Cost Benefit Analysis June 2017 - Primas Dry Ice Blasting - Removing Polymers from a Plastics Extruder, Perth, WA.
A packaging company in Perth was struggling with cleaning its large, intricate, multi-story plastic extruders. Production quotas and near constant operation meant that cleaning downtime was difficult to schedule and lost production represented significant opportunity costs for the business. The plant is classified as food grade and as such the ability to clean using chemicals was limited. The presence of sensitive manufacturing equipment adjacent to the machines ruled out cleaning with water or secondary media.
The company’s manufacturing process caused small amounts of overspray which led to the extruder arms, cages and rollers becoming contaminated with plastic polymer. As this contamination increases over time the company’s Production and Quality Managers record significant decreases in production and marked increases in defects and waste. The Managers also notice frustration among machine operators as the extruders become increasingly difficult to operate efficiently and effectively.
After initial discussions the company recognised the value dry ice blasting could provide but were reluctant to proceed given budgetary constraints. Primas Dry Ice Blasting provided a solution by producing a simple cost benefit analysis so the company could clearly determine whether using dry ice cleaning would be a financially prudent decision.
AN EXAMPLE FROM THE COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS
The analysis identified production downtime cost as a key metric. Here, for example, each machine produces approximately $20,000 worth of product per day. To clean each machine by hand using solvents usually took the maintenance team five days. This downtime resulted in lost production valued at $100,000. Primas Dry Ice Blasting estimated that it would take one day to clean a machine which would result in a production downtime saving of $80,000.
The cost benefit analysis clearly identified that by using Primas Dry Ice Blasting the company could significantly reduce production downtime costs and eliminate a range of risks attached to cleaning the machines by hand. After receiving instructions from the company, Primas Dry Ice Blasting cleaned one machine in a day as per its estimation. Subsequent to this, the company confirmed that the dry ice cleaning had also improved production output and decreased defects.