Fire-resistant and oil-based hydraulic fluids commingled in a bulk tank left the plant vulnerable to fire. If plant operators filled their individual reservoirs from the direct-fill system, the issue would propagate throughout the plant. A full shutdown was imminent.
The customer faced the need to drain all contaminated fluid from the 4,000-gallon bulk tank, perform a thorough cleaning, and replace both fluids in the tank. The fluid replacement cost was estimated at $23,000. Shutdown and cleanup costs would easily exceed fluid replacement expenses.
Trucent was asked to apply new perspective to the issue. Within two hours of the call, Trucent technicians and engineers were on-site, retrieving samples and consulting with the fluid manufacturers and plant process engineers. The samples indicated that oil-based fluid contamination was greater than 12% and was partially emulsified in the fire-resistant fluid.
Tests run at the Trucent labs determined that a process using centrifugal technology would bring fluid purity back to plant specifications. Technicians modified a skid-mounted purification module and quickly made the necessary hookups to the bulk tank to process the contaminated fluid.
Within 12 hours of the call, the fluid manufacturer verified that approved fluid specifications were restored, and plant process engineers verified that the plant was ready for full operation. More than 98% of the off-spec fluid was recovered, and the fire-resistant hydraulic fluid was retained.
The customer avoided a multiday operational shutdown as well as waste treatment, bulk tank recharge, and fluid replacement costs.