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The Plating and Coating Industries Technology Magazine
A quality surface finish begins with a thorough parts
washing process.
July/August 2011
Vol. 109
No. 5
Technically Speaking
FAQs About Ultrasonic Systems
Thermal Aging of Hard Gold Deposits
Cleaning Times
Aerosol-Dispensed CleanersPart III
Case Study
eOx Economic: A Greener,
Cleaning Chemistry
Plater's Profile:
Dixie Industrial Finishing

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you what no other coating event can.
Technically Speaking
19 Thermal Aging of Technical Hard Gold
24 Key Guidelines Pertaining to Ultrasonic
Equipment and Performance
Business Spotlight
11 Short-Term U.S. Manufacturing Outlook
Platers Profile
14 Dixie Industrial Finishing Strives for
Operational Efficiency
Case Study
26 RPM Technologys eOx Economic Cleaner
Works Wonders for Architectural Panel and
Aluminum Extrusion Finishing Operation
3 Tuckers Take
The Good Doctors Not-So-Good Economic Prognosis
28 Cleaning Times
Aerosol-Dispensed Cleaners and Cleaning, Part III
33 Adhesion & Bonding
The Evolution of Bio-Based Green Solvents
37 Guest ColumnRobert Adams
Dont Overestimate the China Threat
39 Quality ControlLeslie Flott
Who is Ultimately Responsible for Quality Control?
41 Sherwood on Management
To Be, Or Not to Be, In Business
4 News & Briefs
42 Product Showcase: Cleaning & Surface Prep
45 Finishers Directory: Architectural Specialists
46 Classifieds
47 Calendar of Events
48 Advertisers Index
unker down. Were in for a long
period of stagnation. That was
the admonition of Dr. Ken Mayland,
president of Pepper Pike, Ohio-
based Clearview Economics, in his
closing keynote presentation deliv-
ered at SUR/FIN 2011 in Rosemont,
Ill., back in June. In sharp contrast to
his more sanguine forecasts offered
at SUR/FIN 2009
and 2010, respective-
ly, the renown busi-
ness economist
sounded a more cau-
tionary note regard-
ing the state of the
recovery in general and, more specif-
ically, job creation in the United
Following are a few low-lights
from Dr. Maylands presentation:
Subpar employment growth. The
U.S. economy generated only 54,000
jobs in May, withfor the first time
since the recovery beganmanufac-
turing employment trending down-
ward (off by 5,000 during the
month). Mays job report was down
dramatically from April, which
showed payrolls increasing by
244,000. Junes numbers were even
worse, as the economy eked out a
mere 18,000 new positions.
We were cruising along, and then
things started to slow down, Dr.
Mayland said. We have been pro-
ducing private sector jobs for more
than a yearjust not cyclically what
were used to. At this juncture of the
recovery, job growth should be in the
vicinity of 400,000. Were coming up
way short.
Lack of overall confidence. The lack-
luster employment numbers are
indicative of skittishness among
businesses. In truth, many compa-
nies have simply learned to do more
with less. Employers say the cuts
they made at the height of the down-
turn were just too painful, Dr.
Mayland surmised. Companies are
gun-shy about hiring due to the
swings from
Stagnation in wage
growth. Consumer
spendingabout 70%
of GDPgot off to a
slow start in the second quarter,
with the prospects for Q3 appearing
equally bleak. Its the worst con-
sumer spending growth seen in 60
years, Dr. Mayland said. Stagnant
wages are having a direct impact on
consumer spending. At the same
time, inflation has gobbled up even
nominal increases in wage growth.
Housing: A drag on the economy.
With housing starts down year over
year in three out of four regions,
units under construction off 0.9%
in April, and lingering issues with
foreclosures, the lumbering housing
sector remains a major concern.
I just dont see the spark thats
going to give the economy the boost
we need, Dr. Mayland flatly told
attendees. The cyclical push from
inventory rebuilding has run its
course, the momentum of business
has changed, and were now entering
the malaise.
No sugar on this one, folks.
The Good Doctors Not-So-Good
Economic Prognosis
July/August 2011
Volume 109 - Number 5
Greg Valero
Reginald Tucker
Publisher Emeritus
Eugene B. Nadel
Art Director - Production Manager
Susan Canalizo-Baruch
Advertising Sales Managers
Midwest/West Coast
Arnie Hoffman
Ph: (847) 559-0909
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Marketing/Circulation Manager
Laure Ballu
Metal Finishing
360 Park Avenue South
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(212) 633-3100
FAX: (212) 462-1915
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metal finishing
See Business Spotlight
in this issue for additional
perspectives. July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 3
Metal Finishing magazine expands
its Ask the Expert roster with the
addition of Bob Farrell, technical
director at Hubbard-Hall, Inc.,
based in Waterbury, Conn. Farrell is
knowledgeable in a variety of areas
related to parts cleaning, including
product development and technical
service in cleaners, mass finishing,
metal coloring and corrosion
inhibitors, with a particular focus on
the development of greener indus-
trial cleaner formulations. Submit
your questions to Bob online at
MacDermid is pleased to announce
the promotion of Gary Sikora to NA
Product Manager, Anti-Corrosion
Coatings. Sikora has worked within
the metal finishing industry for 30
years, nine of which were with
MacDermid. For more information,
please visit
Enthone recently announced several
additions to its staff. Henri Sep has
been appointed director of market-
ing, performance coatingsEurope;
Jonathan Timms has been named
director of marketing, performance
coatingsAsia; and Robert Haskins
was appointed senior vice president
and regional managing director
Sep will lead the Enthone
European marketing team in deliver-
ing industry-centric coating solu-
tions to OEMs, applicators and job
shops that approve, specify and use
Enthone wear-resistant, corrosion
protection, and decorative coatings
for automotive, plumbing and build-
ing, industrial equipment, energy,
jewelry, fashion, and general surface
finishing applications. Working with
Enthone industry and product man-
agement, he will partner with the
companys sales and R&D teams to
create customer value.
Prior to joining Enthone, Sep was
with Akzo Nobel, a worldwide
paints and specialty chemicals com-
pany, where he was responsible for
the direction of OEM automotive
approvals and related marketing
Timms, meanwhile, will lead the
Enthone Asia Performance Coatings
marketing team in delivering indus-
try-centric coating solutions. He
comes to Enthone with more than 20
years of surface finishing chemical
and equipment experience in both
Asia and Europe. Prior to joining
Enthone, he was the European busi-
ness manager of Process Automation
International (PAL).
Haskins, prior to re-joining
Enthone, was the president of Isola,
Asia Pacific. His career marks more
than two decades of electronics
industry expertise that has included a
broad range of executive positions in
sales, marketing and general manage-
ment at Cookson Electronics Alpha,
Enthone, and Polyclad businesses.
Haskins formerly worked with
Polyclad Laminates from 1996 to
2006. In 2002, he was promoted to
vice president and managing direc-
tor, Polyclad Asia, which also includ-
ed the sales and service of Enthone
PWB chemistry. During his tenure,
annual sales increased more than 36
percent. In 2006, with the purchase
of Polyclad by Isola Group S.A.R.L,
Haskins became president of Isola
Asia Pacific. A member of Enthones
global executive management team,
Haskins reports directly to Steven
Corbett, CEO of Cookson
The Fabricators & Manufacturers
Association, Intl. (FMA) has
appointed Edward Youdell, group
publisher of FMA
Communications, Inc., as president
and CEO. He will replace Gerald
Shankel, effective Oct. 1.
FMA has made terrific progress
under Jerrys leadership during the
past eight-and-a-half years, said
Thomas Nederpel, chair of the FMA
board of directors. He played a vital
role in the development of the strate-
gic plan that guides the association,
and he as strengthened our gover-
nance, our boards and staff commit-
ment to achieving FMAs mission
and goals.
Youdell has served as group pub-
lisher of FMAs publishing affiliate
since early 2007. The organization
said this is the next step in a compre-
hensive planning process initiated
more than a year ago by Shankel with
the executive committee of the FMA
board to ensure a thoughtful, proac-
tive leadership succession plan.
PPG Industries recently presented
Excellent Supplier Awards to eight of
its partners in recognition of superi-
or performance in 2009.
The winners were as follows:
Adecco USA Inc., (Melville, N.Y.), a
supplier of temporary services to
PPGs automotive, architectural,
automotive refinish and industrial
coatings businesses in the United
Clariant S.A. (Sao Paulo, Brazil), a
producer of emulsion resin that
supplies products to PPGs architec-
tural coatings business in South
Crown Coal & Coke Co.,
(Pittsburgh, Pa.), which provides
coal to PPGs chlor-alkali and deriv-
atives facility in Natrium, W.Va.
Fort Dearborn Co., (Fountain Inn,
S.C.), which provides product labels
4 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011 July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 5
Seppic Polychem Business,
Europe, a Paris-based provider of
polyols to PPGs automotive and
industrial coatings businesses in
Steve Lampe, PPG vice president,
purchasing and distribution, praised
the performance of the award-win-
ning suppliers. Their products, serv-
ices, innovation and overall commer-
cial value in 2009 were outstanding,
he said. We consider them invalu-
able business partners who provide a
significant competitive advantage to
Award criteria included product
quality, delivery, documentation,
innovation, responsiveness, continu-
ous improvement and participation
in PPGs Supplier Added Value
Effort ($AVE) program.
For more information, please visit
Umut Tosun, application technolo-
gy manager at ZESTRON, provider of
high precision cleaning products and
and related services to PPGs archi-
tectural coatings business in North
WW Grainger, (Lake Forest, Ill.),
industrial and safety suppliers to
PPGs North American automotive,
architectural, automotive refinish
and industrial coatings businesses
as well as its chlor-alkali and deriva-
tives business.
Industrial Distribution Group
(Belmont, N.C.), which provides
industrial supplies and integrated
supply services to PPGs aerospace
and fiber glass businesses in the
United States.
Pacific Industrial Contractors,
Inc. (Fresno, Calif.), an on-site con-
tractor services provider to PPGs
performance glazings facility in
services for the electronics manufac-
turing industry, was awarded Best
of Conference for his presentation,
Fluid Flow Mechanics: Key to Low
Standoff Cleaning at the SMTAs
SE Asia Technical Conference held in
Penang, Malaysia, May 1920.
This is the second industry recog-
nition ZESTRON has received with-
in a few weeks. At the end of May,
ZESTRON North Asias Process
Engineer Jerry Ji was awarded the
Best Paper of Technology
Conference One (CE11) for his pres-
entation of the technical study titled
pH-Neutral vs. Alkaline Cleaning
Agents at the SMTA China East
Technical Conference during NEP-
CON Shanghai.
This second industry award
demonstrates that ZESTRONs in-
depth focus on research and develop-
ment meets current industry
demands, said Dr. Harald Wack,
president of ZESTRON worldwide.
As an R&D driven company, we plan
to further expand our research in
cleaning technologies to ensure that
For more information, contact us at:
MacDermid, Inc.
245 Freight St., Waterbury, CT 06702
203.575.5719 |
Creating Value
Throughout The Supply Chain
the Top 10 Most Influential People
in the industrial coatings industry.
We are grateful to our customers
who supported our nomination,
said Gordon Tindle, vice president,
Enthone Asia Performance Coatings.
This recognition demonstrates and
reinforces our commitment to creat-
ing customer value by providing
applications expertise and technolo-
gy that meet and exceed industry
Tsang, who was previously a
Cookson Electronics Presidents
Awards recipient for her customer
focus, operational excellence, and
technical knowledge, called being
acknowledged by Enthones cus-
tomers and industry peers both an
honor and humbling. It is a truly a
milestone and highlight of my career
which I will always cherish, she said. is one of the leading,
business-to-business electronics
commerce services in the Peoples
Republic of China. It launched the
Top 10 Enterprises Awards in 2008, a
program that aims to reward the
people and companies that have
made significant contribution to
Chinese industrial development and
have demonstrated outstanding
brand influence.
our customers always remain one
step ahead of their most intricate
cleaning challenges.
For more information, visit
Enthone, a business of Cookson
Electronics, was the recipient of two
Top Ten awards at the 5th Annual
China Enterprises Awards organized
by Specifically, Enthone
was recognized as a Top 10
International Electroplating Brand,
and Amy Tsang, Enthone Asia
Technical DirectorPerformance
Coatings, was recognized as one of
Several individuals representing vari-
ous sectors of the surface finishing
industry were honored for their con-
tributions during a special ceremony
at SUR/FIN 2011 in Rosemont, Ill..
The award recipients were as fol-
Silvio Taormina Award
John Lindstedt, Artistic Plating
Company, Inc.
Presidential Award
Steve Smith, Process Technology
August P. Munning Award
Michael Siegmund, MacDermid,
Scientific Achievement Award
Patrick Benaben, Ecole Nationale
Superieure des Mines de Saint-
Award of Special Recognition
Cheryl Clark, NASF Director of
Awards of Merit
Waasy Boddison, American Plating
Power, LLC
Nicholas Corriere, Hawkins
Surface Finishing Group
Patrick Gleason, Microfinish IPC,
James Lindsay, Editor, Plating &
Surface Finishing
Keith Legg, Rowan Technology
Dan Meyers, Master Finish
David Norwine, Norwine
Also at SUR/FIN, Enthone
announced the winner of a tablet
computer at its booth on the show
floor. The winnerHanie Miri, vice
president of engineering, Precision
Plating Companywas drawn from
those who participated in an enGage
process monitoring and quality
assurance demonstration held at the
Enthone exhibit. enGage offers users
24/7 total process monitoring and
automatic quality assurance. The
result is consistency, reliability,
Amy Tsang, Enthone Asia Technical Director
Performance Coatings, was recently recognized
as one of the Top 10 Most Influential People
in the industrial coatings industry by
6 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011 July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 7
Instruments GmbH. It confirms
our belief that SPECTRO MS repre-
sents a breakthrough that changes
ICP mass spectrometry forever.
With its ability to simultaneously
measure the complete elemental
spectrum, we believe the SPECTRO
MS will revolutionize the mass spec-
trometry market the same way the
introduction of optical emission
spectrometers did several years ago.
For more information, e-mail spec-
MacDermid was recently approved
to the Ford WSS M21 P51 specifica-
tion (S-450) for its ZinKlad 1000
finishes. These high-performance
coatings are available through its
global network of approved ZinKlad
applicators, creating value through-
out the OEM supply chain.
For more information, call (203)
Miles Chemical, a full-line chemical
services company with headquarters
in Arleta, Calif., has obtained ISO
9001:2008 certification for its
Anaheim facility. The organization
previously acquired ISO 14001:2004
and OHSAS 18001:2007 certifica-
tions as well as the National
Association of Chemical
Distributors Responsible
Distribution Process (RDP) verifica-
tion, making it the only known
chemical distributor with all four
quality management standards in
ISO 9001:2008 is the International
Organization of Standardizations
certification that verifies an organi-
zation is utilizing an internationally
increased control, transparency and
improved quality control. Visit for more infor-
SPECTRO Analytical Instruments
was named among the winners of the
49th Annual R&D 100 Awards by the
editors of R&D magazine, for the
development of array detection tech-
nology for mass spectrometers along
with the technologys co-develop-
ersPacific Northwest National
Laboratory, the University of
Arizona, Indiana University and
SPECTRO was cited for its role in
the commercialization of the break-
through technology with the intro-
duction of the SPECTRO MS induc-
tively coupled plasma (ICP) mass
spectrometer in March 2010. The
instrument also was awarded a 2010
Silver Pittcon Editors Award for Best
New Product at the 2010 Pittsburgh
Conference and a 2011 Annual
Conference of China Scientific
Instruments (ACCSI) Award as one
of the best new instruments of 2010.
We are extremely pleased to be
selected along with our co-develop-
ers for this prestigious award, said
Manfred Bergsch, managing direc-
tor, SPECTRO Analytical
Linda Wing, Automotive Industry Manager,
Enthone, and Terry Copeland, Senior Vice
President, Americas, announce the lucky winner
of the enGage drawing at SUR/FIN 2011.
MacDermid ZinKlad 1000 finish meets Fords
WSS M21 P51 specification.
Manufacturing Chemists
Industry Specialists
Distributive Excellence
Its like the good
old days again.
We are saving 20 percent on
the cost of chemicals, using
less and getting better results.
Wayne Fish, Vice-President
Southwest Plating, Inc.
Duncan, Oklahoma
Southwest Plating, Inc. made the switch
to Havilands Optima 200 HL Semi-Bright
and HP Performa HD Bright-Nickel Process
in 2010. See the rest of the story at
Manufacturing Chemists
Industry Specialists
Distributive Excellence

Manufacturing Chemists
Industry Specialists
Distributive Excellence

Distributive Excellence

Distributive Excellence

made the s Inc. ting, Southwest Pla
s Optima 200 HL Semi- vilands to Ha
erforma HD Bright-Nickel P and HP P Pe
in 2010. y a See the rest of the stor .ha www

witch made the s
s Optima 200 HL Semi-Bright
erforma HD Bright-Nickel Process
t y aat
(IPA), methyl ethyl ketone (MEK),
methyl propyl ketone (MPK), stod-
dard solvent and other low flash
point, flammable and toxic solvents.
It removes hard-to-clean soils such as
adhesive residues, buffing and pol-
ishing compounds, corrosion-
inhibiting compounds (CICs), cos-
moline, greases, hydraulic fluids, sili-
cones and waxes.
For more information, e-mail aero-
DuPont Powder Coatings, one of
the worlds leading suppliers of tech-
nologically sophisticated powder
coatings systems, has partnered with
Erie, Pa.based Thermoclad
Company in an initiative designed
to support the delivery of top-per-
forming products, service and value
to its customers. The alliance will
allow both companies to sell a new
line of thermoplastic powder coat-
ings, DuPont ABCITE by
Thermoclad, to the U.S. and
Canadian finishing industries.
These thermoplastic powders have
recognized quality management sys-
tem. ISO 14001:2004 is the certifica-
tion for Environmental
Management Systems, and OHSAS
18001 is the Occupational Health
and Safety Advisory Services authen-
tication for Health and Safety
Management Systems. RDP verifica-
tion signifies responsible distribu-
tion practices.
Founded in 1996, Miles Chemicals
services include chemical distribu-
tion, environmental services, chemi-
cal formulating/blending, third-
party warehousing/transportation,
technical support and laboratory
services. For more information about
Miles Chemical, visit www.miles- or call (818) 504-3355.
CMTC, a private, nonprofit corpo-
ration helping Southern California
manufacturers become more com-
petitive, assisted Miles Chemical
obtain all four certifications. For
more information about manufac-
turing certifications, please visit
Petroferm, Inc. is pleased to
announce that RE-ENTRY Prepsolv,
a bio-based cleaning solvent, is
approved by Boeing Commercial in
accordance to Boeings BAC 5750
Solvent Cleaning Specification.
Formulated for manual or immer-
sion cleaning, RE-ENTRY Prepsolv is
selected when a bio-based solvent
with fast drying, excellent solvency
and low surface residue is required.
It is also selected due to its low
volatility or vapor pressure. This
helps control evaporation, which
minimizes solvent consumption and
reduces volatile organic compound
(VOC) emissions.
Products like RE-ENTRY Prepsolv
are replacing traditional solvents,
such as acetone, IPA and MEK,
because they perform as well and
have lower environmental, health
and safety impact, said Bill Breault,
aerospace market manager at
RE-ENTRY Prepsolv is an alterna-
tive to acetone, isopropyl alcohol
been specifically formulated as a
tough, chip-resistant finish provid-
ing excellent corrosion and UV pro-
tection without the need for a
primer. DuPont ABCITE by
Thermoclad can be electrostatically
applied or fluid bed dipped.
ABCITE is based on DuPont
Surlyn resin, the same polymer
used for the tough outer surface of
golf balls. A few end-use applications
include park and playground equip-
ment, fence panels, balustrades, rail-
ings and light poles.
Thermoclad, a leading U.S. design-
er and manufacturer of custom, envi-
ronmentally friendly thermoplastic
powder coatings, offers a full range
of polymer systems to meet cus-
tomer requirements for value and
performance in both fluidized bed
and electrostatic spray applications.
Custom color matching is
Thermoclads specialty.
Nordson Corporation recently
announced the opening of a new
demo center in Dongguan, China,
(Editors note: The following e-mail is in response to Bert
Sherwoods column, Environmental Regulations, Agencies
Are Hurting U.S. Manufacturing, from the January/February
2011 issue of Metal Finishing.)
Stop Whining About Unfair Competition
I put this article away a few months ago because I did not
want to send a nasty-gram that I would regret later. I
pulled the column out today and find that it still concerns
me, so here comes the complaint:
How could you have run that idiotic Sherwood on Management column in the
January/February 2011 issue of Metal Finishing? Dont you (and Mr. Sherwood) know
that that kind of wa-ah, wa-ah, the playing field isnt level! complaining went out
with Lee Iaccoca?
I deal with the environmental regulations that Mr. Sherwood whines about on behalf
of my employer. If reports and recordkeeping needed to comply with air and water
pollution regulations, RCRA hazardous waste rules, and any other program take 10
hours a week, I would be surprised. The answer to global competition woes is not
stumbling back to the Stone Age with the opponents, but applying our technological
advantage to improve profitability within the constraints of what it takes to maintain
a sustainable environment and safer workplace. That is what the customers for our
advanced-technology products want.
Doug Logan
Rightway Fasteners, Inc.
egulatory agencies are hurting
our countrys manufacturing
existence. The national and federal
regulatory agenciesunder the guise
of preventing damage to the envi-
ronmentare promulgating and
enforcing an overwhelming number
of regulations that increase the cost
of producing products. Tragically, a
preponderance of these regulations
is unnecessary and expensive, and
reduces the ability of our producers
to compete against countries that
have minimal regulations.
In too many cases, the motivation
and justification for the regulations
is to keep the regulators employees
at work. Lets name the regulatory
agencies, reports, and rules in
California and United States:
1. Air Quality (Southern
California Air Management
2. Publicly Owned Treatment
3. Fire Dept.
4. Water Board Regional
5. Permit By Rule
6. Storm Water Regional Control
Board (SWRCB)
7. Cal/OSHA Employee
Notification of Exposure and
Medical Records. Emission
Reports. Hazard
Communications Training.
8. Dept. of Toxic Substances and
Control. Closure Plans. Biannual
and Annual Reports.
9. EPA California Regional
10. California Dept. of
Transportation-Reg. Form
11. Underground Storage Tanks
12. Dept. of Health
The list of agencies and sub-agen-
cies could go on, but the aforemen-
tioned list more than proves the
point: Too many regulations and
too many agencies demanding
reports. Whats more, much of it is
unnecessary and redundant.
Further, compliance is both time
consuming and expensive. Finally, it
reduces the ability of our country to
compete in the worldwide manufac-
turing competition.
Trade associations. Instead of focus-
ing on being more competitive in
world manufacturing, too much
time and money is being spent on
compliance. Compare the U.S. effort
in this area to the miniscule amount
spent in China, India, and South
Lobbying government to reduce
the number of environmental regu-
lations governing industry has
become a major part of trade associ-
ation work and, consequently, cost.
Comparatively very little time is
spent on being competitive with for-
eign companies by improving tech-
nology and efficiency.
Using a sports analogy, we have
built a strong defense (against regu-
lations), but lack the offense (inno-
vation) needed to compete on a
worldwide scale. Once the world
leader in advanced technology and
operating efficiency, we are falling
Government agencies.
Environmental-related agencies
have created a life of their own and
have nowgrown beyond their initial-
ly needed protection of the people
through controlling the environ-
ment. They are now preventing the
growth of the companies under their
regulatory umbrellas.
The politicians. Pity the politician
who attempts to reduce the regula-
tory requirements for manufactur-
ing. He, or she, would be immediate-
ly branded by their opponents as
anti-clean environmentnot an easy
obstacle to overcome in the political
What should be done about morato-
riums? All of the related agencies
and their subordinate organizations
should be brought back to political
ground zero by being forced to:
1) evaluate the necessity of exist-
ing regulations froma functional
standpoint. Any regulations and
administrative requirements that
are found to be unnecessary
should be eliminated.
2) halt any further introduction
of new regulations.
Owner/managers. This group
should get technical assistance to
assist in challenging regulations
that cannot be proven to damage
personnel, the public and/or the
environment. Laboratory and com-
puter extrapolation should not be
allowed to restrict appropriate man-
ufacturing procedures.
When you are competing in horse
races and find that a horse that usu-
ally lags way behind has a new train-
er, enhanced food and help from
other trainers, and consequently, is
Regulations, Unfair Competition:
A Double-Edged Sword January/February 2011 I metalfinishing I 41
8 metalfinishing I July/August 2011 July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 9
to our long time existing facilities
in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou
and Suzhou, said Greg Wood, vice
president, Nordson Advanced
Technology Group, Asia. Our busi-
ness serving customers in electron-
ics and related technology end mar-
kets in South China continues to
grow. The Dongguan center allows
us to be closer to these customers
and offer solutions to meet their
dispensing, coating and testing
needs more rapidly.
For more information, please visit
The 3rd Annual Palmetto Technical
Conference will be held October
57, 2011 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. This
years theme is Winning in an Ever-
Changing World Economy.
Sponsored by the Palmetto branch of
NASF/AESF Foundation, it is the
only technical conference taking
that will further the companys
ability to meet the needs of cus-
tomers in its Advanced Technology
Systems operating segment. The
new center will initially be focused
on products and solutions provided
by the Advanced Technology seg-
ments market-leading Nordson
ASYMTEK, Nordson DAGE, and
Nordson YESTECH brands. The
new facility will provide greater
access to equipment demonstra-
tions, application engineering sup-
port, training, sales, and service for
customers in South Chinas
expanding high-tech manufactur-
ing industry.
The new facility in Dongguan
adds to the already high level of
support Nordson currently pro-
vides its customers throughout
China, and is an ideal complement
place in the Southeast this fall. There
will be guest speakers from govern-
ment and industry on a variety of
topics. The informational brochure
is available at For
more information, e-mail Kevin
Helton at
In its September edition, Metal
Finishing magazine will feature a spe-
cial NAI Coating Show Exhibitor
Preview! To be included in this
FREE new product section, NAI
Coating exhibitors should provide
the following: 1) 50-75 word descrip-
tion of what your company plans to
showcase at the event; 2) High-reso-
lution color photo depicting your
products or services; and 3) Booth
number and contact information
Please send your materials via e-
mail directly to Reginald Tucker, edi-
tor, Metal Finishing, at re.tucker@else- Deadline: Friday, Aug. 12.

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o hear some analysts tell it,
theres not much upside on the
horizon for the U.S. economyor, by
extension, the manufacturing sector.
Among the challenges cited: high
unemployment, stagnant wage
growth, lukewarm consumer confi-
dence, and an ailing housing sector
(see Editorial in this issue).
For others, however, the outlook
isnt as hopeless as many would have
you believe. While those who view the
glass as half full do acknowledge
there are real concerns facing the
nation and the economy, they stress
the importance of keeping all thats
happened (and still happening) in the
proper perspectiveparticularly in
this fragile, post-recession economy.
On such observer is Dr. Chris
Kuehl, economic analyst for the
Fabricators & Manufacturers
Association, International (FMA).
Despite the impending doom
many analysts have forecast, he
believes the slowdown is only tempo-
rary and not the start of another
breakdown in the economy.
Admittedly, some of this reaction
is justifiable when one looks at the
numbers released lately, Dr. Kuehl
explained. The housing market is
still skidding, the consumer has
retreated in the face of more infla-
tion threats, and the jobless rate has
worsened. The manufacturing sector
in particular seemed to lose its posi-
tion as the engine of the recovery.
Dr. Kuehl asserts this downturn is
just a blip, citing several reasons why
he believes it wont last:
The impact of inflation and com-
modity pricing. The unexpected
surge in inflation that occurred at
the sart of the year does not repre-
sent an increase in the all-important
core rate that motivates the Fed to
make decisions, but when the real
rate of inflation spikes there is an
almost instant consumer reaction,
when the inflation comes from hikes
in commodity prices, Dr. Kuehl
said. Within days of the start of the
Arab Spring, the price per barrel of
oil had thrust ahead by almost $20,
and the price of gas jumped by $0.70,
he noted. The consumer was fresh
off the memory of 2008 and
assumed that it was only going to get
worse, and the talking heads rein-
forced that perception. The result
was a rapid withdrawal of consumer
confidence, which took a big chunk
out of overall demand.
According to Kuehl, the price of oil
may be heading down soon, with gas
prices already easing a bit. More
importantly, the inflation threat is
not yet manifesting itself in a way
that will shift consumer behavior
permanently, he said. After all, only
the first of the three factors that
beget inflation (hikes in commodity
prices, shifts in the wage structure,
and an overall abundance of money
in the system) has actually become a
factor. In other words, the inflation
pressure felt by the consumer is com-
ing from fuel and food, and there
may be some modest relief on the
way for both of these sectors, Dr.
Kuehl stated. If the consumer
thinks that the threat of much high-
er pricing is not so immediate, they
will likely relax and get back to their
old patterns.
A quicker-than-anticipated global
recovery from the crisis in Japan.
While the flow of parts and supplies
from Japan was interrupted for
many weeks, Kuehl reports that
many Japanese companies that were
impacted are already starting to
recover. Most of those parts will be
flowing soon, and by the end of the
year there will be a return to some
semblance of normal, Dr. Kuehl
A return to pre-recession lending.
Several conditions that led to the
expansion of the recessioni.e.,
Short-Term Manufacturing Outlook:
Moderate Viewpoints Prevail
light July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 11
For much of 2010 and into early 2011, the manufacturing sector was one of the key drivers of job
creation. Since April, however, the momentum has stalled.
strong production base (historically
speaking). Take Southern
California, for example. While the
state of California as a whole has
had its fair share of difficulties
(11.8% unemployment, state budget
woes), some cities are in the midst
of a turnaround.
Just ask manufacturing industry
consultant Michelle Nash-Hoff, who
has a finger on the pulse of the
Southern California market. She
notes that the majority of companies
tighter credit, aversion to capital
investmentare fading, Dr. Kuehl
noted. These improvements, he
believes, will start to show up in the
months ahead.
Observers are a little baffled that
banks and corporations have more
money on hand than they have had
in years, but that cash is not going
anywhere, Kuehl notes. The banks
are sitting on it, in part, to contend
with the wave of rule changes that
stemmed from the Dodd Frank legis-
lation, and partly because they have
returned to their old-school ways.
Slowly but surely, the new system is
getting in place, and banks are inter-
ested again in expanding their busi-
ness through loans. Credit is still far
from loose, but it isnt as tight as it
has been.
At the same time, the business
community is hoarding cash as well,
Dr. Kuehl notes, with companies
uncertain about what they can count
on from the banks and partly
because they are just more cautious.
The need to spend that money is
not pressing as yet, but if the compe-
tition starts to move, or there
appears to be more demand, they will
start to let loose that cash, and the
economy will be stimulated again.
As for the industrial sector, which
has been pulling the economy along
on the strength of expanded exports,
Dr. Kuehl offers this assessment: It
is likely the export demand will
return, although in fact it has not
declined all that much in the past
few months. The big drop has been
in inventory build, and until the con-
sumer gets more aggressive there will
not be a drawdown sufficient to pro-
vide much impetus for the manufac-
turer. As in most other recoveries, the
consumer will hold the key.
While its tempting to paint the
overall manufacturing economy
with a broad brush, its important
that we not overlook whats going
on at the micro level, particularly
those regions of the country with a
in San Diego are seeing a modest
upturn this year, although not quite
as good in the second quarter as the
first quarter. due to normal season-
al slowdowns. Nash-Hoff highlight-
ed several major (and minor) indus-
try clusters, providing a snapshot of
how they are faring these days:
Biotech/Biomedical. San Diego is
home to more than 550 biomedical
companies, and local universities
and research institutions have spun
12 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
Industrial companies are confidently investing in their businessesupgrading
facilities, buying technology, adding staff, they seek to build upon a
period of sustained growth. These are the main findings of Thomas Industrial
Networks newly released Industry Market Barometer (IMB), a survey of
buyers and sellers of industrial products and services.
Nearly half (45%) of the companies that responded reported growth over the
last six months of 2010, with 88% expressing confidence in their future
expansion. The survey reveals a set of specific strategies that fueled this
growth, from customer retention efforts to movement into new markets and
product development. Bolstered by the results of these strategies, respon-
dentsmost of whom represent small and midsize businessesare investing
more in their companies and recruiting talent in anticipation of increased cus-
tomer demand.
Industrial buyers and sellers are busy collaborating in a way that is feeding
and sustaining the sectors growth, which bodes well for the overall econo-
my, said Eileen Markowitz, president, Thomas Industrial Network. Successful
companies are executing strategies that cultivate existing customer relation-
ships and develop new business opportunities.
Respondents priority initiatives so far this year demonstrate an expectation
of increased demand. Their top priorities include increasing production capaci-
ty, adding new lines of products and services, upgrading facilities, and manag-
ing their costs. Their investments map to these strategies; for example, most
are spending on technology, such as software, for areas such as cost manage-
ment. To ratchet up production capacity or develop more products/services,
they are investing in capital equipment.
The companies surveyed are also hiring in anticipation of growth. In fact, 37%
of respondents expanded staff in the first half of 2011. The most common job
openings aligning with their priorities and, more importantly, included skilled
trade workers (43%), line workers (36%), and engineering professionals (35%),
in addition to customer service and sales/marketing staff.
Were excited to see continued growth and investments in the industrial sec-
tor, Markowitz said. The information weve gathered from thousands of
businesses demonstrates that their strategies are paying off. These companies
provide affirmation of a winning formula for industrys future success.
To view and download the full results of the latest IMB Survey, please visit:
organizations within the maritime
sector continue to increase, Nash-
Hoff said.
The only minor industry that is still
in the tank, she notes, is the off-
road vehicle sector. This industry,
Nash-Hoff observes, has never really
recovered from the recession because
the primary customers for these vehi-
cles worked in the real estate and
building industrymarkets that are
still upside down.
Overall, Nash-Hoff reports the
off nearly 200 biotech firms. The
state remains the player to watch in
such fields as genomic medicine and
photosynthetic-algae technology,
which experts say could produce far
more fuel than corn, soy or sugar-
cane can in the same space. San
Diegos biotech cluster employs an
estimated 40,000 people with a $9.1
billion annual impact on the local
Information Technology. San Diego
is home to more than 1,400 software
and computer services companies,
employing 13,963 people. Steady
growth makes the region a leader in
software development, program-
ming, systems integration, and data
Defense. The San Diego region is
home to the largest military concen-
tration in the country. The annual
and indirect economic impact of
defense spending is $18.3 billion,
including more than $4.5 billion in
Communications. More than 850
communications firms thrive in the
San Diego regions established net-
work of support industries, profes-
sional trade organizations, and edu-
cational institutions.
Clean-tech. World-renown research
centers and biotechnical innovation
position San Diego as a leader in
clean technology research and devel-
opment. There are currently more
than 150 clean-tech companies in
San Diego. The city will also be home
to the West Coasts first desaliniza-
tion plant, which, when finished, will
provide 50 million gallons of drink-
ing water to 300,000 San Diegans.
Maritime. The maritime industry in
San Diego County is represented by
nearly 1,000 companies and organi-
zations. The industry continues to
trend upward despite the recession,
as the number of companies and
State of San Diego has lost 90,000
manufacturing jobs in the last 10
years, adding that it will take years
to recoup those positions. But from
her perch on the steering commit-
tee of the San Diego Inventors
Forum, there is a bright spot. The
good news is that the number of
start-up-technology-based compa-
nies has greatly increased this year,
she noted. Each month the meet-
ings are filled to capacity with
inventors and entrepreneurs. July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 13
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Ad reservations date: August 22.
Northeast/East Coast
Dan Ramage, Sales Manager
Operational Efficiency
Monitoring metrics in the pursuit of continuous
improvement is the model for success at
Dixie Industrial Finishing.
If you cant measure it, then you
cant manage it. Thats the driving
philosophy espoused by the folks at
Dixie Industrial Finishing, the
Tucker, Ga.based surface finishing
operation whose dedication to finish
quality and technological innovation
is rivaled only by its relentless focus
on operational management and
maximizing productivity.
Informally referred to by the more
palatable acronym (DIFCO), the
51-year-old Dixie Industrial
Finishing Company has a long-
standing reputation as one of the
largest finishers in the Southeast
U.S. Specializing in zinc plating/elec-
tro-galvanizing, phosphate coating,
and tin platingamong other
processesDIFCOs combination of
large part-size capacity tanks and
reliably automated computer con-
trols facilitates the production of
higher volumes in a shorter time
than most metal finishing facilities
in North America, the company
boasts. All this at competitive price
points not only regionally but glob-
ally as well.
But this is not a tale of grandeur
and scale. (Although, at 175,000
total sq. ft. DIFCO clearly holds its
own.) Rather, its a study in the
uncompromising level of detailed
operational analysis that goes into
virtually every aspect of Dixies busi-
ness. From incorporating just the
right mix of chemicals/additives in
the bath make-up, to the utilization
of water for rinsing vs. other appli-
cations, to the impact of line speed,
etc., each and every activity, process,
system, and asset is measured and
tweaked accord-
ingly. This ensures
the plant is func-
tioning at opti-
mum efficiency
from a manufac-
turing standpoint
but also cost-effec-
tively in terms of
dollars allocated to
materials, person-
nel, handling, and
We scrutinize
every aspect of
these machines,
said Jim Jones,
DIFCOs vice presi-
dent. This is made
possible, he says, via sophisticated
software and programs employed in
generating the various metrics.
(Visual Shop
and other information
processing systems together allow the
data collection. Visual Shop pro-
vides primarily tracking information
related to customers parts, while
other systems generate additional
operational and financial informa-
tion.) All of these systems together
feed into a real-time, activity-based
cost accounting report system that
compiles routine data on usage of
labor and raw materials in produc-
tion terms (per machine cycle, per
amp hour, per sq. ft); generates daily
production reports, i.e., surface area
covered vs. lbs of parts finished;
tracks all inputs and outputs; and
sends reports to key departments
and vendors.
These seemingly endless reams of
information routinely rolled out by
the systems DIFCO employs is sim-
ply mind-blowing. Via the sophisti-
cated software and measurements
utilized, managers and supervisors
can isolate a host of variables,
including: chemical and anode
usage per machine; direct labor
costs per machine cycle; mainte-
nance and technical services time
allocation; water consumption by
specific piece of equipment; and
electricity and gas costs per process
line. Whats more, DIFCO can run
scenarios to see how a potential
new job might impact the bottom
line, changing variables such as
price, volume, and which process
line to utilize, etc. The various met-
rics can then be further represented
as a percentage of sales dollar.
All this allows DIFCOoriginally
ISO-certified in 2002to estimate
profitability, study performance and
efficiencies, manage costs, and even
catch problems quickly. The minuti-
ae of the reporting is a bit much to
take in at first, but when you realize
the bottom-line impact on the busi-
BY REGINALD TUCKER July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 15
4925 South Royal Atlanta Drive, Tucker, GA 30084
Tel.: 800-893-6214 Atlanta Office
Tel: 706-342-2644 Madison Office
Fax: 770-939-8106
Number of employees: 62
Businesses served: Aerospace, Agricultural, Automotive,
Construction, Defense, Heavy Equipment, Electrical
Distribution, Fastener, Outdoor Power Equipment, Material
Handling, Transportaion Equipment
Primary suppliers: Atotech, Heatbath, MacDermid,

Lawn mower parts, caster brackets, and electrical distribution components are just a few examples of the kinds of parts DIFCO can run through at high volumes.
A classic exam-
ple of the tangible
results DIFCO
achieves through
its ongoing self-
examination is the
ongoing reduction
in water usage.
Between 2007 and
2008 DIFCO
reduced water consumption by 39%.
Another eye-opening statistic: In
1998, the company used 36 million
gallons of water in operating its
process lines for an average of 5 gal-
lons of water per sales dollar; by
2010, consumption had been
reduced to 5.2 million gallons for an
average of 0.88 gallons of water per
sales dollar. Additional savings are
achieved by reusing water in non-
critical rinse applications.
Again, according to Henderson, it
all goes back to the core metrics. We
constantly monitor usage to make
sure we use just the right amount of
fresh vs. recycled water in our
processes, he explained. This
allows you to minimize waste and
lower costs. And when youre flush-
ing through 150,000200,000 gal-
lons per week across the operation,
an adjustment here or there can
make a big difference.
DIFCO employs advanced technol-
ogy and analytics to boost produc-
tion efficiency in other areas of its
operation as well, namely its core
plating processes. This is due in large
measure to the fact that the compa-
nys in-house engineers design, fabri-
cate, and install their own lines.
Among the production gains and
improvements accomplished as a
2007Modified load-unload area of
high production process (Rack #5) to
accommodate flexible racking sys-
tem. The combination of redesigned
fixtures and racking area more than
doubled productivity.
2007Designed, constructed and
installed an automated, high-volume
zinc barrel plating process line, with
ness, it all seems well worth the
investment in time, resources, and
Tracking the measurables allows
us to set goals and cascade them
down to all levels of the organiza-
tion, said Chris Henderson,
DIFCOs information manager. We
closely analyze operations, allocate
labor, and structure shifts according-
ly. Were always looking at the vari-
ous facets of the operation and ask-
ing the question, Why?
programmable logic controls (PLC),
and laser positioning for hoist opera-
tion. Boasting multiple process selec-
tions, this linewhich replaced two
older, less-flexible unitsis capable
of churning out 6,000 lbs of product
per hour.
2009Re-engineered plating racks
on one process line (Rack #3) for
higher piece/part population, going
from 60 sq. ft. of surface area to 105
sq. ft. of surface area per cyclea 75%
productivity gain.
20002004Increased capacity on
its rod-plating line by 260%, allowing
DIFCO to be more competitive with
imports and grow its market share.
2010Re-engineered the racking
system of the rod-plating line (Rack
#6) to increase productivity by 20%
over and above the production
increases that were implemented
between 20002004.
For DIFCO, the achievements rep-
resent much more than a list of cele-
bratory milestones. They reflect an
operational mindset that puts the
emphasis on consistently high
acceptance rates. Reject reduction +
cost reduction = efficiency, declared
Jones in one of his signature expres-
sions. The end result, he says, is a
reject rate of work (processed and
shipped to the customer) totaling
less than .001%.
On its own, DIFCOs efficient, activ-
ity-based system serves a model oper-
ation for aligning costs with
resources and output. But at closer
inspection, youll find that theres
16 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011

High-quality, high-volume rack & barrel processing

(5 automatic lines; 4 manual process lines)
Chromating of aluminum
Zinc and tin plating
Manganese and zinc phosphate coating
Trivalent chromating of zinc (clear, yellow, black)
Stainless steel passivation
Large part size capacity tanks
ISO 9001:2008 Certified
DIFCO has the capability to mask parts for selec-
tive processing.
DIFCO believes its very important to provide a
clean, safe work environment for its employees.
Using the right amount of fresh water vs. recy-
cled water is critical to controlling consumption. July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 17
Jones, ensures the water that leaves
its facilities is cleaner than what it
was when it entered the plant.
That green thought process
applies to solid wastes, too. For
instance, DIFCO regularly recycles
cardboard, scrap steel, and contain-
ers such as totes and drums.
Additionally, the company sends
solid by-product (sludge cake) to an
off-site location for stabilization and
neutralization. Typically, Henderson
notes, 70% of waste is reduced to 30%
waste after drying sludge.
In recognition of DIFCOs empha-
sis on green, the United States
Environmental Protection Agency
in 2003 identified the company as
the model for an international trade
tour to America. As part of this
event, DIFCO hosted a delegation
of Vietnamese government repre-
sentatives studying the manage-
ment of hazardous waste generated
at small and large facilities in the
steel industry. The company also
hosted a tour for Perus vice presi-
dent, who is involved in manufac-
also a symbiotic relationship
between the companys approach to
production and its overall environ-
mental philosophy. The technologi-
cal innovations DIFCO employs in
its plating and finishing methods are
the same advances utilized in facets
of the business pertaining specifical-
ly to environmental protection and
resource conservation.
Case in point: During a severe
drought situation back in 2007, the
local governors office requested a
voluntary 10% reduction in water
use by commercial industries. After
DIFCO reviewed its processes, it
enacted a water-reduction use pro-
gram that exceeded that amount by
five-fold. This was accomplished in
part by: using flow restrictors; pro-
gramming solenoids to open only
when the hoist on the equipment
was operating; regulating frequency
of rinse tank dumps; and modifying
plumbing infrastructure. Several
years prior, DIFCO installed a high-
tech micro-filtration wastewater
treatment system that, according to
turing in that country.
As any finisher or chemical suppli-
er will tell you, environmental com-
pliance comes at a premium, but for
Dixie Industrial Finishing it is well
worth the expense. We made the
investment so our customers would
have a great sense of security and so
we could sleep at night, Jones said.
Theres also a sense of fulfillment
that youre doing the right thing.
The same can be said for the

If theres one thing Jim Jones is

perhaps more adamant about than
quality plating, its advocacy on
behalf of the surface finishing
Jones is a perennial fixture in
Washington, D.C., a function
of membership in a variety of
manufacturer-oriented groups. He
presently sits on the boards of the
NASF, the Precision Metalformers
Association, and the Georgia
Association of Manufacturers. In
2002, Jones testified before the
House Small Business Committee,
and in 2009 testified to the effect
the automotive industry had on
other manufacturing sectors.
Dixie Industrial Finishing has also
hosted congressional tours of its
facility over the years, welcoming
Congresswoman Denise Majette of
the 4th District in Georgia. In
addition, DIFCO regularly partici-
pates in the NASF Annual
Washington Forum in D.C. For its
advocacy efforts, DIFCO earned the
2004 Pete Grey Award from the
Georgia Industry Association.
Chris Henderson (left), Information manager,
and Jim Jones, vice president, review reports
from one of Dixie Industrial Finishings rack
Crunching the numbers. Tracking the measur-
ables allows us to set goals and cascade them
down to all levels of the organization,
Henderson says.
DIFCO increased capacity on its rod-plating line
by 260%, allowing the company to be more
competitive with imports and grow its market
Dixie Industrial Finishing operates five automat-
ed plating lines, including large part size capaci-
ty tanks (13 feet long X 5 feet deep X 34 inches
wide) that allow efficient processing of parts.
Jim Jones, DIFCO vice
president, presents the
2004 NAM Voting
Excellence Award to
Johnny Isakson (right),
former Representative
(R6th District). Sen.
Isaksons NAM voting
record was an exemplary
100% in the 110th
Congress. In addition,
Sen. Isakson worked
closely with NASF on the
Chrome PEL issue.
lengths DIFCO goes through to
ensure the overall safety, health,
and well being of its employees. In
illustration, Jones recalled the story
about how an inspector toured his
facilities during a routine ISO
audit. While Jones was eager to take
the visitor straight to the plant, the
inspector first asked to see some of
the common areas (bathrooms,
kitchen, etc.). If you are taking care
of those areas for your employees,
the inspector told Jones, then its
likely you are also taking care of the
operational aspects of your busi-
ness. And he was right. DIFCOs
workmans compensation modifi-
cation rate was 0.84 for 2010 (and
falling). Its also worth noting that
the average term of employment for
all employees at Dixie Industrial
Finishing is 13
2 years.
Attributes such as these helped
DIFCO earn the 2005 Manufacturer
of the Year Award (Small
Manufacturer Category). For those
who nominated the company for the
coveted honor, the justification is
abundantly clear.
Dixie Industrial Finishing is rec-
ognized as a valued and respected
presence in DeKalb County, stated
Dr. Robbin Hoffman, president of
DeKalb Technical College. Its cus-
tomer base includes small, medium,
and large manufacturers who, in
turn, supply parts to large automo-
tive manufacturers and other global
companies. Many large companies
use the parts plated by Dixie
Industrial Finishing in the produc-
tion of goods distributed through-
out America. Dixie consistently
proves to be a leader in corporate
responsibility, economic impact, and
workforce excellence.
In addition, Dr. Hoffman notes,
DIFCO boasts a multi-national,
multi-cultural workforce and pro-
vides company-funded English as a
Second Language (ESL) classes to
more than 20% of its employees.
The company offers in-house com-
puter software and keyboard train-
ing for its employees, encourages
them to attend job skill seminars,
and offers reimbursement for
tuition expenses. As a local busi-
ness leader, Dixie is an advocate for
education and sees the need for
technical training provided by
DeKalb Technical College, Dr.
Hoffman added. Dixie Industrial
Finishing Company genuinely cares
about its workforce family and
Good corporate citizenship, tech-
nical wizardry, green focus, and
analytical prowess aside, DIFCOs
success and continuous improve-
ment essentially hinges on a gen-
uine team spirit and the fact that
all employeesfrom production
line operators, to management, to
porterstake a strong sense of
pride and ownership in the compa-
ny. On one end, supervisors are con-
tinually challenged to boost quality
and productivity, while perform-
ance-based incentives aim to moti-
vate and reward line workers. At the
end of the day, everyone comes
together to achieve a common goal:
operational excellence.
Jones, in another of his parabolic
catch phrases, smiles and states
simply: All of us are smarter than
one of us.
1. Visual Shop from Cornerstone
Systems, Inc. (CSI) is a customiz-
able software system that allows
finishers to measure a variety of
variables and perform different
functions, including: production
optimization, quality assurance,
cost/benefit assessment, quota-
tions, order invoicing and track-
ing, among other aspects.
18 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
The quality is in the finish, says Jim Jones, vice
president, Dixie Industrial Finishing.
DIFCO engineers design, fabricate and install
their own equipment, including this line dedi-
cated to processing bulk parts. July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 19
Thermal Aging of Technical
Hard Gold Electrodeposits
lectrolytic or electroless gold
deposition is used to provide a
long life and reliable conductive and
corrosion-resistant final coating. [1-
5]. However, even gold has its limits
when it comes to stability. The elec-
troplating process does not establish
thermal equilibrium, leaving metal
coatings prone to the development
of defects, dislocations and grain
boundaries. These crystalline struc-
tural defects that are mainly deter-
mined by interdiffusion processes
form the starting point of the aging
effect [6-9]. Diffusion can occur
above defects or grain boundaries
and lead to intermetallic phases.
In addition to this, most technical
gold processes contain alloying met-
als, such as cobalt, nickel or iron,
together with other inorganic and
organic species (e.g. cyanide and
potassium) which co-deposit within
the gold layer and subsequently alter
the crystalline structure.
Heat treatment of electrodeposit-
ed gold coatings may induce recrys-
tallization. This recrystallization
process may also cause increased
pore formation, which may signifi-
cantly influence contact resistance
This paper describes the recrystal-
lization effect resulting from heat
treatment of various types of hard
gold electrodeposits. Thermal
aging and its dramatic effect on
contact resistance properties will
also be examined as well as ways to
achieve stability after severe heat
The following studies utilized the
three commercially available types of
alloy hardened acid gold processes
that have been designed for high-
speed applications and selective dep-
osition at high current densities:
cobalt (Aurocor HSC*)
nickel (Aurocor HSN*)
iron (Aurocor HSF*)
Unless indicated, a gold content of
8 g/l was used for all studies. Brass
and bronze substrates were used, and
the standard process sequence is
highlighted in Figure 1. Unless indi-
cated, deposits comprised 1.5 m
nickel (with additive) with a final
coating of either 0.3 m or 0.8 m
Contact resistance measurement
as a means to monitor aging behav-
iors. Comprehensive measurements
have been carried out to test various
thermal aging behaviors and their
effect on contact resistance proper-
ties. Testing was carried out in accor-
dance with the EN IEC 512 Standard
[17] (Measuring parameters: I = 10
mA, U = 20 mV, F = 5 cN). For each
0.3 m gold test deposit, the mean of
30 individual measurements was
used [17].
Results show excellent contact
resistance stability over a wide cur-
rent density range with low as-plat-
ed values of 2-2.8 mOhm for all
deposit types. As mentioned previ-
ously, various thermal treatments
were investigated. To simulate the
thermal behavior of reflow condi-
tions, test deposits were 5x cyclic
heat treated at 280C for 2 minutes.
Again, little significant increase of
contact resistance was observed, irre-
spective of hard gold type (see Figure
A further investigation at 300C
for 5 minutes shows a slight increase
in contact resistance for Au/Ni and
*Atotech Deutschland GmbH, **Atotech U.K.
Figure 1. Process sequence: Nickel and alloy gold dep-
osition on bronze and brass base
Figure 2. Contact resistance vs. current density after
cyclic thermal aging (280C/ 5 x 2 minutes) for all
three types of gold electrodeposit.
Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)
and Electron Energy Loss
Spectroscopy (EELS). Results indi-
cated that at a current density of 30
, deposits from the bench-
mark exhibit a significantly higher
proportion of carbon, nitrogen and
potassium compared to that present
in Aurocor HSC. These results sug-
gest differences in cobalt incorpora-
tion and electrodeposition mecha-
nisms for the two gold processes. The
benchmark deposit showed an
increased incorporation of cyanide.
This incorporation mechanism is
dependent on the applied current
density since below 30 A/dm
, no
significant change to contact resist-
ance was observed. At low current
density, the benchmark product
could, for example, result in the sim-
ple co-deposition of Au and Co,
while at high current density
organometallic complexes such as
potassium gold cyanide may also be
incorporated. In practice, probably
both mechanisms will occur at a
varying ratio over the entire current
density range. This increased materi-
al incorporation will lead to an in-
creased number of defects within the
gold deposit, resulting in a negative
effect on porosity, diffusion behavior
and thermal stability.
Comprehensive studies have been
carried out to investigate morpholo-
gy changes during the heat treat-
ment of gold electrodeposits.
Thermally induced recrystalliza-
tion and pore formation. This FIB/
SEM technique requires high thick-
ness and sample preparation consist-
ing of stainless steel coated with an
initial 5m nickel (from a sulfamate
electrolyte) followed by 5m of gold
electrodeposit using a current densi-
ty of 30A/dm
. The following inves-
tigation compares 2x Au/Co process-
es: Aurocor HSC and a commercial
equivalent (benchmark). The heat
treatment conditions used for the
electrodeposits were 300C for 1
The following FIB/SEM section
images depict varying magnifica-
tions with 10, 4 and 1m scales.
The benchmark electrodeposit
Au/Fe (1.7 mOhm and 1.3 mOhm,
respectively). However, these results
are within error limits and, therefore,
can be interpreted as a trend. (see
Figure 3).
Similar deposit testing at 300C
for 5 minutes from a commercial
Au/Co electrolyte (hereafter referred
to as benchmark) showed a signifi-
cant contact resistance increase to
more than 25mOhm for a sample
plated at 50ASD [18].
To fully understand this difference,
electrodeposits from both Au/Co
electrolytes Aurocor HSC and the
benchmark were subjected to ele-
ment analysis using X-Ray
shows a significantly higher growth
of gold crystals, particularly at the
nickel-to-gold interface. Due to this
crystal growth, pores can be observed
over the entire current density range,
with emphasis at grain boundaries
(macro pores). In contrast, the
Aurocor HSC electrodeposits
exhibit very low porosity with larger
gold crystals observed at the gold
surface compared to those seen near
the nickel interface. The entire gold
surface is comprised of nanopores.
Pore formation has been further
investigated using transmission elec-
tron microscopy (TEM).
TEM provides direct imaging of
objects by means of electron beams.
For this technique, ultra-thin sample
specimens are required, through
which the electrons pass.
The 1m palladium intermediate
layer was deposited to prevent nickel
diffusion and consequently elimi-
nate any potential influence on the
aging process of the gold coating.
After thermal aging, pore forma-
tion was observed to be more pro-
Figure 3. Contact resistance vs. current density for all
three types of gold electrodeposit after thermal aging
(300C/5 minutes).
Figure 4. Significant increase of contact resistance for
benchmark test deposit (plated at 50ASD) after ther-
mal aging (300C/ 5 min.)
Figure 5. 30A/dm
, 5m Au/Co (Aurocor HSC) /5m
nickel deposit on stainless steel after thermal aging
300C/5 min.
Figure 6. 30A/dm
, 5m Au/Co (benchmark)/ 5m
nickel deposit on stainless steel after thermal aging
300C/5 min.
Figure 7. TEM images of Aurocor HSC and benchmark
Au/Co deposits after thermal aging (300C/1 h). A
palladium intermediate layer is deposited to mini-
mize or prevent diffusion from the nickel interface.
20 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011 July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 21
the X-ray Energy Dispersive
Spectrometer (XEDS). Figure 8
shows a decreased electron density
above the scanned pore compared to
the observed increase above detected
the gold atoms.
nounced for the benchmark electro-
deposit in contrast to Aurocor HSC,
which contained significantly small-
er and more homogenously dis-
persed pores.
Pore formation was further proven
using the STEM in conjunction with
Pore formation is the result of
heat-induced grain growth.
Agglomeration and crystal growth
cause gaps or pores in the layer struc-
ture. There are five different restruc-
turing processes [21]:
1.Merging of point defects/blem-
ishes and their degradation
2. Decrease of dislocations and
3.Restructuring of dislocations of
high energy to ones of low energy
4. Absorption of point defects
and dislocations of grain bound-
5. Reduction of the entire grain
boundary area
Figure 9 illustrates the STEM
image of the coalescing of pores after
heat treatment.
The overall procedure can be inter-
preted as dynamic recovery. Despite
their volume, large grains or crystals
possess a smaller effective surface
Figure 8. Line Scan STEM X-EDS above a gold surface with noticeable pore. Electron density clearly diminishes in
the vicinity of the pore. This image was taken using a combined STEM/X-EDS unit.
Figure 9. STEM image: The left picture shows a sam-
ple without heat treatment with individual pores in
the layer structure, while the image on the right
shows coalescing of the pores after thermal aging.
Figure 10. Crystal structure diffraction patterns for
both Aurocor HSC and the benchmark after thermal
aging (1h/ 300C).
Figure 11. Crystal structure diffraction patterns for
Aurocor HSC and benchmark after thermal aging
(1h/300C), taken using the TEM dark field mode. The
different grain sizes can be clearly recognized.
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diffract the electron beam. However,
each random bright spot represents a
small amount of crystals with a larg-
er crystallite per unit area.
The TEM was used to further high-
light the contrasting grain size differ-
ences between the 2x deposits. Figure
11 illustrates a high-resolution area
of the sample within the dark field
mode. The different grain sizes could
be determined, with <10nm for the
Aurocor HSC compared to
50200nm for the benchmark
The detailed studies carried out out-
line the behavior of various hard
gold electrodeposits after heat-treat-
ment (thermal aging).
Contact resistance measurements
were carried out for both the cyclic
(five times each for 2 minutes at
280C), and also at 300C for 5 min-
utes of heat treatments. Only the
benchmark Au/Co showed a signifi-
cant increase in contact resistance
for the 5 minutes at 300C heat
treatment. XPS and EELS examina-
tions detected high levels of carbon,
nitrogen and potassium present in
these test deposits. This demon-
strates that at current densities as
high as 30A/dm
a significant
amount of organics can be incorpo-
rated into the gold deposit. These co-
deposits strongly influence the diffu-
sion processes and accumulate at the
deposit surface.
After increasing the aging period at
300C to 1 hour, a dramatic increase
in contact resistance is observed. The
use of a palladium barrier layer dra-
matically prevents the increase in
contact resistance after aging, irre-
spective of the gold-alloy type.
The study findings, together with
TOF-SIMS analyses confirm that
this contact resistance increase, after
thermal aging at 300C for 1 hour,
to be solely as a result of the diffu-
sion and surface oxidation of nickel
from the intermediate layer and not
attributed to the gold electrodeposit.
FIB/SEM studies illustrate strong
recrystallization of the Au/Ni as well
as the benchmark Au/Co deposits.
Thermally initiated growth of gold
compared to smaller grain size.
Hence, grain growth results in a
lower energy situation. Grain growth
is the result of interface realignment
and not coalescence. [22-24].
The results clearly show the differ-
ent behavior to thermal stress for
both Aurocor HSC and the bench-
mark electrodeposits. The STEM
images illustrate the different grain
growth. Slow moving electrons are
scattered elastically upon impact
onto a two-dimensional periodic
structural element. Diffraction peaks
of constructively interfering electron
waves are displayed on a fluorescent
Figure 10 displays the diffraction
patterns for both heat treated sam-
ples. Aurocor HSC shows concen-
tric rings while the benchmark
depicts random, bright spots. The
rings correspond to varying lattices
containing many small crystals that
crystals is isochronous to the forma-
tion of pores. Comparative studies
with the transmission electron
microscope show significant forma-
tion of pores (macro as well as meso
pores) for the benchmark Au/Co
electrodeposits, in contrast to the
Aurocor HSC Au/Co, which consist-
ed of significantly smaller crystallites
and nanopores (diameters below 10
50nm). The Au/Fe electrodeposits
exhibited a similar trend to the latter
with minimal observed recrystalliza-
tion and excellent thermal stability.
For more information, please
Dr. Olaf Kurtz obtained his Ph.D. in
Physical Chemistry, investigating the
growth of rhodium on rhenium [0001]
surface and HOPG by means of UHV
investigations methods. He has been work-
ing with Atotech since 2000, assuming
various positions such as head of R&D for
microstructure technology developments
and product manager. Dr. Kurtz is cur-
rently the worldwide product manager for
Atotechs Functional Electronic Coatings
(FEC) business unit, providing chemistry
and process solutions to the connector and
IC/Leadframe/OSD industries.
David Brookes obtained his Graduate of
Royal Society of Chemistry in 1982, and
was awarded Chartered Chemist status in
1984. He has been employed in the metal
finishing industry since 1977, qualified as
LIMF in 1983, and has worked for
Atotech since 1995. Brookes currently
serves as research chemist for Atotechs
Functional Electronic Coatings (FEC)
and Precious Metal (PM) business unit.
1. H. Kaiser, Edelmetallschichten,
Leuze Verlag 2002
2. M. Braunovic, V.V. Konchits,
N.K. Myshkin, Electrical
Contacts, CRC Press 2007
3. Y. Okinaka, M. Hoshino, Gold
Bulletin, 31 (1), 3 (1998)
4. I.R. Christie, B.P.Cameron, Gold
Bulletin, 27 (1) 12 (1994)
5. B. Gaida, K. Amann,
Technologie der Galvanotechnik,
Eugen G. Leuze Verlag,
Saulgau/Wrth, 1996
22 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
Promote your company in
Metal Finishings
NEW Finishers
Listings start at $19.99
per year
The Finishers Directory is an
online resource that enables poten-
tial customers to quickly identify
surface finishers based on a range
of variables, including company
name, business served, finishing
operations performed, and
geographical location.
Get your company listed
today at July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 23
Engng. Semin. On Electrical
Contacts, pp.13, Illinois Inst. Of
Technology, Chicago (1979)
14. K.G. Ashurst, R.W. Neale,
Trans. Inst. Metal Finishing, 46, 81
15. F. I. Nobel, B.D. Ostrow, D.W.
Thomson, Plating & Surface
Finishing, 52, 1001 (1965)
16. S.M. Garte, Plating & Surface
Finishing, 53, 1335 (1966).
18. O. Kurtz, J. Barthelmes,
R.Rther, M. Danker, F. Lagorce-
Broc, F. Bozsa, D. Brookes, Gal-
vanotechnik 7/2010, 1503
19. O. Kurtz, J. Barthelmes,
R.Rther, M. Danker, F. Lagorce-
Broc, F. Bozsa, D. Brookes
Jahrbuch der Oberflchentechnik
2010, Band 66, Eugen G. Leuze
6. D. Gupta, P.S. Ho, Thin Solid
Films, 1980, 72, 399-418
7. Z. Marinkovic, V. Simic, Thin
Solid Films, 1981, 75, 229-335
8. G.W.B. Ashwell, R.
Heckingbottom, J. Electrochem.
Soc., 1981, 128, 649-654
9. J.M.Poate, Gold Bull., 1981, 14,
10. M. Antler, Gold Plated
Contacts: Effect of Thermal
Aging on Contact Resistance,
Plating & Surface Finishing, p.85,
11. H. Kumakura, M. Sekiguchi,
IEICE Trans. Electron. Vol. E82-
C, No.1 Jan 1999
12. N. Birks, G.H. Meier,
Introduction of High
Temperature Oxidation of
Metals, Edward Arnold Ltd.,
13. M.R. Pinnel, J.E. Bennet, Proc.
20. D.B. Williams, C.B. Carter,
Transmission Electron
Microscopy, Plenum Press New
York and London, 1996
21. H. Hieber, K. Pape, Aging of
thin gold films, Gold Bull., 1982,
15, (3)
22. G. Gottstein: Physikalische
Grundlagen der Materialkunde,
Springer, 2001
23. F.J. Humphreys und M.
Hatherly: Recrystallization and
Related Annealing Phenomena,
Elsevier, 2004
24. Ilschner: Werkstoffwissenschaften
und Fertigungstechnik, Springer,
25. G. Ertl, J. Kppers, Low
Energy Electrons and Surface
Chemistry, VCH, Weinheim
26.N. Kanani, Galvanotechnik, Carl
Hanser Verlag Mnchen Wien,
2000, ISBN 3-446-21024-5
Key Guidelines Pertaining to
Ultrasonic Cleaning Equipment
and Process Performance
hile there are few specific
rules for benchmarking the
performance of an ultrasonic sys-
tem, there are some general consid-
erations regarding the overall need
for a new system, or evaluating the
day-to-day performance of your
present system.
Following are some general guide-
lines about ultrasonic cleaning
equipment and performance:
How do I know when its time to
advance to ultrasonic cleaning?
If you are evaluating whether to
switch to ultrasonic cleaning, you
also need to evaluate how you are
cleaning the item(s) in-question
now, and what are the results.
Results can be measured in terms of
the labor, time and cleanliness of
the workpieces you are cleaning
now. It can also be measured in
terms of safety the risk via expo-
sure to solvents and other harsh
chemicals that may be harmful to
workers and the environment.
In a majority of instances, ultra-
sonic cleaning is much more effi-
cient and cost-effective than manu-
al cleaning or other methods of
degreasing. Frank Pedeflous, of
Simi Valley, Calif.based
Omegasonics, recounts a recent
instance when his firm performed a
comparison for a bottler who had
an employee working solely on
cleaning filler valves with a power-
ful acid. This manual work required
him to suit-up and wear heavy
gloves to clean the valves with a
brush. Because there were so many
of these relatively intricate valves to
clean, the man put in extensive
We brought in an ultrasonic unit
and proved that the task could be
accomplished better, much quicker
and with no exposure to the caustic
solvent, Pedeflous explained. It not
only made good economic sense, but
it also removed a safety issue.
How do I know what size ultra-
sonic cleaner is best for my oper-
Pedeflous advises those who are
thinking of purchasing ultrasonic
systemseither for the first time, or
an additional unitto talk with sup-
pliers who carry a full range of equip-
ment sizes
In many
an opera-
tion can do
fine with a
tabletop model at one or more loca-
tions. That gives them production
flexibility, Pedeflous said. In
other applications, featurerich
models with capabilities such as
set-and-forget tanks may help
boost productivity.
In terms of applications, ultrasonic
cleaning systems are used to cleanse
or sanitize a wide variety of items
that are sometimes intricate, require
precision or are delicate, such as jew-
elry or surgical instruments. Of
course, the technology is also highly
effective in cleaning more robust
items such as components used in
automotive, marine, aerospace, and
other industrial applications.
Why arent my workpieces
getting as clean today as they
did yesterday?
The usual answer to that question
is: Something has changed,
Pedeflous said. The change, however,
is not always found at the cleaning
station, he adds. Once temperature,
chemical concentration and all other
cleaning parameters have been ruled
out, the search should proceed to
consider changes in the manufac-
turing steps.
Common sources of
problems include
changes in lubricants,
m a n u f a c t u r i n g
processes, and even
raw materials.
24 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011 July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 25
required for effective cleaning.
On the other hand, too much
ultrasonic power may result in cavi-
tation erosion occurring on delicate
or highly polished parts that are near
the transducer-radiating surface.
(Cavitation is the formation and col-
lapse of low-pressure bubbles that
can pit the surface of metals.)
Aluminum, copper, brass and other
soft metals are especially susceptible
to cavitation erosion.
What is degassing and why is it
Degassing is the process of removing
small, suspended gas bubbles and
dissolved gas from a liquid prior to
using it for ultrasonic cleaning.
Unless you remove the dissolved
gas, it can migrate into cavitation-
bubbles during their formation,
Pedeflous stated. This prevents the
bubbles from imploding correctly,
which reduces the cleaning effect.
Also, the gas bubbles will absorb
ultrasonic energy, reducing the ultra-
sound cleansing intensity inside the
Liquids should be degassed by rais-
ing the temperature, adding the
cleaning chemistry, and operating
the ultrasonic energy for a period of
Clogged filters, misdirected coolant
nozzles and improper machining or
finishing practices may also cause
ultrasonic cleaning problems.
Remember, a change that may be
considered inconsequential to the
manufacturing process might result
in less effective cleaninguntil the
necessary adjustments are made.
How much ultrasonic power does
your cleaning tank require?
The right amount of ultrasonic ener-
gy (usually expressed in watts/gal-
lon) depends on the size of the clean-
ing bath and the difficulty of the
cleaning requirement. Tanks in the
1- to 2-gallon range often provide up
to 90 watts per gallon of ultrasonic
power, plenty for most jobs, even
cleaning out the ultra-fine passages
of fuel injector nozzles.
Achieving the same cleaning effect
in larger tanks requires less energy
density, Pedeflous advises.
Excellent cleaning has been demon-
strated in tanks having 50 gallons
capacity with only 2530 watts per
gallon. The more difficult the appli-
cation, the greater energy density is
time ranging from 10 to 15 minutes
minimum (depending on the size of
the tank and the nature and concen-
tration of the chemicals being used)
prior to use. When completely
degassed, small bubbles will not be
seen rising to the liquid surface dur-
ing ultrasonic operation.
Will ultrasonic cleaning damage
electrical components?
If you regularly clean electronic
parts, an ultrasonic electronics clean-
er is the best tool for the job. The
common concern is that ultrasonic
cleaners will destroy delicate compo-
nents. However, advances in ultra-
sonic technology have eased this con-
cern by replacing the single frequen-
cy wavelength approachknown to
harm electronic partswith a vari-
able frequency approach, called
sweeping. This advance in ultra-
sonic technology has not only led to
reduced production costs, but has
proven to enhance reliability and
reduce warranty costs as well.
As Pedeflous explains: When elec-
tronic parts are immersed in an
ultrasonic cleaner, cleaning occurs
wherever the liquid makes contact
with the parts. Higher ultrasonic fre-
quency can penetrate smaller open-
ings and remove tinier particles.
Since the liquid reaches into small
crevices and cavities that are impossi-
ble to clean manually, ultrasonic
cleaning electrical assemblies and
electronic components is an ideal
approach. Furthermore, todays
advanced ultrasonic cleaning equip-
ment is designed to prevent part res-
onancethe internal agitation of
parts due to recurring harmonic
vibrationsthat otherwise might
damage more sensitive items.
For more information call Frank
Pedeflous at Omegasonics at (805) 583-
0875, write at 330 E East St #A Simi
Valley, CA 93065-7523, e-mail:, or visit
For many applications, ultrasonic cleaning can cut down on costs, while at the same time produce
parts that not only look and perform better but also require less frequent subsequent cleaning.
RPM Technologys eOx Economic:
A Greener Cleaning Chemistry
Powerful aqueous-based formula works wonders
for Youngstown, Ohio-based architectural panel
and aluminum extrusion finishing operation.
ohn Vinkler had grown weary of
the downsides associated with tra-
ditional, solvent-based cleaning
chemistries: irritating odors, envi-
ronmental issues and the associated
compliance costs, etc. So, as shop
foreman of Youngstown, Ohio
based Spectrum Metal Finishing, he
took it upon himself to seek out a
safer, more cost-effective alternative
for the company and its employees.
An exhaustive but fortuitous
Internet search uncovered eOx
Economic, a non-hazardous, aque-
ous-based cleaner manufactured by
RPM Technology of Reno, Nev. (See
sidebar). Made without chlorinated
compounds or listed chemicals, the
non-toxic and non-flammable eOx
Economic boasts numerous attrib-
utes: fast, intensive cleaning action;
contains no phosphates, acids,
butyls or silicones; and is compatible
with cleaning fountains, immersion
or ultrasonic machines, parts wash-
ers, and high-pressure equipment.
Whats more, the producttested by
the University of Ghent, Belgium
wont harm metals or plastics, RPM
Technology claims.
After many successful trial runs
on the wide variety of aluminum and
steel materials we processes, we
found eOx Economic outperformed
our solvent-based cleaners at every
turn, Vinkler explained, citing the
companys focus on perforated archi-
tectural panels and the inherent
challenge in stripping away oils uti-
lized in machining such parts. The
thinners we were using never fully
lifted the oils away, but would
instead soften up the oil and move it
around on the part. When the thin-
ner evaporated, it would just leave
the oil or foreign substances
That all changed when Spectrum
Metal Finishing made the complete
conversion to eOx Economic. More
than four months using the new sys-
tem, theres no turning back. Ive
noticed that it cleans our metals a lot
better than solvents do, Vinkler
noted. Now its nothing but eOx
when we clean the parts before pre-
Beyond the highly touted perform-
ance attributes of the product,
Vinkler is equally impressed with its
range of uses. Whether removing
tape residue leftover from poly-
masking, or dissolving stubborn
caulking from the joints of fabricat-
ed metal parts, eOx Economic has
proven to be an all-around work-
horse for Spectrum. This flexibility
comes in particularly handy for a
company that offers a variety of fin-
We also offer a powder coating
finish, and in doing so coat alu-
minum as well as structural steel
materials, Vinkler explained. eOx
Economic has proven to be just as
useful on steel as well as aluminum.
We use eOx Economic to strip oils
from these materials prior to pre-
treatment and powder coating.
We also do a lot of finishing for
full structural handrailsit works
really well there because [fabricators]
use wax on their grinders for
smoothing finish welds and remov-
ing weld spatter from the railing.
Then there are the more practical,
bottom-line benefits to consider.
With the previous thinner-type
cleaning products, for instance,
Spectrum Metal Finishing had to
treat the spent towels used to apply
the solvents as hazardous waste.
Before, we had to can everything
up, Vinkler noted. But with the
eOx system the towels go out with
the regular trash. Not only have we
cut down on the amount of haz-
ardous waste going out, but it has
helped our employees out because
they dont have to smell the sol-
26 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
Use As Directed
eOx Economic from RPM
Technology may be used in ultra-
sonic baths, parts washers, cleaning
fountains, as well as other popular
industrial cleaning machines.
Aqueous-based and non-toxic, it
safely removes all manner of oil,
grease, and dirt from surfaces with
little effort. Following are a few
stipulations regarding use:
eOx Economic is non-flammable
and can be safely heated. For
immersion or ultrasonic baths, RPM
Technology recommends
50C/122F to minimize the
evaporation rate.
A highly concentrated product, eOx
must be sufficiently diluted accord-
ing to use. Otherwise, a white haze
or stripes may remain after drying,
especially on very smooth or shiny
surfaces. Note: This haze will disap-
pear when the surface is treated
again with the correct dilution.
Simply soaking a part in a solution
of eOx Economic for an extended
period of time will not be sufficient
for cleaning. Some mechanical
actionbrush, sponge, aeration, still required to break the
surface tension of the dirt.
Rinsing all parts is key to ensuring
that no residue remains. Rinsing
with warm water is not necessary
but will enhance the drying process.
If needed, use compressed air to
expedite drying time.
vents anymorejust the fresh scent
of eOx!
The key to Spectrum Metal
Finishings successful conversion to
the eOx Economic aqueous product
had as much to do with the technical
and sales support the company
received during the initial induction
phase as it did with the performance
of the product itself. For this Vinkler
credits RPM Technology principal
Jim Esposito, who coordinated with
the foreman very closely early on.
Jim worked real well with me,
going back and forth sending sam-
ples, Vinkler said. eOx Economic
did what he said it was going to do,
and its hard to find anything that
says it does something and then it
actually does it!
That was the soft sell. It typically
requires a bit more nudging to per-
suade finishers to make the switch
from a process that had been in place
for years. It took [Vinkler] some
time to convince Spectrum Metal
Finishing management of the goal
there, but now that theyve converted
over they couldnt be happier, RPM
Technologys Esposito said. They
dont have any rags containing VOCs
that they need to get rid of. All that
hazardous waste is gone.
Everyone at Spectrum Metal
Finishing is also pleased to learn
thatas a result of the changeover
overall cleaning and compliance
costs at the company have been
reduced as well (as much as 50%, by
Vinklers math).
eOx has proven to be a big help to
business, he said. Im glad I ran
into it.
For more on eOx Economic, please visit
Spectrum Metal Finishing specializes in
liquid paint or powder coating, with an
emphasis on commercial construction
projects. Based in Youngstown, Ohio (the
birthplace of the aluminum extrusion
industry), the finisher has been a major
force in the metal coatings industry since
1993. Located just one hour from
Cleveland or Pittsburgh, the companys
products have been shipped from its
70,000-square-foot headquarters to cus-
tomers and job sites throughout the United
States, Eastern Canada, the Caribbean
and Pacific Rim. Projects range from the
Philadelphia Eagles Football Stadium to
Bandaijima in Niigata, Japan.
Spectrum Metal Finishing offers a wet-
on-wet application service using a single
bake process. A continuous-line system
ensures high-quality color consistency.
To learn more about Spectrum Metal
Finishing, please call Neil Chrisman at
(330) 758-8358 or visit www.spectrum- July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 27
Small architectural panels were treated with eOx Economic to strip away wax and sanding debris. The product easily breaks the surface tension of the wax.
Do you have a
product/service success story
that might qualify as a
case study?
Send your ideas to or call
Before and after photos illustrating the removal of oils from perforated aluminium panels with eOX Economic prior to pretreatment and painting.
n this last installment of my three-
part series on aerosol-dispensed
cleaning, I will cover the two signifi-
cant hazards of using aerosol-dis-
pensed cleaners for local site clean-
ing applications: flammability and
inhalation toxicity.
Many believe that aerosols are safe
below their flash points. Serious
fires have occurred in the chemical
process industries because of that
In fact, aerosols of combustible liq-
uids at temperatures well below their
flash points can be as ignited as can
vapor-air mixtures of flammable liq-
uids. Eichhorn
made this observa-
tion more than a half-century ago,
and introduced a conceptual ideal-
ized diagram to describe this situa-
tion. (See Figure 1.)
Many are also of the opinion that
aerosols composed of organic sol-
vents that do not have a measured
flash point cannot be ignited. Such is
unfortunately not the case, because
flash point is measured in an all-
vapor phase, not in the two-phase
vapor-liquid mixture that is an
Absence of a measured flash point,
for a single component or a mixture,
means that ignition was not noticed
when a spark of specific intensity was
applied to organic fuel(s) and air in a
specific, and not industrially rele-
vant, apparatus.
In other words, it is not that the
mixture cant be ignited, it is that it
cannot be ignited in that specific
apparatusin the vapor phase. The
mixture may well be ignitable in
some other test apparatus or in
your shop if spark sources arent
In immersion cleaning with organ-
ic solvents, flash point determines
which electrical classification will
apply. In spray cleaning, however, the
flash point of the liquid does not
determine which electrical classifica-
tions will apply.
Use of liquid sprays in air is cov-
ered by OSHA (U.S. Occupational
Health and Safety Administration),
with strong assistance from the
NFPA (National Fire Protection
Association), in OSHA 1910.123-
126, and .107.
A flammable aerosol is defined by
Aerosol-Dispensed Cleaners
and CleaningPart III
28 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
the OSHA as an aerosol which is
required to be labeled flammable
under the Federal Hazardous
Substances Labeling Act (15 U.S.C.
1261). For the purposes of para-
graph (d) of this section, such
aerosols are considered Class IA
Design of heat exchangers in chem-
ical plants requires acceptance of
the meaning of the title of this sec-
tion. These heat exchangers can use
high boiling organic liquids which
have high flash points as coolants
to remove heat. A safety problem is
that any leak of these pressurized
high-flash liquids from a pipe, a
weld, a seal, or a pump will form an
aerosol in the same way as does a
low flash material propelled from
an aerosol can.
Figure 1
To summarize, organic liquids
with nearly all values of flash point
can form an aerosol by being forced
by pressure through an aperture,
thereby producing an aerosol. Some
can be ignited depending upon their
atomic composition, and some can-
not, for the same reason.
A limiting condition about ignitabil-
ity of aerosols is the vapor phase,
which is equivalent to a droplet size
of zero. Thats the condition in
which flammability tests (LEL/UEL)
are done (see Figure 1)the vapor
phase, and not the two-phase condi-
tion of an aerosol.
A solvent blend that has no meas-
ured lower explosive limit (LEL), or
upper explosive limit (UEL), offers
no quantifiable margin of safety
when its emitted as an aerosol
spray. Simply because it couldnt be
ignited in a standard vapor-phase
flammability test apparatus, that
does not model the two-phase con-
dition of an aerosol.
So LEL and UEL values dont
specifically apply to the two-phase
condition of an aerosol. They do
speak to the effect of atomic com-
position on the ignitability of a sol-
vent mixture in the vapor phase,
but not in the two-phase condition
of an aerosol.
Solvents, or solvent blends, with-
out measured LEL values used as
aerosols are probably but not meas-
urably more safe from ignition; and
so are somewhat preferred.
Many ignore the potential for this
outcome because aerosol cans are
commonly used, and shop fires with
their use are not common. But such July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 29
fires can and do happen.
Fortunately, in many cases the expe-
rience is less than fatal because the
mass of flammable goods in the can
(including propellant) is less than
one-half pound (12 volumetric
ounces capacity is common).
The larger flammability hazard
from use of aerosol cans is that a
handheld fire will lead to ignition of
some larger quantity of fuel by a per-
son not accustomed to managing
this hazard.
Figure 2
Table 1 Preferred Solvent Blends for Aerosol Service
Products d p h Surface Tension
Molar Volume
Flash Point F LEL/UEL
AK-225ATE 15.5 6.2 3.6 20.2 87.7
AKSOLVE AT 15.4 5.9 2.6 91.5 NO
71DE 15.8 6.2 2.7 16.6 101.5 NO
MCA 14.0 3.6 1.5 15.2 106.4 NO
X-DF 14.0 3.6 1.5 15.2 106.4 NO
AK-225AES 13.6 3.4 2.9 16.8 117.1 NO
AK-225R 13.4 2.9 1.4 128.6 NO
AK-225G 13.1 2.9 1.0 16.9 129.0 NO
AK-225A 13.7 2.9 1.7 129.8 NO
AK-225 13.4 2.9 1.4 16.2 130.1 NO
AK-225DH 13.4 2.9 1.4 16.3 130.1 NO
AK-225FPL 13.4 2.9 1.4 14 132.6 NO
X-H 12.0 0.0 0.0 14.4 157.7 NO
SFR 15.9 5.9 3.2 19.9 84.5
SMT 14.2 4.7 3.5 15.5 91.1 7/15
SDG 16.0 6.9 2.6 21.2 85.5 7/14
HDC Heavy
Degreaser C
15.9 3.4 1.5 97.8 7.5/9
XMS+ 14.3 4.1 3.0 14.9 94.3 6/15
MCA+ 14.7 4.1 1.9 16.1 98.2 6/11
72DE 15.8 6.2 2.7 19 90.9 6.7/13.7
CMS 14.9 4.2 2.8 19.2 93.2 6.3/14
SuprClean 15.8 6.7 4.7 80.6 5/14.4
AK-225T 14.2 2.9 2.7 17.6 114.1 5/10
72DA 15.8 6.3 3.1 90.4 5.9/14.5
Cleaner C
14.4 0.9 0.6 124.0 5.5/9/0
Solvokane 16.5 2.4 1.0 17.8 101.0 5.4/9.4
Solvokane X 16.5 2.4 1.0 20.6 101.0 5.4/9.4
71DA 15.3 5.3 3.1 16.4 99.4 5.1/12.7
Bromothane R/
Lenium GS
16.3 7.7 6.3 85.4 4/7.8
71IPA 13.9 2.5 2.1 14.5 151.4 4/16
Solvokane S 16.4 2.4 1.0 18.8 101.0 4/12.5
C-HD 15.6 6.4 4.5 19.4 82.7 4.3/13.5
Bromothane E 16.3 7.5 7.6 83.4 3.8/7.5
30 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
There is only one cause of ignition
of a can of aerosol cleanerthat an
ignition source has been generated in
the zone where the aerosol has been
sprayed, or has been directed by ven-
An incomplete list of sources of
sparks includes:
Gas or liquid-fueled open-flame
equipment (naked flames),
Cigarettes and associated match-
es/lighters (open flames),
Static electricity from mechanical
equipment or motion (which can
be dampened by mats, as is done
in fab shops producing
semiconductorsthough not for
that reason),
Hot processes/hot work (welding
by contractors or shrink
Failure of temperature-control
thermostats on hot work
Heat sources (gas, electric,
microwaves, radio frequency,
thermal fluids).
Tactics for preventing experience
of the image of Figure 2, by avoiding
and quenching ignition sources, are
simple and provendevelop, follow,
and audit a program of local safety
Available from for-profit training
companies, they are also available at
no charge from reputable sources,
such as U.S. OSHA
(http://www/, NFPA
(, a local insur-
ance carrier serving the site, and the
Internet. The most important tactic
is for a responsible leader to audit
compliance, over and over and over
Not as a substitute for managing
elimination of ignition sources, the
second (and perhaps more impor-
tant) priority of action is to manage
area ventilation of air.
Aerosol material emitted from a
spray can has two general fates. Some
(hopefully most) wets the soiled sur-
face, and remains there. The remain-
der exists above the work area, sus-
pended in the air. Ventilation is nec-
essary to carry away aerosol droplets
in that air so they are not inhaled by
The amount of ventilation is
sized by specifying a velocity of air in
whatever area of ductwork is used to
carry away aerosol fumes from
where spray cleaning work has been
done. That velocity must be more
than sufficient to maintain solvent
aerosols droplets (particles) in sus-
pension in the exhaust air, but not
so much as to incur excessive energy
loss or produce noise. Larger
droplets settle more rapidly (chang-
ing by the square of the droplet
diameter), requiring higher veloci-
ties to suspend them. OSHA ventila-
tion standard 1910.125 (dipping
and coating work with organic sol-
vents) is a relevant reference.
The hazard presented by an aerosol
droplet to the respiratory system
firstly depends upon the site within
the respiratory system where it is
deposited, and secondly upon its
inherent toxicity at the point of dep-
osition. And the path to that site is
determined by its aerodynamics in
the air stream of breath, and aerody-
namics are all about droplet size.
Figure 3
Table 1 Preferred Solvent Blends for Aerosol Service
Products d p h Surface Tension
Molar Volume
Flash Point F LEL/UEL
Solvokane ELS 16.5 2.5 1.5 17.9 99.1 3.8/13.7
AXAREL 2000 15.6 4.0 5.2 140.8 111 2/12.7
Isoclean 15.8 5.9 14.2 76.5 53 2/12.7
U.S.P 7,767,635 B 16.6 7.8 3.3 77.8 NO
U.S.P 7,767,635 A 12.2 4.5 2.8 176.8 NO
U.S.P. 6,103,684 B 14.7 5.1 3.1 108.3 NO
U.S.P. 6,048,832 A 15.5 6.9 9.0 83.9 NO
U.S.P. 6,048,832 B 15.5 5.9 7.4 96.8 NO
Hubtron HDS 15.6 4.1 1.8 18.8 96.0 NO July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 31
Droplets of a respirable aerosol
greater than around 30 microns
(possibly barely visible to the eye)
arent well entrained in incoming air.
It is likely many settle (because their
inertia outweighs the buoyant force
of the moving breath) outside
human bodies, though some are
trapped in the nose and mouth on
breathing. This is called an inertial
separation mechanism.
Droplets sized between around 10
to 30 microns (not visible to the eye)
penetrate into the curving torturous
path that is the throat (pharynx) but
impact on and stick to wet tissue sur-
faces. So they become deposited in
the airways of the head.
Smaller droplets (thoracic
aerosols) can penetrate deeply into
the lungs. The myriad of passages
within the alveoli (gas exchange
region) of the lungs make them a
final site for inertial separation of
droplets by particle size(s). Nearly all
droplets above about 1 micron are
deposited theresticking onto wet
lung tissue.
Solvent in the vapor phase would
penetrate to this position as well.
But the crucial difference, what
makes exposure limits of solvent
aerosols be so low, is essentially
density of contact.
The mass of liquid solvent held in a
droplet of less than 1 micron diame-
ter contains huge numbers of solvent
molecules that are all deposited
where that droplet becomes trapped
on wet lung tissue, while vapor also
contains huge numbers of solvent
molecules that condense over the
more than 50 square meters of wet
lung tissue.
The effect of inhaling aerosols is to
damage ones lungs by administering
a large dose of whatever toxic harm
the solvent presents to a myriad of
sites where oxygen transfer with the
blood is accomplished.
Aerosols thus become an amplifier
for application of toxic damage to
the lungsthe applied dose is exag-
gerated vs. exposure to solvent vapor.
And solvents which are less toxic,
and have higher exposure limits,
must be treated as if they were more
toxic, and have lower exposure limits.
While the exposure limit values
promulgated by ACGIH about
inhalation toxicity for solvent
aerosols are scarce, comparison to
the same data for solvent vapors is
TLVs for solvent aerosols are typi-
cally two orders of magnitude below
those for solvent vapors.
Certainly, details of the imposed
harm vary with the specific solvent,
and the existing condition of impact-
ed lung tissue. Persons with asthma
are not likely to be able to manage
inhalation of solvent aerosols.
For these reasons, some prefer
aerosols which are not dispensed
through expansion of a propellant,
and choose those dispensed through
hand-pumped sprays. The latter pro-
duce relatively huge dropletsthere-
by avoiding the harm described
Unfortunately, the solvent clean-
ing agents described in Table 1 arent
commercially packaged in suitable
containers for that method of appli-
cation, as they are too volatile and
The hazards described above can
be overcome, as can most involved
with use of solvents. The approach is
simple: obtain and use personal pro-
tective equipment.
An operator applying solvents to
surfaces via aerosol delivery should
at a minimum wear an N95 hospital
breathing mask (and possibly appro-
priate gloves) both during and after
use; at maximum, wear a self-con-
tained respiration system.
The former is shown in Figure 3.
Proven specifications are that it will
remove more than 95 percent of par-
ticles (droplets) whose sizes are above
0.3 microns. Every hospital supply
store dispenses them at reasonable
The nature of solvent cleaning with
aerosols is different than that of sol-
vent cleaning under immersion. A
combination of mechanisms is
involvedsurface wetting, solution-
ing, penetration of networks by dif-
fusion, and hand-applied mechani-
cal force.
One selects a solvent blend for
aerosol cleaning to avoid ignition of
the solvents once they have evaporat-
ed, and to best enable the combina-
tion of mechanisms noted above.
And one has to recognize that the
hazards of using a solvent blend
dispensed from aerosol cans are sig-
nificantly more threatening to
humans than is imposed by using
that same blend in immersion
cleaning. Fortunately, there is a
remedy for that increase of threat to
the respiratory systemwear a N95
hospital mask.
John Durkee is the author of the book,
Management of Industrial Cleaning
Technology and Processes, published by
Elsevier (ISBN 0-0804-48887). He is an
independent consultant specializing in
metal and critical cleaning. You can con-
tact him at PO Box 847, Hunt, TX 78024
or 122 Ridge Road West, Hunt, TX
78024; 830-238-7610; Fax 612-677-
3170; or
1. Eichhorn, J. Careful! Mists Can
Explode, Petroleum Refiner, Vol.
34 No. 11, 1955, pages 194196.
In Figure 1, the dew point line
separates single-phase vapor
from two-phase liquid and
vapour regimes based on vapor
pressure data. Both the lower
explosive limit (LEL) and upper
explosive limits (UEL) are easily
measured. The existence of the
air/mist flammability regime has
been experimentally established
and mathematically modeled for
specific systems in the last half
32I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
rowing concern over volatile
organic compounds (VOCs)
and other emissions is motivating
adhesive and coating formulators to
capture and recycle solvents, reduce
solvent use, or switch to solvents
with better environmental profiles.
Although environmentally suitable,
drop-in replacements for conven-
tional solvents are still a distant
future vision, and a strong evolu-
tionary path is developing to com-
plete this quest.
Even in water-based adhesives
and coatings, solvents are sometimes
used in conjunction with water to
dissolve or suspend components or
to provide a more efficient film
forming function. For example,
many water-reducible coatings con-
tain small amounts of a co-solvent
such as a glycol ether or alcohol to
aid in coating and handling.
This article reviews new solvents
that have been developed for the pur-
poses of: (1) formulating and pro-
cessing adhesives, (2) cleaning equip-
ment, and (3) removing contami-
nants from substrates prior to adhe-
sive bonding or coating. A leading
technology in this pursuit is the
development of bio-based or green
organic solvents.
Industrial solvents are vital In the
adhesives and coatings industries.
They are used as component ingredi-
ents in formulated products or as
processing aids in manufacturing
(e.g., cleaning fluids). Different
applications require specific solvat-
ing or other properties, and different
solvents can be often blended to
achieve the specific properties
required for an application.
Solvents operate on the principle
of like dissolves like. Therefore, for
a solvent to work, it needs to have
similar chemical characteristics to
the substance that it is trying to dis-
solve. Other factors that are impor-
tant in selecting a solvent or solvent
blend are listed in Table 1.
Two of the primary applications
for solvents are for cleaning and for-
mulating. As one might expect, the
evolution of environmentally safe
solvents has been faster in the clean-
ing area than in the formulating
area. This is primarily due to the
greater technical requirements on
the solvent with regard to formulat-
ing. But another contributing factor
is the shear volume of cleaning sol-
vents that are used. For an article
focusing on greener cleaning com-
pounds, the reader is directed to a
previous Metal Finishing article,
which concentrates on the use of
newer solvents in adhesive and coat-
ing formulations.
Solvent replacement technology is
a diverse field that affects many
industries. It is a field driven by regu-
lations implemented to protect our
environment and health. However,
these regulations often translate to
economic incentives and have given
rise to many exciting and innovative
technologies that otherwise might
never have developed.
One of the most straightforward
methods of minimizing solvent in
formulations is to assure that the
efficiency of the conventional sol-
vent system is optimal. To obtain
low viscosity, or alternatively high
solids content at a given viscosity,
solvents with good solvency power
must be employed. The solvent selec-
tion for high solids formulations is
not simple.
Ketones, such as methyl isobutyl
ketone (MIBK) and methyl ethyl
ketone (MEK), constitute solvents
that combine good solvency and
effectiveness in reducing viscosity.
Moreover, the relative low density of
these solvents permits the most vol-
ume possible per unit weight of sol-
ventan important factor in comply-
ing with VOC regulations, generally
expressed as grams/liter.
High solids formulations can only
be achieved with the proper choice of
solvent for the specific resin in ques-
tion. Fortunately, several tools have
been developed to make this task eas-
ier, including solubility parameters.
These are widely used to construct
solubility maps, which can be used to
select optimal solvent systems for a
specific resin base.
Shell Chemical Company has
The Evolution of Bio-Based
Green Solvents July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 33
Performance Properties Non-Performance Properties
Dissolving (solvating) power
Evaporation rate
Raw material cost
Disposal cost and cost to reduce emission
Conservation of resources and availability
Hazardous emissions (types and levels)
Health and safety factors
Table 1. Important Factors in Selecting a Solvent
developed an even more efficient
tool. This is a software program
called BlendPro. The program uses a
database of more than 180 solvents,
including water, and contains a data-
base of more than 30 solubility maps
of commercial resins. Physical prop-
erties of a theoretical formulation
can easily be calculated via the pro-
gram. BlendPro is claimed to calcu-
late which of the blended products
best meets the technical require-
ments at the lowest costs.
There is also an excellent website,
1/altern.cfm.htm (Solvent
Alternatives Guide - SAGE), which
provides a comprehensive tool for
pollution prevention information.
This is a computerized expert system
that allows evaluation of specific
processes and generates a ranked list
of alternative solvents. Alternative
solvents are presented in the form of
case studies, economic and environ-
mental information, references, and
so forth. The U.S. EPA Air Pollution
Prevention and Control Division
developed SAGE for assistance on
parts cleaning and degreasing.
In recent years a new classification
(bio-based) can be added to
industrial solvents. These green sol-
vents can provide alternatives for
conventional solvents when regula-
tory, environmental, or safety and
health pressures are exerted. They
are based on agricultural or bio-
based feedstock. As such, they not
only provide environmental benefit
from their use, but they also avoid
the more costly petroleum-based
route to production. It is hoped
that bio-based solvents will avoid
the high cost (economic and envi-
ronmental) and significant price
fluctuation associated with petro-
leum-derived solvents.
Several of the more common bio-
based solvents that have recently
been commercialized include ethyl
lactate, d-limonene, and methyl soy-
ate. The physical properties of these
solvents are described in Table 2. All
are produced from renewable
resources such as corn, citrus, or soy-
beans. Relative prices for these bio-
based solvents and more traditional
solvents are shown in Table 3.
Ethyl Lactate. A very common clean-
ing solvent is ethyl lactate. It is an
environmentally benign solvent
with properties superior to many
conventional petroleum-based sol-
vents. Unlike other solvents, which
can damage the ozone layer or pol-
lute groundwater, ethyl lactate is so
benign that the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration long ago approved
its use in food products.
Ethyl lactate is produced by the
34 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
Property Ethyl Lactate D-Limonene Methyl Soyate
Boiling point, C 154 179 333
Flash point, C 47 51 140
Density 1.03 0.844 0.882
Solubility in water, % 100 Insoluble N/A
Surface tension, dynes/cm 28.9 26.7 31.6
Dielectric constant 15.4 2.36 42.2
Exposure limit, ppm 4 30 Not recommended
Table 2. Physical Properties of Green Solvents Produced from Renewable Resources
Solvent Relative Price
Conventional solvents:
Methyl ethyl ketone 1.0
Trichloroethylene 1.4
Perchloroethylene 0.8
Methylene chloride 0.7
N-Methyl pyrrolidone 3.3-4.0
Bio-based solvents:
Ethyl lactate 1.9
D-Limonene >0.9
Methyl Soyate 0.7-1.0
Table 3. Relative Prices of Selected Bio-Based and Conventional Solvents
Both reactants are produced from agricultural materi-
als. Lactic acid is produced by fermentation of lactose
via specially developed bacteria, and ethanol is produced
from corn.
Ethyl lactate can also be blended with methyl soyate
(produced from soybean oil as indicated later in this arti-
cle) to create custom tailored solvents for various applica-
tions. Companies such as Vertec Biosolvents currently pro-
duce ethyl lactate in soy oil solvent blends. Applications
that are targeted include replacement of methlyene chlo-
ride, methyl ethyl ketone, and N-methyl pyrrolidone.
Until recently, the use of ethyl lactate has been limited
due to high production costs. However, advances in lactic
acid fermentation and separation and conversion tech-
nologies have driven down cost. It has been suggested by
industry experts that ethyl lactate could replace conven-
tional solvents in more than 80% of the applications.
D-Limonene. D-limonene is a solvent that is produced
from citrus feedstock. The process involves squeezing the
rind or peels of fruit (orange or lemon) in a steam extrac-
tor to produce oil. When the steam is condensed, a signif-
icant layer of oil (d-limonene) floats to the surface of the
water and can be collected.
In the past decade, the use of d-limonene has expanded
tremendously. The largest growth segment has been the
use of d-limonene in cleaning products. Much of the prod-
uct goes into making paint, imparting orange fragrance,
and as a secondary cooling fluid.
As a straight solvent, d-limonene can replace a wide vari-
ety of products, including mineral spirits, methyl ethyl
&bonding July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 35
Attribute Chlorinated Hydro-carbon Methyl Ethyl
Ethyl Lactate D-Limonene Methyl Soyate
Good solvency Y N Y Y Y Y
Nonflammable Y N N N N Y
Low toxicity N N Y Y Y Y
No surface
Biodegradable N N N Y Y Y
Low odor N N N Y N Y
Table 4. Solvent Property and Performance Attributes
Clean Parts.
Tel. 716.763.4343
Clean Lines
Passivation Lines
Aqueous Chemistries
Data Management
ketone, acetone, toluene, glycol
ethers, and halogenated solvents. D-
limonene has solubility close to that
of chlorinated fluorocarbons, indi-
cating that it is a much better solvent
than typical mineral spirits.
Soy-Based Solvents. As the name
implies, soy-based solvents are pro-
duced from the oil in soybeans. The
most commercial of these is methyl
soyate. Methyl soyate has good sol-
vency with many resins and contam-
inants and is readily biodegradable.
It has low toxicity relative to many
conventional solvents. Its high flash
point and high boiling point also
make it safer to store and handle
than most commercial solvents.
As with ethyl lactate and d-
limonene, the best market opportu-
nities for soy-based solvents involve
solvent cleaning applications. This
includes equipment cleaning as well
as the removal and cleanup of resins.
The use of soy-based solvents in
printing inks is well known and fully
commercial. Potential also exists in
adhesives and coatings, but further
product and process development
work is necessary to ensure commer-
cialization. The best market and
application opportunities for methyl
soyate appear to include: co-solvents,
resin removal, asphalt release agent
emulsions, and adhesive/coating
Numerous formulated consumer
products using methyl soyate are
already being produced and market-
ed. These range from hand cleaners
to auto care products as a replace-
ment for mineral spirits and other
solvents. Additional market oppor-
tunities are expanding utilizing
methyl soyate-based co-solvents with
ethyl lactate (Vertec Gold), D-
limonene (CITRUSoy), and other
organic solvents.
Others. The bio-based solvents
described previously are commer-
cially available. There are also many
products under development that
use proprietary technology to manu-
facture solvents that mimic petrole-
um-derived products. One example
of this activity is Gevos renewable
isobutanol, which will begin com-
mercial production in 2012. This
product is claimed to result in a fully
renewable and cost-competitive
isobutanol product that is chemical-
ly identical to petroleum-derived
isobutanol, making it a sustainable
drop-in replacement for all n-
butanol and other solvents.
Across all market applications, bio-
based solvents are increasingly
becoming important as regulatory
pressures mount. However, perform-
ance and cost factors must be the
first priority to the formulator when
seeking to replace conventional sol-
vents that have long been an integral
component in successful commer-
cial products.
Table 4 lists solvent properties and
performance requirements that are
nearly widespread across most sub-
segments of the adhesives and
sealants market. Conventional sol-
vents are compared to the evolving
green solvents, and the possibility
of a green solvent future can readily
be seen.
Edward M. Petrie is the sole proprietor of
EMP Solutions, a Cary, N.C.based con-
sulting firm focused on solving problems
in the adhesives and sealants industry. He
also works as a technical expert for
SpecialChem. For more information, visit
1. Durkee, J., Cleaners from the
Farm, Cleaning Times Column,
Metal Finishing, January 2008.
2. BlendPro, Shell Chemical
accessed June 2011.
3. Renewable Isobutanol for
Solvents and Coatings,
SpecialChem Renewable
Isobutanol Center, www.spe-, accessed
June 2011.
4. Wildes, S.G., Solvents:A Market
Opportunity Study, Report pre-
pared by OmniTech
International, Ltd. for the United
Soybean Board, December 2007.
36 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
n my 10-plus years of living in and
commuting to China, I have heard
a number of individuals who are
sometimes well-meaning and other
times harshly critical of Chinas role,
intent, and potential in the global
marketplace, as well as the impact
on the metal finishing industry. As
finishing professionals, we have a
slight upper hand in this battle
(which I will identify later in this
article) that requires a thinking
out-of-the-box mentality to find
that proverbial rainbow and possibly
save a sinking ship.
There are two major schools of
thought on the United States view
of China and its impact on our
industry and our future: the Pseudo
China Expert and the Ranting
The Pseudo China Expert. Normally
this is an individual who has spent a
protracted time, often one year con-
secutively in-country, or an individ-
ual who has traveled there 10 to 40
times for a several days each trip.
These individuals have certainly
been in China and eaten some
Chinese foodthat is, if they could
not find a burger joint or a pizza
placebut they do not get to know
China and its never-ending yet sub-
tle nuances of life and business.
The Ranting Conservative. As you
begin reading an article from one of
these individuals, you hear of the
terrible things that China is doing,
how they compete unfairly, and how
this may be a communist plot to
destroy America, and the rant goes
on, often with no honest construc-
tive thought on success. These indi-
viduals, too, have very little knowl-
edge of the Eastern mind and dont
necessarily care to.
During my years in China, I have
spent little time with other
Americansexcept for transoceanic
flights, which proved to be way more
educational that one would expect as
I listened to one executive or engi-
neer after another speak of their
woes about China, their millions of
dollars lost, their throwing in the
towel, etc.
Most of my time was spent study-
ing the Chinese business model,
working directly and, more impor-
tantly, indirectly, to gain their
understanding and strategies of
success, which has proven to be a
game of tiger chess or, at the very
least, black widow copulation (the
female often eats her partner upon
My visit last fall to [SFCHINA],
which also entailed a consulting
detour for a Chinese plating chemi-
cal supplier, continues to confirm to
me our upper hand in the Chinese
plating industry, with that upper
hand being knowledge, expertise,
and experience in quality.
I repeatedly hear the plating pro-
fessional who complains of Chinas
unfair advantage. One such com-
plaint came from a U.S. plant losing
work to China because of cheaper
labor. However, as it turns out, the
Chinese plant was shortcutting the
process by buffing out the raw metal
and applying a thinner deposit to
achieve the required look, which
didnt actually meet the require-
ment, but they got the work never-
theless. Chinese labor is much
cheaper than metal.
The universal complaint for inter-
national plants in China is quality
or, specifically, the lack thereof. The
Dear U.S. Platers:
Dont Overestimate China
American finishers still have the advantage when it comes
to plating quality and consistency.
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 37
driving force is often price and, as we
all know, plating is the orphan child
of any plant or manufacturing
process. Its out-of-sight, out-of-
mind relevance in the scheme of
things only hide issues, but when
poor finishing practices come to the
surface (no pun intended), the world
comes to an end.
Based on my experience visiting
plants in China, the glaring truth is
they are clueless as to how to actually
run their plating lines and achieve
normal and consistent quality. There
is not enough space in this article to
expound on even one days trek
through factories and the managers
ignorance of the processes. You
might ask how they continue to plate
and sell their services! Well, you put
in the tanks and it comes out shiny.
Everyone agrees it is shiny, so we can
sell it. Thats it, in a nutshell.
I do not want to sound derogato-
ry toward the Chinese, because I
know them to be a very capable peo-
ple. However, they are drivenjust
like usto put out fires and ignore
what doesnt seem to matter. To
them, shiny is good and they only
deal with plating thickness, deposit
stress, etc., when it comes to light.
Then they have to figure out how to
even check for those things. I am
not being facetious; of course,
someone somewhere knows how to
identify these things, but to have
technicians in every plant in China
is an impossibility because many
real plating techs dont yet exist.
What this means to metal finishing
professionals willing to think out of
their comfort zone is a very unique
opportunity. I have been offered jobs
in China just to clean up plants and
get them to be consistent. One west-
ern companys plating plant in China
couldnt get the color of their zinc-
plated parts to have even a close
resemblance of consistency. Thats all
they were asking forjust make the
parts look the same. There were four
parts on a completed unit and they
looked like they were plated with dif-
ferent materials. The executive I was
talking with said he was tired of his
salespeople having to make excuses
for the varying look.
The gold mine potential for adven-
turous platers watching their work
go overseas is step up to the plate
and offer solutions. Of course, you
cant do that from your comfy office
chair. However, plants strategically
placed in China can offer quality the
ex-pat companies are clamoring for.
Another approach would be to offer
to run plating departments in man-
ufacturing facilities on a contract
basis. Lastly, talk with U.S. compa-
nies that purchase plated parts from
China and have your services built
into their purchase agreement. One
good U.S. tech and a handful of local
workers could maintain any plant.
You could even partner with your
favorite plating chemical manufac-
turer to use their products exclusive-
ly for a monthly percentage. The
Chinese plant would be paying a lot
more for their plating, but the U.S.
company would (theoretically) insist
on it for qualitys sake, and it would
be part of their quote. I promise you
the U.S. companies are often dis-
gusted enough with the poor quality
to insist on such a concept. If you are
losing parts to China, follow the
parts and plate them there.
I was in such a China plant where
the U.S. quality inspector had just
left, and I heard stories of how much
he yelled at them. They said he was
beside himself with anger. I have a
strong feeling he would love to hear
from a trusted U.S. plater willing to
contract with that plant to run their
plating department. A higher plat-
ing cost to the producer of the
Chinese-manufactured part would
still be a savings, plus there would be
a usable part.
That being said, the Chinese con-
sumer market is growing fast and
quality offerings havent been an
issue, as no one had the money to
pay for them. (Things, they are a
changing.) I read an article about
one new white-collar professional in
Beijing who had a small car for her
daily commute but a Hummer for
her weekend four-wheeler club.
Little by little there will be a demand
for quality finishing, and that is
another gap not yet filled.
Being one of the many first kids
on the block to address Chinas
great need for quality finishing will
help you garner the profit you are
missing today and will position you
for the next generation. So, guys,
were platers, lets go where the parts
need plating.
I was talking to a U.S. bottling
middle manager a few years back
about the changing times in busi-
ness. He told me, We tell our people
that business isnt what it used to be,
and anyone not willing to live with
constant change can hit the door or
get fired because its never going to
be the same. This applies to our
industry, too. We are the final stage
of manufacturing, for the most part.
And those of us with experience are a
disappearing breed, but we still have
to have parts to plate.
Bottom line: China is going to get
more and more of our parts and
eventually figure out how to plate
just not anytime soon.
Bob Adams started in the plating industry
in the 1980s, managing and troubleshoot-
ing plating plants. He has more than 11
years experience in systems design, plating
management, system analysis, quality
control auditing, systems troubleshooting,
analytical lab design and operations, per-
sonnel training, and deposition technical
support. He also has a working knowledge
of ISO 9000, 5-S, and SixSigma systems,
as well as international experience.
Adams moved to China with his family
in the late 1990s to research the Chinese
business model and do custom manufac-
turing. Since that time he has commuted
from the U.S. to China, primarily in a
consulting capacity.
Adams is based in Iowa and has a net-
work of Chinese professionals working
with him throughout China. He plans to
relocate to China in the near future per-
For more information on Adams,
please visit
38 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
e have all heard the expres-
sion, Quality is everyones
job. That is a bit like saying every-
one is responsible for raising the
children. If mom or dad, or uncles,
aunts older siblings or grandparents
disagrees as to what the standards of
behavior ought to be, the children
will, in all likelihood, establish their
own. The result can be chaos, with
maybe a child or two winding up in
trouble with those outside the fami-
ly, like the school or even the police.
One or more of the parents must
establish the standards and everyone
must agree to those standards.
If we think about quality in this
same way, the result multiple stan-
dards may be that quality is no ones
job. Think about how many times
you may have driven down the street,
or walked along a path in the park.
Out there on the grass is some litter.
We all want to live in a clean envi-
ronment, yet we pass that trash
because we convince ourselves that
someone else will pick it up. I live
in a semi-rural area and not a day
goes by without some passing
motorist throwing trash on my front
lawn: cigarette wrappers, beer cases,
soda cans, etc.
If everyone agrees that they want a
pristine environment, why would
some of those people toss trash out
of a car window? Quality standards
are like thatsomeone must estab-
lish rules and ensure that others
abide by them.
The boss, however, cannot afford
to think that anything be left to
others to decide what is acceptable.
The customer, in most cases, estab-
lishes standards of their own. When
management accepts an order, they
must feel obliged to conform to
those standards. When the produc-
er company has lower standards
than the customer, the customer
will take their business elsewhere.
Quality cannot be someone elses
responsibility, least of all quality of
the product or service the business
offered to their customers. It is
quite simple: someone has to be
responsible, or there is no way to
assure that the customer gets what
he/she is asking for.
Understand that when I mention
quality, I am not talking about
goodness; that is another issue
entirely. While the goodness stan-
dard also flows from the boss, it is
not the subject of this column. I am
not writing about whether a product
or service that meets one of the defi-
nitions for quality as put forth by
the American Society for Quality
(ASQ): free of defects, or zero
defects, or a product or service free
of deficiencies.
Think for a moment about the best
restaurant you may have ever visited,
and think about a greasy spoon at
the other end of the spectrum. In both
cases, the employees provide the food
and services that is acceptable to the
boss. You would not go to Longman
& Eagle in Chicago, Bennans in New
Orleans or Uchiko in Austin, Texas,
and accept the same food or service
that you might accept from a street
vendor on the Boardwalk in Atlanta.
You would expect, and receive, some-
thing much better.
These famous restaurants offer
not only food and service well above
that of the street vendor, but they
also maintain a sense of decorum, or
panache, that the street vendor
could never hope to emulate. The
chefs and managers set the style and
demand that the staff maintain it
without exception.
The fact is that company leaders
set the standard for quality for their
subordinates regardless of what the
business is. The workforce and staff
spend a lot of time, thought, and
energy trying to discern what will
please (or displease) their leaders. If
we know anything about the boss,
we have a very good idea of what he
or she will tolerate;. it is fundamen-
tal. The product or service reflects
company management. If you are
the leaderthe bossand the prod-
uct have problems, it is your fault.
There are bosses, under-bosses,
and under-under-bosses in the man-
agement chain. Everybody has a boss,
even the CEO. The CEO reports to
the board of directors, which reports
to the stockholders. The CEO proba-
bly has several direct subordinates
who march to his or her beat.
Meanwhile, John down in the
machine shop probably knows that
there is a CEO and may even know
his or her name. However, Johns
salary, working hours, and other ben-
efits come from DanielJohns
supervisor. John does not see the
CEO as his leader. Daniel is the only
leader that John thinks about and
tries to please. Although the CEO
may share the responsibility for qual-
ity with Daniel and John, the CEOs
portion does not get any smaller.
Actually, even though Daniel shares
the responsibility with John, Daniels
portion does not get smaller, either.
Responsibility is a unique con-
cept that can only reside within the
individual. President Harry Truman
said it in simple terms: The buck
stops here. You may think you
have delegated it, but it is still with
Who is Ultimately Responsible
for Quality Control? July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 39
you. You may share it with others but your portion is in
no way diminished. Some managers many deny it, but
they cannot divest themselves of it. Even if you do not
recognize it or admit its presence, you cannot escape it.
As the boss, the responsibility is rightfully yoursno
evasion or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the
burden to someone else.
That is a powerful thought. All leaders should have that
message carved into their desktop. The CEO shares the
responsibility for quality with the rest of the leaders in the
organization, right on down to Johns boss. Joe, of course,
is responsible for doing his job right using the process that
was given to him. If the process, or John, is incapable of
meeting the requirement, Tom is responsible for correct-
ing the situation, or going back to those who designed and
approved the process to make it better. If Daniel does not
do his job correctly, and a defective product gets out, and
he and the CEO must share the responsibility.
Unfortunately, many members of management (at all
levels) do not seem to understand their responsibly when
it comes to quality. I cannot tell you the number of times
I have heard a plant manager blame those people,
meaning the workers, for rotten quality. That type of
manager does not understand how quality happens, does
not understand that he or she is responsible for quality.
This type of manager screams, How the hell did that get
out? when the customer complains.
If a team of people produces something, whose fault is
it if the quality is poor? After all, a testers job is, ostensi-
bly, to find defects in a product. A poor quality product
must be the result of the testers not doing well enough,
right? Tests, or inspector, teams are also called Quality
Assurance teams. (Think about that.) Is there anything
that the inspectors or testers produce which results in
making the quality low? The obvious answer is nothing.
Every other individual involved in the project is responsi-
ble for the quality, including designers, developers, testers
and managers. By discovering a defect, a tester is merely
highlighting a risk, saying that a problem exists. This is
exactly what these people are supposed to be doing.
If the process is not at fault, and defective pieces are
produced, is it the fault of the inspector who finds them,
or is it the fault of the manufacturing people who pro-
duce the defective parts?
The worst attitude a manufacturer can have is one that
says, That is good enough. The inspectors job to present
the risk, rather than to be the judge of how much risk is
I once turned down a very promising, and lucrative,
position when I found thousands of products in the ware-
house with red tags, an indication of non-conformance.
There were several engineers going through the shipping
containers and signing off on the red tags. One of the
engineers told me that, this was the only way to meet their
shipping quota. In all likelihood, they knew their cus-
tomer would reject the parts, but there was a slim chance
they would not.
I believe that this company was looking for a scapegoat,
someone to blame for poor quality, not a quality director.
I think that one implication of this is that testers need
to document all the defects they find. Only keeping a
record the serious non-conforming product do they
point out the magnitude of productions problems. They
are not only presenting the risk, but making a decision
about what they perceive the risk to be. Another impor-
tant implication is that its not the testers fault when
everything breaks six months down the lineit was always
broken. True, more testing might have found more
defects, but eventually management decides to ship the
product as is or not. Shipping sub-standard product is
always a calculated risk.
Leslie W. Flott, Ph.B., CQE, ASQ Fellow, is certified as an IDEM
Wastewater Treatment Operator and Indiana Wastewater
Treatment Operator. He received his BS in Chemistry from
Northwestern University and his Masters Degree in materials
engineering from Notre Dame University. Most recently, Flott
served as the environmental program director and instructor at
Ivy Tech Community College. Prior to that, he was the health,
environmental, and safety manager at Wayne Metal Protection
for finishing with Aero-Green Specialty Cleaners.
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aint Prep Cleaner 4110 P
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aint Prep Cleaner
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40 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
To be. Arguments for staying in busi-
ness, whether an owner or manager,
are virtually identical:
We are not profitable but are
The transition from red to black is
We are not profitable but will be,
because our competitors have
either gone out of business or are
in the process of going out of
General economic conditions are
improving, and we should increase
in volume with resultant
We are just about break-even as a
result of tolerable (but
unpleasant) decreases in salaries,
hourly wages and benefits. If
business doesnt decrease further
we can get by indefinitely. (How
long is indefinitely?)
Business will improveit always
China has acquired most of our
domestic manufacturing, reducing
our remaining sales volume and
profits to marginal levels. But,
since their wages are increasing, it
should cause an increase in their
artificially low prices, making U.S.
pricing more attractive. So...we
should get back some of the
Some offshore competitors are
shipping an increasing amount of
defective parts, resulting in time-
consuming delivery delays and net
cost increases. Consequently, U.S.
pricing becomes more attractive.
Not to be. Arguments for terminat-
ing the business and initiating possi-
ble personal alternatives:
A continuing lack of profits and
resultant late payments is causing
a problem with suppliers.
Bankruptcy of your company is
imminent, because a significant
improvement in cash flow cannot
be realistically forecast.
Competitors are not interested in
mergers despite their similar lack
of profits.
Being close to retirement age
(now reluctantly reduced)
provides an incentive to take cash
reserves and other assets before
they are exhausted and
Shudder. RETIRE!
If complete retirement is not
feasible, swallow your pride and
find work elsewhere. (OK, so you
will no longer be the BOSS or CEO.)
If you still have cash reserves and
available credit, create a new
business based on your
management experience, technical
knowledge, hobbies and/or other
interests. Agreed, this is not an
easy task.
Shut it down and/or let the
employees buy and run it.
Go to work for a competitor!
Retire at an earlier age (58-60)
than anticipated: (65 or never).
Utilize your full or a portion of
your time, e.g. golf, fishing,
painting and/or reading.
Alternatives to business termina-
tion or retirement:
1.Build a new business by diversi-
fication. Guess what? Low-cost
commercial non-technical busi-
ness has declined drastically due
to foreign competition.
So...grow and survive by diversify-
ing into high-level technology
and market beyond your current
local U.S. market.
2. Sell your current product (or
process) beyond your current
geographical area. Specifically,
for a job shop, stop being stuck
in the mud of same old.
3. Invent or buy others inven-
tions, whether process or prod-
uct. Be prepared to pay a royalty
if necessary.
4. Still have a sizable financial
reserve and/or bank credit? Buy
another company having a sal-
able technology you understand.
5. Scariest of all for stuck in the
mud like this author/consul-
tant, be prepared to travel within
the growth international mar-
kets, e.g., China, India, and Brazil
(yes, Brazil), where knowledge of
Portuguese is helpful, but not
6. For job shops: If your company
has depended upon manufactur-
ers that have been made obsolete
by foreign sources, become a
manufacturer of a product that is
based upon specialty finishing
7. Buy a small manufacturer, or
distributor, marketing on an
international basis.
8. (Pardon the plug): Retain a
consultant to suggest and help
build a new or more diversified
business. Or...
Improve profits by developing
new processes or products.
Merge with other entities to
reduce costs by eliminating
Above all, just dont sit there using
up all your cash reserves and credit.
You will go bankrupt or broke!
To BeOr Not to BeIn Business
41 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
Continued on page 44
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rated oil from the belt.
Visit for more information.
Graymills new TL Series Liftkleen semi-automatic,
immersion parts washer offers operating capabilities
and features commonly only found in high-end equip-
ment. The TL Series
features heavy-gauge
metal construction
with durable pow-
der-coated exteriors.
For water-based
(aqueous) applica-
tions, the TL Series
adds stainless steel
construction, an
insulated tank and
t her most at i cal l y
adjustable heat up
to 180F.
Powerful electro-
pneumatic lift
mechanisms provide
300 lbs. of weight
capacity with
adjustable stroke
and speed settings.
Generous platform
and tank dimen-
sions accommodate
large parts up to
47''L x 18''W x
24''H. The automat-
ic open-and-close lid
and deluxe, filtered
detail brush and
recirculation pump
allow spot cleaning
of those difficult to
reach areas and add
to the functionality
of this multi-use
equipment. An avail-
able 3000GPH inter-
nal agitation pump
for improved in-
tank cleaning, and
filtration and oil
Graymills PL36FB
Graymills TL-17
42 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011 July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 43
skimmer for fluid consistency round out the features of
the TLs offerings.
Also new from Graymills is the PL36-FB model (free-
board washer), the newest member of the durable, long-
established Handikleen line. This model complies with
the most common freeboard ratio/rule of 0.75 for those
areas that need freeboard-compliant parts washers.
Heavy gauge metal construction with a durable pow-
der-coated exterior ensures long life. A removable work
shelf puts parts at a convenient height. Simply remove
the shelf and you have a soak tank. Built-in filtration and
a high flow pump deliver effective cleaning and rinsing
action through the flexible metal flush hose.
For more information, visit or call
(888) 472-9645.
Mean Green Industrial Strength Cleaner and
Degreaser has a unique blend of biodegradable deter-
gents, specially formulated for the most challenging
industrial applications. With 40 percent more cleaning
ingredients, grease and grime are quickly dissolved, while
30 percent more solvents and 20 percent more surfac-
tants lift stubborn stains off all surfaces. Mean Green
has doubled the amount of chelating agent for superior
all-around performance. Mean Green Industrial
Strength Cleaner and Degreaser is ideal for a wide variety
of manufacturing and metalworking applications,
including use in dip tanks and parts cleaning operations,
removal of grease and grime from machinery and manu-
factured parts, hydraulic cylinders and other heavily
soiled products without environmentally harmful sol-
vents. It is also effective on concrete floors, and is ideal
for use with pressure washers.
Mean Green Industrial Strength Cleaner and
Degreaser is packaged in sizes to suit any industrial use,
ranging from a 32-ounce trigger spray bottles to 55-gal-
lon drums. Product is available from industrial distribu-
tors or directly from the factory.
Visit for more informa-
Guyson Corporation has introduced a mid-size robot-
ic grit-blasting machine for precision surface prepara-
tion in coatings work cells. The seven-axis blast unit is
capable of accurately and efficiently producing a speci-
fied surface roughness with a consistency not possible
using manual or multiple-gun blasting methods,
according to Guyson.
A six-axis robot arm, serving as a blast gun manipula-
tor, is attached to a 52 x 32-inch rotary blasting cabinet
with a servomotor-driven 24-inch turntable controlled
as a seventh axis of coordinated robotic motion. A part-
holding fixture securely attached to the table positively
locates the component, which can be oriented or rotated
at controlled speed during the programmed process
For grit-blast preparation of components with
through-holes, vents or internal passageways, where
media could collect during processing, the spindle or
turntable is designed with core air supplied to allow a
positive and adjustable flow of purge air through the
component during blasting. If exacting table run-out
tolerances apply, the blast system manufacturer can do
the machining in place using custom robot end-of-arm
When the quality of surface preparation is considered
critical and validation or documentation of process con-
trol is required, the blast machine designer and manu-
facturer offers a SCADA controls package that can dis-
play, capture and record data on all blasting parameters
throughout each blast cycle, providing an audit trail to
verify conformity to specifications or process work
For more information or free laboratory testing and
application engineering evaluation, please visit
Petroferm, Inc. introduces CleanSafe 686 Aqueous
Cleaner, an innovative cleaning solution recommended
for cleaning todays aerospace components and assem-
blies. CleanSafe 686 removes the following materials:
Aeroshell 500 Turbine Oil, Aeroshell 33 Grease, Ardrox
985 P14, Boelube 70106, Castrol X-52, Houghton Draw
V-2000, Ionoplus 3000, Iloform PN 270, Microcut 26D,
MIL-C-16173e, Quaker AVR and Rustillo 4135NF. (Test
results are available upon request.)
CleanSafe 686unlike other products in the market-
placedoes not require chemical additives, boosters or
pH adjusters to help monitor concentration or maintain
cleaning effectiveness. Our objective throughout the
product development process was to create a high-per-
formance, environmentally accepted material that would
be straightforward to operate and control, said Bill
Breault, aerospace market manager, Petroferm.
Email for more information.
Lechler, Inc. offers a complete line of products for clean-
ing tanks and vessels of all sizes. Included in that line are
Mini-Whirling nozzles, designed to clean smaller vessels
up to 3 ft. in diameter, such as kegs, drums, barrels, totes
and carboys. All have rotating heads that create flow
movement for more effective cleaning. Models include:
The popular PVDF Mini-Whirly
A stainless steel unit that fits into 1-inch-wide
A stainless steel slip-on nozzle
A heavy-duty model in either POM or PVDF material
with stainless steel ball bearings for more rugged
cleaning jobs.
For more information, please call (800) 777-2926 or
For sales/marketing companies and
their managers. I have addressed the
plight of manufacturers and job
shops affected by foreign competi-
tion, but neglected marketing/sales
companies and their executives. It is
a toughie.
The problem for these owners and
executives of financial struggling
organizations is both profound and
complex. They should consider a
move to companies with a future and
be prepared to travel internationally
and/or relocate to a new U.S. location
or foreign office.
To accomplish the transition to
international marketing, learn the
language of the proposed area.
Specifically, at the top of the list, are
Chinese, Indian and Southern USA.
(You have to get down and dirty on
the ground in Texas).
Start your own company dealing in
the import export area.
For those unemployed or anticipat-
ing unemployment:
While looking or planning for a
new job go to school and learn a
new communication technology,
management and/or marketing
Finally, reduce your income
and/or salary requirements.
These are difficult times for U. S.
companies, their owners, managers
and employees who are not involved
in international marketing. I have
listed alternatives to your present
occupations and ownership. It is
quite possible that a change in either
could provide an improvement in
your attitude and enjoyment of your
life despite a possible reduction in
Bert J. Sherwood, M. S. in Ch.E., is a con-
sultant who has provided business and
technical counsel to surface finishing and
manufacturing companies for 25 years.
He can be reached at:
Continued from page 41
44 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
Following is a sampling of U.S.-based fin-
ishers and captive shops serving the
architectural components market. Visit, Metal
Finishings online Finishers Directory, for
contact information and other resources.
Alpha Tech Coatings
Capitol Metal Finishing
PM Industries, Inc.
Black Oxide Industries, Inc.
California Electroplating
California Technical Plating
Coast Plating, Inc.
Electroplating Specialties
Gardena Specialized Processing
Orange County Plating Co., Inc.
Precision Control Finishing
Precision Powder Coating
Processes by Martin, Inc.
Surface Finishing Technology Plating
Tiodize Company, Inc.
Valley Plating Works
Valmont/George Industries
Plating Specialties
Absolute Powder Coating
Delong Equipment Co.
Frohn North America, Inc.
NuTech Powder Coaters, LLC
Performance Coatings, Inc.
Team Metal Finishing
Advanced Electrochemical Technology
Advanced Powder Technology
Berteau Lowell Plating Works
Britt Industries, Inc.
CRW Finishing, Inc.
Imperial Plating
LA Metal Polishing
Micron Metal Finishing
Meyer Metal Systems
Morgan OHare
Powder Parts
Reliable Plating Corp.
Saporito Finishing Company
Zegers, Inc.
Beacon Industries
C&R Plating Company
Muncie Precision Hard Chrome
Protech Metal Finishing
Winona Powder Coating, Inc.
Bontrager Powder Coating
True Spec Finishes, LLC
Tri-State Plating, Inc.
A-1 Powder Coating
Martin Specialty Coating
Agritek Industries, Inc.
Delta-Chem Technologies, Inc.
Depor Industries, Inc.
DST Industries
Engineered Finishing Corp.
GLW Finishing
Kalamazoo Metal Finishers
Magnum Powder Coating, Inc.
McNichols Polishing & Anodizing
Peninsula Powder Coating
Wolverine Plating Corp.
Granite Falls Coating & Manufacturing
Process Engineering Co., Inc.
T&T Plating
Madison County Metal Polishing
Superior Coating
Bosco Powder Coating
Decorative Industrial Plating
TMCO, Inc.
Paramount Metal Finishing
C.H. Thompson Company, Inc.
Control Electropolishing
Lawrence Ripak Company
Allied Metal Finishing
Advance Paint Technology, Ltd.
Architectural & Industrial Metal Finishing
Burton Metal Finishing
Imperial Metal Solutions, LLC
Medina Plating Corporation
Plating Technology, Inc.
Tusco Display Co.
Great Lakes Metal Finishing
J.K. Metalworks
3D Powder Coating
Aerotech Metal Finishing
Delta Specialty Coatings
Dixie Electroplating
DuPont Industrial Coating Solutions
Enhanced Powder Coating
Harrison Electropolishing
Industrial Metal Finishing
Royalty Metal Finishing, Inc.
HYTECH Finishing
Crystal Finishing Systems, Inc.
Engineered Finishing Corp.
Hartford Finishing
Professional Plating
Profile Finishing Systems
Quality Coatings, Inc.
River City Powder Coating
Promote your company in
Metal Finishings NEW Finishers Directory!
Listings start at $19.99 per year
The Finishers Directory is an online resource that enables potential customers to quickly identify surface finishers based on
a range of variables, including company name, business served, finishing operations performed, and geographical location.
Get your company listed today at July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 45
Ready Reference
ADVERTISING RATES: 1 Time - $117.00, 3 Times - $114.00, 6 Times - $109.00, Yearly - $102.00 per column inch per insertion
Filter Presses 1-100 cu. ft.
Clarifiers 2-300 gpm
Sludge Dryers 2-75 cu. ft.
Waste Treatment Systems
Used Equipment
Polyproducts, Evaporators
Bags, Cloth & Media
Anode Bags
Used Equipment
Call: 216-881-7900
Fax: 216-881-8950
Will purchase excess
semi/brights/watts nickel baths and
nickel sulfate from IX recovery.
Send analysis report with volumes to:
Nickel Solution Wanted
See your ad here
Call for the details
Paint Masking Products
Sound Damping Products
Spray Booth Maintenance
lndustrial Automotive Marine
ADVERTISING RATES: 1 Time- $123.00, 3 Times - $120.00, 6 Times - $114.00, Yearly - $107 per column inch per insertion

$$$$$ pass you by!

Your equipment source
46 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
Leading full line manufacturer of
metal finishing products is seeking
manufacturing representatives
throughout the USA. Please visit
our website at
Please respond to 1-800-642-7456
ext. 255 or email at
Low pressure 60 hp steam
boiler 3 years old.
1,000,000 BTU's
or call 616 575 9300
Vinyl Plastisols
Tapes & Waxes
Stop-Off Lacquers
Strippers & Reducers
Miccroshield Miccrostop
Miccromask Miccropeel
Miccrotex XP-2000
Miccrotape 3/4 Miccrotape 1210
Miccrotape 1220 Miccrowax
Black Green Orange Red
220 West 5th Street
Hope, Arkansas
870-777-3251 Fax: 870-777-8056
Promote your company in
Metal Finishings NEW
Finishers Directory!
Listings start at
$19.99 per year
The Finishers Directory is an online
resource that enables potential
customers to quickly identify surface
finishers based on a range of
variables, including company name,
business served, finishing
operations performed, and
geographical location.
Get your company listed
today at
Aug. 911 Military Vehicle Exhibition & Conference, Detroit, Mich. Visit for more information.
Aug. 2324 2011 Old School Meets High Tech Powder Coating
Workshops, East Windsor, Conn. Please visit
ingworkshop for more information.
Sept. 6 NESHAP Subpart 6H Training Program, sponsored by DeVilbiss,
Binks, and Community College, Toledo, Ohio. To register online, please visit
the website: or call (800)
466-9637, ext. 7320, for more information.
Sept. 79 Spray Finishing Training, sponsored by DeVilbiss, Binks, and
Community College, Toledo, Ohio. To register online, please visit the follow-
ing website: or call
(800) 466-9637, ext. 7320, for more information.
Oct. 46 2011 North American Industrial Coating Show (NAI), Cincinnati,
Ohio. For more details, please visit
Oct. 57 Third Annual Palmetto Technical Conference, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
For more information, please visit
Oct. 2527 parts2Clean, Stuttgart, Germany. For more details, please visit
Oct. 2526 Old School Meets High Tech Powder Coating Workshops,
Tampa, Fla. For more information, please visit
Nov. 4 2011 New England Surface Finishing Regional, Hyannis Resort &
Conference Center, Hyannis, Mass. For more information, please call (413)
788-7375, ext. 310.
Nov. 1417 CCAI Finishing Pavilion & Conference at FABTECH, Chicago,
Ill. Please visit
for more information.
Nov. 2325 SFCHINA 2011. For more information, please visit www.sfchi-
events July/August 2011 I metalfinishing I 47
index July/August 2011
48 I metalfinishing I July/August 2011
AmeriChem Engineering Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
Bass Mechanical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Coral Chemical Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Cornerstone Systems, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Divine Brothers Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
EW Metals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
Fischer Technology, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Haviland Products Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Hi-Lite Markings, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Industrial Waste Water Services LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
MacDermid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Matchless Metal Polish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Metalline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
Met-Chem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
Miraclean Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
M.W. Watermark, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
NAI Coating Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
RBL Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
Reliant Aluminum Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Reliant Specialty Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
SFCHINA 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IFC
Shaoxing CTN Electronics Co., Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
Tolber/Pyramid Plastics, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Waste Treatment Equipment Specialties . . . . . . . . . . . .46

On site training for management and supervision on:

Leadership Supervisory Responsibilities &Functions, Discipline Problem Solving
Motivation Personal Time Management Innovation & Creativity Training Employees

AND The above curriculum for do-it- yourself company trainers.

Bert J. Sherwood, Pres.
Sherwood Business Mgt. Corp. Los Angeles, CA 90024
Information- email:
(Testing & Control)
Content ranges from troubleshooting
plating bath chemistries and processes,
to monitoring system controls, to
testing for coating thickness,
integrity and defects.
(Finishing Equipment + Plant
Issue covers the many plant
upgrade/retrofit options available for
finishers offering electroplating or
coating services. Bonus Coverage:
Abrasive blasting equipment, mass
finishing media, and tumbling.
2012 Organic Finishing
Cleaning & Pretreatment
Coating Materials
Application Methods
Paint & Powder Coating
Thickness Testing
Stripping Organic Coatings
Metal Finishing is currently seeking technical papers and articles for the
remaining 2011 editions. Issue themes and projects are as follows:
Please submit abstracts or
deadline inquiries to
Reginald Tucker, editor, at
or call (212) 633-3885.
Go on: Take it
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up to date on the technical aspects of both electroplating and
organic fnishing processes, while providing news and perspectives
that shape the surface fnishing industry.
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