveyer bearings for the moment. In many factories
conveyer bearings are greased on a time schedule that someone made up, base
more on voodoo rather than on actual need. Plus the greasing is done by the
lowest person in the maintenance department since it is believed the job
takes no brains. The time period may be something like weekly or monthly,
when in fact the equipment may be able to go years with out being re-grease.
Modern bearings are tremendously more accurate than they were 30-40 years
ago so they last much longer. In addition, modern greases last much much
longer than they did 30-40 years ago. In the short term extend the re-grease
time period by a factor of ten and let the greasing be done by a top
mechanic who was involved in the making of this drastic procedure change and
who will keep an eye on the bearings and make adjustments to the degrease
frequency as the situation warrants. In the long term, change out the
bearings to use only sealed bearings that have no provisions for
re-greasing. Change the maintenance program to one that checks the bearings
to determine when one must be replaced. I have seen sealed bearings last
5-10 years in 24 hour per day service. No grease means not grease stain
problem. It is hard to sell this maintenance program to some maintenance
departments. But it can be done. Hope this helps.    

Rudy Moehrbach
Waste Reduction Resource Center
1639 Mail Service Center
Raleigh NC 27699-1699
Tel 1-800-476-8686
Fax 919-715-1612
Web Site http://wrrc.p2pays.org

-----Original Message-----
From: Bonnie Lawrence [mailto:LAWRENCB@bflo.co.erie.ny.us]
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2001 11:47 AM
To: p2tech@great-lakes.net
Subject: Solvent Alternative

I am working with a facility that manufactures conveyor belts - weaves the
belts from polyester, nylon, or cotton; coats the belts with PVC or silicon;
and cuts them to size due to inconsistent shrinkage during the heated
coating process.  They currently use M.C. - 250 (a blend of methylene
chloride and perchloroethylene) to spot clean grease and smudges off of
their woven fabric as they inspect it before coating it or sending it out
uncoated.   They have already significantly decreased their use of this
solvent by not cleaning off smudges of grease that are being coated with a
dark color, and improving the looms and worker practices to prevent the
grease from getting on the fabric.   

They are seeking an alternative solvent.  However, they have several
requirements.  First, because the belts are thousands of feet long, they
need something that will dry (volatilize) quickly before it is rolled up.
Second, they need something that is good at removing grease.  Third, the
product cannot leave marks on the fabric or interfere with the coating

I would appreciate any ideas that you have.  

Please forgive me if I have not followed any of the rules of etiquette
established for this Listserv.  I am new to p2tech and the web site with the
etiquette policy is down, therefore I did not read it yet.  However, please
note that I have checked SAGE and the p2tech archives.

Thank you.
Bonnie Lange Lawrence
Environmental Project Manager
Erie County Department of Environment and Planning
95 Franklin Street, Room 1077
Buffalo, NY  14202
(716) 858-8560 (phone)
(716) 858-7713 (fax)