Michigan company expands paint-cleaning line
Ferndale, MI— Gage Products,
a supplier of paint-system maintenance and closed-loop recycling
services, is expanding its product offerings for the automotive,
chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
The Detroit-area company plans
a 20 to 30 percent expansion of its patented paint- and sealant-line
cleaning programs within the next year, according to Donald Dixon,
Dixon notes that programs for
cleaning paint lines, as well as lines for circulating sealant
used in the assembly process, have the potential to save automakers
millions of dollars in equipment, operating and warranty costs.
Gage currently has contracts
with major car companies to provide paint- system line-cleaning
services at 30 to 40 North American assembly plants on an average
monthly basis. The company also contracts with a number of automotive
fascia suppliers for paint-system line-cleaning.
Sealant lines require less frequent
cleansing, usually in intervals of two- to three-years. The company
regularly handles 10 to 15 sealant projects per year. In addition,
Gage plans to extend its cost-saving service programs to the chemical
and pharmaceutical industries.
Over the past five years, Gage
has developed a number of patented processes, solvents and acid-based
cleansers used to clean paint and sealant delivery lines. The
company further improved its paint-line cleaning process recently
with a new “post-flush” material and also is developing
a line of acid-based cleansers for special paint-system applications.
Dixon explains that line-cleaning
jobs often require custom solutions, depending on the types of
paint, sealers and lines in use. At the company’s Ferndale
laboratories, chemists analyze the properties of the various materials
involved before recommending a specific blend of cleansers for
Automotive sealant lines present
a special challenge. Rather than clean sealant lines, many automakers
simply replace the lines after five- to eight- years of use. Dixon
points out that line replacement often can be a costly and time-consuming
operation compared to a regular cleansing program. A full line
replacement can range in cost from $50,000 to more than $1,000,000.
Regular maintenance can save an automaker up to up to $800,000
or more over an eight-year period.
He adds that a typical automotive-sealant
system may handle up to 750 tons of sealant per year at average
pressures from 1,500 up to 2,000 pounds per square inch. As old
sealant deposits build up within the lines, the system becomes
less and less efficient to operate.
In addition to providing regular
maintenance service, Gage is working with automakers and paint-system
contractors to prepare and clean new systems prior to production
start-up. The company also recently developed an environmentally
friendly cleaning solution for industrial head-exchange systems.
Gage’s R-300 cleanser for
heat-exchange equipment is environmentally safer than traditional
cleaning formulas that rely on hydrochloric, nitric or sulfuric