contract manufacturing customer service_Seacole_Minneapolis_Minnesota

Contract Manufacturing FAQs: Customer Service

contract manufacturing customer service_Seacole_Minneapolis_Minnesota

Every chemical contract manufacturer has a different process. Seacole’s includes the customer at every step, from product formulation, to production, quality control, and distribution. The Seacole team would like to share the following list of questions it often receives from new contract manufacturing customers.

Who Manages My Account?

At Seacole, a single account manager shepherds your project from start to finish.. Your account manager will facilitate the ideation and technical review processes, as well as reviewing all packaging and labeling requirements. The account manager also keeps you informed of the outcome of the Seacole quality control process, and your customer service representative will keep you informed of the progress of your orders.

What Can I Expect during the Account Setup Process?

Seacole customers can expect a thorough account setup process that includes the review of your formulation needs, a signed NDA to ensure your intellectual property stays confidential, and a thorough review of technical and regulatory requirements.

How Is My Team Part of Seacole’s Contract Manufacturing Process?

Your team can be as involved in the process as it wants to be. Some Seacole customers are hands off and only wish to discuss their project during the feedback and approval stage. Others are more involved throughout the process. Seacole can adjust its process to meet the needs of your team.  

Consumers are more empowered and connected than ever, which is why Seacole is committed to deepening customer relationships. Our goal is to earn long-term customer loyalty, so we prioritize each and every service interaction. Our customer service representatives are well-equipped with knowledge of all the industries we serve and can anticipate customer needs by understanding their pain points and most important concerns.

If your company requires a specialty chemical, work with a manufacturer who will treat you as a partner. To learn more about contract manufacturing or to get started on your mid- to large-sized production run, contact the Seacole team today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
ice cream science_Seacole Specialty Chemical_Minneapolis Minnesota

The Chemistry Behind Ice Cream

The recent heat wave inspired the Seacole team to make some old-fashioned ice cream. Do you know the chemistry behind ice cream?

We cooked a cream mixture from a secret recipe, poured it into a special aluminum canister, then placed that in a wooden bucket with ice and salt in between the two.

Seacole July Bp

Adding salt to the ice lowers its melting point, just as it does when crews add salt to the roads in winter. However, for the ice to melt, it has to absorb heat from its surroundings. That’s where the warm cream mixture comes in. The ice pulls the heat away from the cream, which allows the cream to freeze into ice cream. Stirring the mixture consistently moves the ingredients around so it can freeze evenly.

ice cream science_Seacole Specialty Chemical_Minneapolis Minnesota

Did you know ice cream is a compound? Once all the ingredients are mixed together, they are bound together. The ingredients are chemically combined and cannot be separated without another chemical reaction. 

It was delicious!

ice cream science_Seacole Specialty Chemical_Minneapolis Minnesota

Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags: ,
chemical warehousing and distribution_Seacole Specialty Chemical_Minneapolis_Minnesota

Warehousing and Distribution of Custom-Blended Chemicals

chemical warehousing and distribution_Seacole Specialty Chemical_Minneapolis_Minnesota

As a member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD), Seacole is committed to the safe warehousing and distribution of custom-blended chemicals. The distribution and warehousing teams at Seacole have the expertise to store your chemicals safely, saving your company valuable warehouse space at your facility.

Outsourced Custom-Blended Chemical Warehousing

Building a warehouse for chemical products is costly. In most cases, it is more cost-effective and efficient to outsource the warehousing of contract manufacturing chemical products. An expert team manages the Seacole warehouse according to industry best practices.

Once Seacole has formulated and packaged your custom solution, the warehouse team will store it until you need to fill an order. Then, the team will label and blind ship your items to you or your end user while meeting all shipping and handling requirements for your product. 

Responsible Distribution of Custom-Blended Chemicals

After your product leaves our facility, Seacole continues to follow the NACD’s recommendations for Responsible Distribution. By adopting these best practices, Seacole reduces the chance of an accident or environmental incident.

The Responsible Distribution guidelines keep the Seacole team and the public safe. Seacole carriers are experts in the safe shipment of chemicals so you can be confident that your products will arrive at their end destination safely.

Contract manufacturing is a cost-effective solution for companies introducing a new product to the market or streamlining manufacturing operations. Responsible warehousing and distribution are just two steps in Seacole’s ISO 9001:2015-certified contract manufacturing process. To learn more about the contract manufacturing process and how Seacole can save your company time and money, contact Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:
,

Seacole Product Tags: ,
SUR/FIN conference in Illinois_Seacole_Minneapols_Minnesota

Looking Ahead to SUR/FIN 2019

SUR/FIN conference in Illinois_Seacole_Minneapols_Minnesota
Source: NASF

The Seacole team is looking forward to attending SUR/FIN 2019, the annual industry trade show and conference for the surface finishing industry. This year’s SUR/FIN event will occur June 3 to June 5 in Rosemont, Illinois.

SUR/FIN Keynote Speakers Cover PFAS and Tariffs

SUR/FIN 2019 is hosting two informative keynote speakers to cover two important topics in the surface finishing industry this year: PFAS contaminants and the effect of tariffs on surface finishing shops.

Dr. Janet K. Anderson will give the first keynote on June 3 about the regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (known as PFAS), dioxanes, and trichloropropanes. Dr. Anderson will explain the operational and human health risks associated with these contaminants and how surface finishing shops can prevent and reduce the effects of these chemicals. Directly after her talk, NASF will lead a discussion on PFAS and the surface finishing industry generally.

On June 4, president of the Reshoring Initiative Harry Moser will give SUR/FIN participants an update on global trade and tariffs trends, including how the proposed USMCA trade agreement might affect the surface finishing industry. Mr. Moser will discuss the risks and opportunities the current trade climate presents to the surface finishing industry, including how it affects sales and procurement.

Customized Technical Conference Available at This Year’s SUR/FIN

This year, SUR/FIN is empowering attendees to design their own focus for technical training and seminars, choosing from 81 different technical sessions to ensure their time at the conference is well-spent. Topics range from black chrome finishing and the alkaline stripping of chromium to environmental protection laws and hazardous waste treatment best practices.

Top Shop Stage Features Industry Innovators

The Products Finishing magazine’s Top Shops Management Stage is a recent addition to the SUR/FIN lineup. The venue provides peer-to-peer events and information, including a panel of leaders in the surface finishing industry and recognition of top shops across the country, from the 40-under-40 awards to the finishing hall of fame.

Seacole is committed to providing innovative, exceptional service to surface finishing customers and others who partner with us. Participating in SUR/FIN is one way Seacole stays up-to-date on the latest technologies, trends, and changes in the surface finishing industry. To learn more about our surface finishing capabilities, contact the Seacole team today.


Seacole Product Tags:
,

Seacole Product Tags:
chemical contract manufacturing_Seacole Speciality Chemical_MInneapolis_Minnesota

Contract Manufacturing FAQs

chemical contract manufacturing_Seacole Specialty Chemical_Minneapolis_Minnesota

Formulating and mixing specialty chemicals in-house is cost-prohibitive for many companies. Contract manufacturing is a cost-effective solution for companies introducing a new product to the market or streamlining manufacturing operations.

As a provider of contract chemical manufacturing, Seacole would like to share the following list of questions we frequently receive.

What Is Contract Manufacturing?

Contract manufacturing, also known as contract blending, custom blending, and chemical toll blending, is a specialty service. Companies with complex chemical formulations hire a contract manufacturer to handle every part of the manufacturing process, from mixing and blending to packaging and delivery.

Contract manufacturing is often a safer and more cost-effective method of blending chemicals than investing in the resources, equipment, and human capital to produce specialty chemicals in-house. Seacole starts by consulting with companies to review formulas and needs, and will design manufacturing plans to meet specific requirements and budgets.

Can Contract Manufacturing Save My Company Money?

Contract manufacturers are designed for flexibility and efficiency. Seacole offers extensive customization as well as reduced production and labor costs. Often, contract blending providers work with suppliers to reduce the cost of raw materials, passing the savings onto the customer.

How Hands-On Can My Team Be in the Contract Manufacturing Process?

Seacole works with customers to develop a professional relationship that benefits both companies. Some customers provide the raw materials and packaging, while Seacole performs the blending according to the customer’s specifications. Other customers rely on Seacole’s expertise and capabilities to provide turn-key service, including laboratory testing, blending, packaging, and blind-ship delivery to their end users.

How Do Contract Manufacturers Protect Intellectual Property?

By nature, contract manufacturing involves proprietary information and trade secrets. Your privacy is important Seacole. Seacole requires a mutual non-disclosure confidentiality agreement to be signed by both parties. Seacole requires that such an agreement be in place before any specific information regarding a contract manufacturing project is discussed.

How Do Contract Manufacturers Ensure Quality?

Quality control is an integral part of any custom blending project. Quality control ensures that every production batch meets designated specifications. This includes the customer’s standards, current and future regulatory compliance rules, and Seacole’s own high standards for quality. Every lot is quality-control tested, and retains are kept for up to five years.

How Can Seacole Help My Company?

Seacole provides industrial contract manufacturing and custom blending to companies that require specialty chemicals but do not have the facilities or resources to mix them in-house. Seacole specializes in providing expertise and turn-key experiences for mid- to large-sized production runs. The Seacole laboratory contains all the specialty equipment needed to optimize custom formulations and perform quality control testing. After blending is complete, Seacole can provide warehousing, custom labeling and packaging, and blind-ship delivery of custom-blended chemicals. Seacole is ISO 9001:2015 certified and an active member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Industrial Cleaning Challenges_Seacole

Three Solutions to Cold-Weather Industrial Cleaning Challenges

Industrial Cleaning Cold Weather_Seacole

From salt and slush to dust, cold weather presents unique cleaning difficulties. Here are three common industrial cleaning challenges companies face in winter and how Seacole can help clean them up.

Challenge: Dangerous Shop Floors | Solution: Spraydet EL

Staff and guests track ice, snow, and salt into your facility. Leaving slush and salt on the floors can create a slip-and-fall hazard and damage flooring. Using regular detergent to clean floors leaves behind a residue that makes floors even slicker.

Seacole’s Spraydet EL is a low-residue liquid soap. Though many customers use it for precision parts cleaning, its specialized formula is excellent for winter floor maintenance. Spraydet EL eliminates slush and salt without leaving behind any residue. Use with Seacole’s Defoamer O in an electric floor scrubber to ensure no suds are left behind.

Challenge: Dusty Shipping and Receiving Docks | Solution: Total

Dock doors often stay shut during frigid temperatures. Dust, grime, vaporized cutting oils, and metal grinding dust cannot escape and instead settle over dock surfaces. By the end of winter, dock floors, walls, ceilings, and equipment are covered in grime and dust.

Total is a liquid cleaner that can be diluted (or used concentrated) to remove dust and grime from any surface. It is ideal for pressure washers, hand mopping, and as a surface cleaner spray.

Challenge: Industrial Hard Surfaces | Solution: Break

Heavy-duty equipment needs a powerful degreaser to keep it in good working order. Our Break degreaser is formulated to cut through and remove grease, oil, and grime from industrial parts and equipment. It’s powerful enough to pre-treat components before cleaning them in a cabinet washer. Break is also gentle enough to use as a degreasing spray on shop desks, lunch room cabinets, switch plates, and phones.

Got dirt? Seacole has every product you need to keep your shop clean, productive, and safer this winter. Contact the Seacole team today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags: ,
APEX EXPO 2019_Seacole_printed circuit board

Seacole Gears Up for APEX EXPO 2019

APEX EXPO 2019_Seacole_printed circuit board

Source: IPC


Seacole is kicking off the year with a week of education and networking at the IPC APEX EXPO. This event is the premier trade show in the printed circuit board industry. It is a great opportunity to reconnect with customers and suppliers and learn about the changes coming to the electronics industry in 2019. Here are a few of the events our experts are looking forward to at APEX EXPO 2019, January 26 through 31, in San Diego, California.

Keynote Session with Tesla’s JB Straubel

Straubel is the Chief Technical Officer of Tesla, Inc., the manufacturer of Tesla electric vehicles. Straubel’s keynote talk will describe how Tesla embraced innovation within every element of its operations rather than relegate it to R&D, as companies often do. Using this example, Straubel will share strategies for engineering operations to create products that meet customers’ present and future needs.

Technical Conference Sessions

The thirty three technical conference sessions at the APEX EXPO will go in depth into emerging industry technologies. These sessions cover everything from assembly, testing, and inspection of printed circuit board surface finishing, including coating, plating, and adhesives.

Buzz Sessions on the Future of the Industry

Between technical conference sessions, there will be several breakouts on the future of the printed circuit board industry. From next-generation solder materials to the performance of lead-free materials in military and other high-reliability applications, the APEX EXPO buzz sessions will be fast paced and exciting.

The IPC World Hand Soldering Championship

The APEX EXPO is not just education and networking. This year, attendees from around the world will compete in the inaugural World Hand Soldering and Rework Championship. In just 90 minutes, competitors will remove six components from a soldered assembly, remove the old solder, clean the area, and then place and solder eighty-two new components. The first-place finishers of the three rounds will each win $1,000.

The Seacole team hopes to see you at APEX EXPO 2019 January 26 through 31 in San Diego, California. For more information on this event or how Seacole can support your printed circuit board manufacturing operation, contact Seacole today.



Seacole Product Tags:
,

Seacole Product Tags:
Cookie Chemistry_Seacole

Christmas Cookie Chemistry and Seacole’s Favorite Cookie Recipe

Cookie Chemistry_Seacole

The Seacole team is looking forward to a festive time off at the end of the month. And if your office is like ours, holiday treats are everywhere! All these confectionery delights has our team thinking about the chemistry behind a delicious cookie.

Cookie Chemistry at Work

Baking cookies and other treats is an example of chemistry in action. Baking is one of the first chemistry experiments we do as kids. The ingredients you use, how long you beat the dough, the temperature of the oven, and baking time work together to set off chemical reactions, resulting in the perfect cookie.

Cookie Chemistry Basics: Spread, Rise, Color, and Flavor

Butter determines the spread, or diameter, of your cookie. Melted butter creates a very wet dough. In the oven, the structure of cookies made from this type of dough will quickly break down in the heat. This expands the diameter of the cookies. Using colder butter creates a drier dough, helping the cookies maintain their structure.

Cookies rise when the water in the dough is converted from liquid to gas (steam). The steam pushes the dough up as it starts to rise. Then, the baking soda and baking powder combination cause a chemical reaction, producing carbon dioxide. The cookies rise even further, creating holes in the dough. The result is light and flaky cookies.

Fun fact: Cookies won’t rise in temperatures lower than 212 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the boiling point of water. Any lower and the water in the dough will not convert to steam. In the last few minutes of the bake, two delicious chemical reactions occur. As the sugars break down, they caramelize and create that signature fresh-baked cookie odor. Then the proteins in the egg and flour succumb to the Maillard reaction. This reaction occurs when sugars and proteins are heated together, for delicious results. The Maillard reaction is responsible for cookies’ toasty flavor.

Cookie Chemistry: Advanced Skills

Here are Seacole’s few chemistry tips for the perfect cookie. Using melted butter in your dough will create a flatter, chewier cookie. Using cold butter creates a cakey, fluffy cookie.

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and baking powder (baking soda plus a dry acid, such as cream of tartar) can alter cookie chemistry, too. Using soda instead of powder will create extra rise because baking powder leavens the dough when it is mixed in and when it is heated.

Two more pro tips: Use more flour for a thicker cookie. Dark sugars such as molasses and honey will get you a toastier flavor than white sugar.

Seacole’s Favorite Cookie Recipe: Aunt Mary’s Sugar Cookies

This sugar cookie recipe is from the kitchen of Seacole owner and founder Gregg Elliott’s mother.

Aunt Mary’s Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter

2 eggs

1 ½ cup white sugar

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. fresh baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups flour (reserve 3 Tbsp. for rolling)

Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together three times. Cut into butter like a pie crust. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until light. Add sugar and vanilla to eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Combine all ingredients and hand mix gently. Store in the refrigerator overnight.

Roll thin or make into balls and press with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar. Bake at 300–325 degrees for 10–12 minutes. Enjoy!

Happy Holidays from the Seacole team!


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Plant De-Icing Tips_Seacole

Landscape-Safe De-Icing Products for Ice and Snow

Plant De-Icing Tips_Seacole

Finding an effective de-icer that’s also safe for plants and other landscape features can be difficult. Seacole can recommend several de-icers that are effective and safe for the environment.

Choosing Road Salt

Each de-icing product is very different. Salt is the most popular de-icing agent. Several different types of salt are available, each with a different ice-melting capacity, price point, and degree of safety.

Rock Salt, or sodium chloride, is the most common de-icing agent. It is widely available, affordable, and easy to spread. But it is only effective to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, making it inappropriate for deep-winter applications in northern states. Rock salt can be harmful to plants, so avoid using adjacent to grass or landscape beds.

Calcium chloride is another option. It works faster than rock salt and at colder temperatures, down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. It will not hurt concrete walkways, but it will damage or kill plants. Though more effective than rock salt in colder climates, it still harms landscaping.

Potash or potassium chloride, better known as a fertilizer, is also an effective de-icer and safe for plants when applied appropriately. Seacole recommends spreading no more than 5 pounds per 100 square feet. Potash works more slowly than rock salt or calcium chloride, but is ultimately more effective.

Magnesium chloride is the most plant-safe ice melt option. It works down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit and requires just 1–2 pounds per 100 square feet. Magnesium chloride is safe for plants and paved surfaces.

For the Best De-Icing Results, Spray, Don’t Spread

Solid salt ice melt is a conventional choice for de-icing, but Seacole has an innovative and plant-safe option. The PA Liquid De-icer works in -40 degrees Fahrenheit. A single application will last longer than solid rock salt. It is also safe for plants and paved surfaces. Apply liquid deicer with a standard lawn and garden sprayer.

This winter, choose a plant-safe solution such as PA Liquid De-icer for effective and safe ice melting. Contact Seacole today to place an order.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Rack Surface Finishing Seacole

3 Rack Design Considerations for Surface Finishing Process Lines

Rack Surface Finishing Seacole

Source: NASF

Many industries, including the military, electronics, and medical sectors, demand high-quality surface finishing of their parts. When components are delicate, irregularly shaped, or complex, rack plating is an excellent option for surface finishing.

Before investing in a new rack plating system, surface finishing shops should consider the electrical requirements of their specific surface finishing process, the rack frame material, and the material of the rack itself. These factors contribute to the effectiveness and efficiency of the rack plating process.

  1. The Amps per Square Foot Requirement of the Surface Finishing Process

Every rack plating process requires a different amps-per-square-foot capability. An amps-per-square-foot requirement can be as low as 10 and as high as 400. The amps-per-square-foot of a rack plating process is limited by the capacity of the rectifier. To accommodate rectifier limitations, surface finishing shops may need to limit the number of parts they load into the rack at one time.

Below are examples of typical amps-per-square-foot requirements for common surface finishing processes. These requirements may vary depending on the specific process.

Type of Finishing Process Amps/Square Foot
Anodizing – Type 1 10–15
Nickel 25–35
Nickel-Chrome 100–150
Hard Chrome 250–400
Electropolishing 300–400

 

  1. The Current Carrying Capacity of the Rack Frame Material

The current carrying capacity of the rack’s frame material ensures parts are plated consistently, with no plating voids, uneven plating, or other quality issues. Copper is the standard against which surface finishing shops compare current carrying capacity.

Frame Material Current Carrying Capacity/Square Inch Percentage of Copper’s Carrying Capacity
Copper 1,000
Aluminum 600 60 percent
Brass 250 25 percent
Phosphor Bronze 180 18 percent
Steel 120 12 percent
Titanium 31 3.1 percent
Stainless Steel 23 2.3 percent

 

  1. The Strength, Resistance, and Current Carrying Capacity of the Rack Material

The last major consideration when setting up a rack plating process is the material of the rack itself. Racks can be fabricated from several different metals, all of which have advantages or disadvantages depending on the part to be plated. The stronger the rack material, the more parts it may be possible to plate in a single session. Some processes may require acid or caustic resistance.

Below are the most common metals used to fabricate plating racks and their advantages and disadvantages.

Metal Advantages Disadvantages
Copper Current Carrying Capacity; Easy to Fabricate Poor Acid Resistance; Soft
Aluminum Current Carrying Capacity; Strong; Lightweight; Inexpensive Poor Caustic Resistance; Difficult to Fabricate
Brass Strong; Easy to Fabricate Poor Acid Resistance
Phosphor Bronze Current Carrying Capacity Poor Acid Resistance; Low Availability; Expensive
Steel Strong; Inexpensive Poor Acid and Caustic Resistance

 

Seacole can help surface finishing shops keep their rack plating equipment effective and efficient. Our RACK/Stripper 35 strips tin, solder, and copper from plating racks so they can continue to provide consistent, high-quality plating. The product can hold more than 20 ounces per gallon of metal, making it an economical addition to any surface finishing maintenance routine.

For help understanding your rack plating process or to discover how specialty chemicals can make your process more productive, contact the Seacole team today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
corrosion prevention_inhibitor_Seacole_Plymouth Minnesota

The Science and Chemistry of Corrosion Prevention for Precision Parts Cleaning

corrosion prevention_inhibitor_Seacole_Plymouth Minnesota

Corrosion is one of the costliest challenges for precision parts manufacturing. Improper humidity, temperature, or process time can create destructive corrosion that can ruin batches of parts. Additionally, improperly treating components before storage or sale can lead to failures in the field.

Corrosion is the result of an electrochemical reaction that oxidizes metal atoms. Many metals used as precision parts materials are susceptible to corrosion, including steel, brass, aluminum, and copper. That’s why inhibiting corrosion is an important consideration for any precision parts cleaning process.

What causes corrosion in the parts cleaning process?

Improper humidity and moisture levels can create an environment where oxidation and corrosion can occur. So can high temperatures and too much or too little time in wash or rinse. Last, some chemical catalysts, such as sulfates and chlorides, can increase the chance that corrosion will occur.

Physical corrosion prevention strategies

Optimal corrosion prevention is a combination of physical improvements to the parts cleaning process and the use of a chemical corrosion inhibitor. Usually, most parts manufacturers should optimize the settings of their humidity chambers to maintain a consistent 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 percent humidity. It is common for condensation chambers to be kept between 99 and 100 percent humidity.

To prevent corrosion in the field, manufacturers should package their parts so they stay dry and cool. Some manufacturers include desiccants in their packaging to ensure products stay dry.

Chemical corrosion prevention

Corrosion inhibitors prevent chemical corrosion and can be applied during the wash or rinse cycle (or both). They effectively prevent corrosion on steel, brass, aluminum, and copper. Every inhibitor requires a specific amount of time in contact with parts to be effective.

Inhibitors may be aqueous, oil-in-water emulsions, oils, solvents, or additives in cleaners. Seacole’s experts can recommend several different types of corrosion inhibitors depending on a part’s materials and end application, including:

  • 571 Rust Inhibitor: Liquid inhibitor for in-process rust protection and short-term indoor part storage. Use in heated, high-pressure spray cabinets, conveyorized systems, freestanding manual tanks, and immersion-type tanks.
  • 573 Rust Inhibitor: Solvent inhibitor for long-term outdoors parts storage. Applies a transparent film to parts for a year of protection.
  • 577 Rust Inhibitor: Liquid inhibitor for parts that will be welded, painted, plated, or assembled.
  • 585 Water-Displacing Rust Inhibitor: Oil inhibitor that protects parts for long-term indoor storage. Applies a transparent film to parts for up to a year of protection.

Seacole has the expertise and precision parts cleaning experience to help manufacturers optimize their processing equipment and find the ideal chemical corrosion inhibitor for their products. Speak with a Seacole expert today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Air-Cooled Rectifier_Surface Finishing_Seacole_Plymouth_Minnesota

Rectifier Cooling: 3 Ways to Protect One of a Surface Finishing Facility’s Largest Investments

Air-Cooled Rectifier_Surface Finishing_Seacole_Plymouth_Minnesota

Source: American Plating Power

A rectifier is one of the largest investments any surface finishing company will make. One key factor that can extend the life of a surface finishing rectifier is the method used to cool it. Seacole’s team of surface finishing experts can help you decide which cooling method is appropriate for your process to help you protect your investment.

  1. Forced-Air Cooling

Air-cooled rectifiers are ideal for processes with minimal risk of corrosion. They require facilities that are well-ventilated or that can accommodate a room that has clean, well-ventilated, conditioned air. Excellent ventilation ensures any fumes or harmful particles present in the air do not enter the rectifier. Conditioned air maintains an ideal temperature for cooling the rectifier.

In forced-air cooled systems, fans force air through the rectifier to cool the power components housed inside. These fans require routine maintenance, as do air inlet filters and heat sinks. With weekly or monthly inspections and a clean air supply, forced-air rectifiers can provide efficient cooling for years.

  1. Closed-Loop Water Cooling

Water-cooled rectifiers are closed systems, making them ideal for harsh environments where corrosion may occur. In a closed-loop water cooling system, external water is piped into the rectifier’s internal water-to-water heat exchanger. This keeps the water temperature in the exchanger at approximately 40 degrees Fahrenheit so it can adequately cool the power supply without creating condensation within the system.

Closed-loop cooling systems require minimal maintenance as long as the temperature of the water is kept at optimal levels. Most closed-loop systems require visual inspection of water lines to check for leaks that could cause downtime or damage the rectifier.

  1. Oil Cooling

Though a larger up-front investment, oil-cooled rectifiers are extremely reliable and require nearly no maintenance. They are ideal for harsh environments, making them an excellent choice for processes that include electroplating or corrosive chemistries. The power components of oil-cooled rectifiers are submerged in non-conductive oil that’s cooled by heat-dispersing fins. The entire system is closed off, so it’s not vulnerable from particles and fumes in the surrounding air.

Minimal maintenance for oil-cooled systems includes changing the oil and maintaining optimal oil levels within the rectifier. Some components may also need to be replaced periodically. But with minimal routine maintenance, an oil-cooled rectifier can stay up and running for years.

It Pays to Protect Your Investment

Understanding the cooling requirements of your rectifier helps protect your investment. Proper maintenance and cooling extends the life of the rectifier and can lead to less downtime for your process line. Cooling can also reduce expenses related to corrosion and dirt within your rectifier, extending its life further.

To learn more about your rectifier cooling options, contact the surface finishing experts at Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Nasf Storage Tank

Selecting the Right Tanks for Your Surface Finishing Process

Nasf Storage Tank

Source: NASF

Tanks are used in nearly every step of the surface finishing process, from plating and rinsing to storage. Every step places unique demands on your tanks. Selecting the right tanks contributes to the long-term success of your entire process. Seacole is here to help you decide which tanks are right for your surface finishing line.

Chemical, Temperature, and Electrical Insulation Considerations for Surface Finishing Tanks

Every step in your surface finishing process requires different chemistries, temperature tolerances, and even insulation against electrical currents. Some tanks are ideal for acidic processes, while others should only be used for alkaline chemistries. Additionally, if the chemicals in your process are highly corrosive, choosing a tank with high chemical resistance is imperative.

Often, surface finishing processes involve chemical reactions that produce heat. Other processes, such as electroplating, require tanks to withstand electrical currents. Consider both the temperature of your process and the need for electrical insulation when selecting tanks for your surface finishing process.

Plastic Surface Finishing Tanks

Most plastic tanks are excellent insulators for temperature and electrical currents, making them ideal for high-temperature processes or electroplating. The most common materials for plastic surface finishing tanks are polypropylene, PVC, polyethylene, and Kynar®:

  • Polypropylene: The most common tank material for metal finishing, due to its low cost, chemical resistance, and appearance. Use for rinse water or with acidic or alkaline materials. Do not use for nitric or chrome processes.
  • PVC: Most common tank for chrome processes. Has a shorter lifespan.
  • Polyethylene: Ideal for molded, round storage tanks.
  • Kynar®: A greater investment but offers excellent chemical resistance. Ideal for high temperatures. Do not use for high alkaline materials.

Steel Surface Finishing Tanks

There are several different types of steel tanks for surface finishing. All steel tanks must be lined for electrical insulation if used in plating. The most common types of steel tanks are mild steel and stainless:

  • Mild steel: Low-cost, but suitable only for alkaline chemistries. Most mild steel tanks are coated with epoxy on the outside for durability.
  • 304 stainless steel: An affordable option for stainless steel and ideal for most chemistries except fluorides and chromic acid. Must be lined for electrical insulation if used as a plating tank.
  • 316 stainless steel: Often used for applications involving high-temperature pure water. Like 304 stainless steel, 316 stainless shouldn’t be used with fluorides or chromic acid. Must be lined for electrical insulation if used as a plating tank.

Lined Surface Finishing Tanks

Lined tanks are tanks lined with PVC, Kynar®, or Teflon®. In some lined tanks, the liner is bonded to the tank walls. Other times, a bag or rigid liner is retrofitted into an existing tank to insulate it against electric current or fix a leak. PVC is the most common liner material for plating tanks, though it is not ideal for temperatures over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Kynar® and Teflon® are ideal for high temperatures and processes involving chrome and fluorides.

Don’t Overlook Ventilation

Another key, yet often overlooked, consideration in choosing the right tank for your surface finishing process is ventilation. To keep employees safe and your surface finishing line productive and efficient, you must properly ventilate your process tanks. The design of your process’s ventilation hood, ductwork, and scrubbers must ensure that hazardous fumes are safely scrubbed and ventilated out of your facility.

Choosing the right tanks for your surface finishing process can be complicated, so rely on the expertise of the Seacole surface finishing team to help you identify the best tanks for every step in your process. Contact the Seacole team today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Boat hull cleaning_pressure washing_Seacole_specialty chemical

End-of-Summer Cleaning Products for Winterizing Recreational Equipment

End-of-Summer Cleaning Products for Winterizing Recreational Equipment

Boat hull cleaning_pressure washing_Seacole_specialty chemical

The end of summer is fast approaching. If you operate a dry dock, RV park, or property management company, autumn is winterizing season. To avoid damage, clean boats, campers, RVs, grills, and outdoor furniture before storing them. Proper cleaning helps protect against dirt, grease, grime, soil, and moisture over the winter. When left to fester, these contaminants can cause corrosion, musty smells, and sometimes even algae or mold growth.

Seacole products can help you save time and money this fall by cleaning in a variety of applications.  Whether you spray, wash, or soak in either hot or cold water, Seacole cleaners won’t leave residue on boats, campers, or outdoor furniture.

Seacole Cleaning Products for Marine Applications

Products for Aluminum and Fiberglass Hulls:

99BH Powdered Boat Hull Cleaner

Degreasers:

Evolution

Total B

All-Purpose Cleaners:

Break

Total

Odor Neutralizers:

Fresh Again

NOR

Seacole Cleaning Products for RVs and Campers

Before storing RVs and campers at your RV park, resort, or storage facility, make sure every vehicle is clean, deodorized, and free of grimy residue that will be difficult to remove after winter. Here are eight Seacole products to help you winterize RVs and campers more efficiently.

Degreasers:

Evolution

Total B

All-Purpose Cleaners:

Break

Total

Odor Neutralizers:

Fresh Again

NOR

Seacole Cleaning Products for Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Before shutting down a commercial kitchen for the season, clean and degrease them with these five Seacole products. See this blog post on cleaning commercial kitchens.

Make winterizing go more smoothly this year with a little help from Seacole. To order products for your fall cleaning jobs, contact Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Certificate Of Conformance_NACD_Seacole_Plymouth Minnesota

Seacole Verified in NACD Responsible Distribution

Certificate Of Conformance_NACD_Seacole_Plymouth Minnesota

As an NACD member, Seacole is committed to the guiding principles of Responsible Distribution, a mandatory third-party verified environmental, health, safety and security program dedicated to continuous performance improvement in every phase of chemical storage, handling, transportation, and disposal. We are proud to announce that we have achieved verification as a NACD Responsible Distributor. Responsible Distribution is a condition of membership in NACD, and all members are third-party verified at least once every three years. Click here to see Seacole’s verification certificate.

Here is more about Responsible Distribution and how it helps us serve our customers, employees, and community better.

Responsible Distribution

As an NACD member, Seacole is part of an international association representing chemical distributors and their supply-chain partners. We, and all NACD members, meet the highest standards in environmental safety, performance, and security, putting our employees, communities, and the environment first.

NACD requires all of its members to participate in the Responsible Distribution program, touching every aspect of the chemical distribution process, from storage and handling to transportation and disposal.

To become verified, a third-party company visited Seacole to measure our processes against the Responsible Distribution Guiding Principles. Among other requirements, Seacole demonstrated compliance with all applicable federal regulations, proper training for our team, and thorough and accurate definitions of roles within our organization.

How We Became Third-Party Verified

To ensure the verification process is as objective as possible, NACD implements a third-party verification system when evaluating members in its Responsible Distribution program. Now that we have been verified in Responsible Distribution, we’re excited to fully participate in all of the continuing education, workshops, and other benefits the NACD offers.

What Our NACD Membership Means for You

On average, chemical distributors who participate in the NACD Responsible Distribution program have fewer shipping incidents and fewer workplace accidents.

For our customers, our NACD membership means:

  • Seacole is able to get your shipments to you not only safer, but faster.
  • We employ engaged experts to bring you better products.
  • Our practices are safe and sustainable for our team and yours.
  • We can train your team on how to safely manage, store, and use the products we supply you.

Seacole is proud to be a member of the NACD. For any questions, please contact the Seacole team today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
SUR FIN 2018_Seacole_specialty chemicals_surface finishing

Our 5 Favorite SUR/FIN 30-in-30 Tips for Improving Shop Management

SUR FIN 2018_Seacole_specialty chemicals_surface finishing

The Seacole surface finishing team had a wonderful, learning-filled week at SUR/FIN last month. One of the most valuable seminars was a panel discussion with six of the best finishing shops in the country. A leader from each company shared their tips for optimizing operations, management, and your relationships with employees and customers. Here are our favorite takeaways from the informative discussion.

  1. Audit from Quote to Production | Matt Lindstedt, APT

“Historically, our company never audited jobs after they were in full production against how they were quoted. We found we had a high number of legacy jobs that were run with fewer parts per load, less throughput, more handling steps etc., than were quoted. We now have a system in place to identify these legacy jobs as well as review new jobs in production against our original quote.”

Not only does auditing your production against the quote give you a more accurate idea of what it costs you to run a job, it helps you quote more accurately and—competitively—in the future.

  1. Keep Score of Performance | Dan Atkinson, Silvex

“Keep score of all your key performance functions. In our management review, we review our performance on 35 different items against the goals we set for each item. We monitor everything, including sales, lead times, nonconformances, customer satisfaction, labor and chemical rates, gallons of water used, employee turnover, accidents and invoicing errors. Many of these items are also reported on a weekly basis. Often, a potential problem can be averted by tracking the numbers.”

The adage remains true—what gets measured gets done. To improve your shop performance and operations, you need to know what your baseline is. Use the data to set reasonable goals for your staff and team as a whole.

  1. Invest in Automation | Mark Burger, KCJ

“[When KCJ] purchased our first automated machine, it changed the entire company strategy to only purchase automated machines going forward. Quality and production significantly improved. In addition, the automation has allowed us to control water usage, chemical consumption, recipes allowing us to have more control over our process, eliminate costly mistakes, and provide data allowing us to operate our business better.”

Automation is a great investment for any shop. When properly designed, installed, and configured, it reduces errors, increases productivity, and optimizes chemical use.

  1. Focus on A Few Market Segments | Matt Lindstedt, APT

“Job shops cannot be everything to everyone and need to find markets and/or market segments that they can focus on servicing and becoming best-in-class.”

We all do best—professionally and as an organization—when we play to our strengths. What market segments do you excel in? Focus your marketing and sales efforts there first.

  1. Diversify Your Customer Base | Dan Atkinson, Silvex

“When one industry is slow another may be busy. It’s easier to develop a customer if you already have some experience in their industry. Some industries that were our major source of revenue have significantly declined, including silverware, computers, automotive and telecom.  Diversification in our market plan enables us to choose the industries we want to pursue.”

While you want your market focus to be narrow, you do want a diverse customer base. This helps mitigate the financial risks associated with putting all your eggs in one basket.

The Seacole team is excited to put these ideas into practice. To learn more about how we can support your surface finishing shop operations, contact Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
cleaning restaurant hoods_cleaning products_Seacole_specialty chemical_Minnesota

The Commercial Kitchen Fire Hazard You’re Probably Ignoring (and What to Do About It)

cleaning restaurant hoods_cleaning products_Seacole_specialty chemical_Minnesota

You’ve installed fire extinguishers around your kitchen, keep a clean griddle and oven, and properly train your staff. You’ve got fire prevention under control, right? If you haven’t cleaned your kitchen’s exhaust hood and exhaust system recently, then the answer is no, you don’t. Here’s why.

Restaurant Kitchen Exhaust Systems Harbor Grease and Oil

The savory smells of frying burgers, bacon, and home fries sizzling on your griddle may make your guests hungry. But the smoke coming off your grill also contains fat particles that land in your exhaust system. If you don’t clean your exhaust hood, fans, and ducts regularly, the grease builds up and creates a major fire hazard.

Getting Under the Hood

The only way to eliminate this fire hazard is to prevent it from building up in the first place. Since that won’t likely happen, you’ll want to identify and hire a contractor that specializes in restaurant vent and hood cleaning. In many larger cities, there may be several contractors who are known for these specialized services. You can also consult with restaurant equipment sales & leasing companies for their recommendations.

Many municipalities require restaurants to comply with various standards when cleaning their kitchen exhaust systems. The National Fire Protection Association Standard 96 provides minimum standards and best practices for cleaning restaurant exhaust systems. The International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaners Association is a great resource, too. However, always check with your local regulations. For example, the city of Minneapolis requires a restaurant to obtain a permit prior to conducting hood and vent cleaning. Service and required follow-up inspections must be documented. If there were to be a fire, this documentation could prove that the restaurant was compliant in their maintenance program, protecting the restaurant from costly fines or legal action.

The NFPA recommends commercial kitchens clean their exhaust systems quarterly or monthly. Church kitchens, day camps, and senior centers that provide low-volume service may be able to get away with cleaning their exhaust systems just once or twice a year.

Seacole Products for Restaurant Hood Cleaning

Seacole has the following recommendations for commercial kitchen cleaners who secure contracts to keep restaurant hoods grease-free. 744-Hood and Vent Cleaner is ideal for stainless steel hoods, vents, and general equipment. 748-Gel Cleaner is another great product that attacks organic food grease. It’s very effective on heavy food grease, such as caramelized sugars. 748’s thicker formula is made to cling to the vertical surfaces of vent hoods and mushroom vents, and oven/rotisserie walls and ceilings.

Once your vents and hoods are sparkling, your contractor can finish the job with Seacole’s stainless steel polish to make all surfaces gleam like brand new. We also offer PFC2, a concentrated powdered floor cleaner that is the next generation of floor cleaners. This solution to your floor cleaning problems can be used from the kitchen, to restrooms, entryways, and even concrete surfaces of the restaurants’ parking lot or drive-thru lane (not recommended for tar or asphalt).

Don’t let a major fire hazard put your commercial kitchen at risk. Regular degreasing and cleaning can keep grime under control and keep your kitchen safe. For help selecting the right products for your restaurant cleaning challenges, contact Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Gregg Elliott CEO_Seacole_State of Manufacturing_Minnesota

Following Up on the State of Manufacturing in Minnesota

Gregg Elliott CEO_Seacole_State of Manufacturing_Minnesota

Last month, Seacole founder and CEO Gregg Elliott was a panelist for Enterprise® Minnesota State of Manufacturing® event.

Key Findings of the State of Manufacturing® Survey

A state-wide survey of Minnesota’s manufacturers provided the talking points for this year’s event. The number one challenge manufacturers report facing is hiring and retaining high-quality employees. Despite identifying this as a challenge, many manufacturers have not incorporated potential solutions to the labor shortage into their strategic planning. Related to the challenge of hiring workers is the rising cost of health care, another concern of many manufacturers. Finally, respondents were split on whether the 2018 tax reforms will help or harm their bottom lines.

Seacole’s Gregg Elliott on How the Labor Shortage Affected Our Operations

As a panelist, Gregg shared the effects the state’s labor shortage has had on Seacole’s operations. “We’ve had to reach farther afield to find quality candidates,” he noted “We’ve engaged multiple temp agencies and more recruiters to help us find strong employees.”

On How to Solve the Labor Shortage Challenge

Gregg hopes Minnesota’s educational institutions will take a leading role in expanding the manufacturing workforce. He hopes schools will encourage students to pursue STEM-related courses of study. He also hopes local high schools will encourage graduates to pursue 2- and 4-year degrees at tech schools. Hands-on internships at Minnesota manufacturers could expose more students to the various industries and increase interest.

On Other External Factors Affecting Seacole

Lastly, Gregg shared other external factors affecting Seacole. We’ve observed significant increases in freight costs due to a shortage of drivers and stricter regulations for OTR trucking. He also anticipates disruptions to the supply of imported goods due to more aggressive tariffs.

We enjoyed the opportunity to share our experiences with other manufacturers across the state of Minnesota. To learn more about this event or Seacole’s products and services, contact us today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Gregg Elliott_Seacole_MN State of Manufacturing

Did You See Seacole CEO Gregg Elliott at the State of Manufacturing® Last Week?

Gregg Elliott_Seacole_MN State of Manufacturing

Seacole founder and CEO Gregg Elliott was honored to be a part of the expert panel at this year’s State of Manufacturing® event in Minneapolis. The State of Manufacturing® is the flagship event for Enterprise® Minnesota. Seacole has a longstanding relationship with Enterprise® Minnesota, which helped us achieve our ISO 9001:2015 certification. Here’s a list of five things you likely didn’t know about Seacole and Enterprise® Minnesota.

  1. Seacole’s been featured twice in Enterprise® Minnesota Magazine.

It’s true! Both articles featured our journey toward ISO 9001:2008 certification. One, “Chemical Manufacturer Seacole Uses ISO to Help Ramp Up to $35 Million in Revenue,” described how we came to the decision to pursue ISO certification. For us, getting ISO certified was a customer-driven process.

The second article, “Chemical Reaction,” described how our ISO 9001:2008 certification has transformed our operations and culture and increased our revenue. Much of this revenue growth is due to attracting larger enterprises with our ISO certification. Seacole recently achieved our ISO 9001:2015 certification to build on this success.

  1. The State of Manufacturing® is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month.

For a decade, Enterprise® Minnesota has held this annual event for Minnesota manufacturers. The purpose of the event is to share the insights, concerns, and predictions of the more than 400 manufacturers Enterprise® Minnesota surveys each year. Topics include not only manufacturing but the economic, regulatory, and political issues affecting manufacturers in Minnesota.

  1. Seacole’s ISO 9001:2015 certification helps us serve larger customers more effectively.

This was one of the major reasons why we chose to pursue ISO certification. Gregg Elliott had been considering certification for a while. But it was a request from a major prospect that pushed him to make the leap. The company was enthusiastic about working with Seacole, but we needed to be ISO certified before they could commit.

Our ISO 9001:2015 certification shows all our clients that our process is thorough, efficient, effective, and reduces errors. A happy byproduct of ISO certification is its high employee engagement. Everyone understands their roles and expectations and has a voice in the process. Ultimately, this helps us deliver a better product and create a better customer experience.

  1. Enterprise® Minnesota helps small and medium-sized manufacturers grow.

We’re very thankful for our partnership with Enterprise® Minnesota. With their help, we’ve achieve ISO certification and had doors opened for our company that would have otherwise been closed. In 2017, we had the pleasure of hosting Representative Erik Paulsen at our 85,000-foot facility in Plymouth, Minnesota. After a tour of our facility, Representative Paulsen sat down with our team to discuss legislative and regulatory matters that affect Seacole and its customers. We’re deeply grateful for the opportunity to share our concerns and successes with someone who can make a difference for our business and community.

  1. Gregg’s appearance on last week’s State of Manufacturing® expert panel was his second speaking event for Enterprise® Minnesota.

In addition to last week’s State of Manufacturing® panel, Gregg’s appeared at two Enterprise® Minnesota’s ISO 9001:2015 – From Compliance to Performance business events in the Twin Cities. He’s appreciative of the opportunity to share Seacole’s success and build our partnership with Enterprise® Minnesota.

For more information on our ISO certification, Enterprise® Minnesota, or to place an order, contact the Seacole team today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
surfin 2018_Seacole

Get Ready, Cleveland! Seacole is Coming to SUR/FIN in June!

Source: NASF

The Seacole surface finishing team is looking forward to three days of training, education, and networking at the annual SUR/FIN Conference June 4 to 6! The National Association of Surface Finishers hosts the conference every year so industry leaders can collaborate, connect, and contribute.

Where Surface Finishing Experts Connect

Surface finishing technology affects nearly every product we encounter through the day, from smartphones to parts for heavy equipment. The conference will present the latest technologies for electronics, aerospace and defense, energy, automobiles, medical, agricultural, and many other industries. Surface finishing enhances the safety, productivity, and quality of all sorts of products. SUR/FIN is Seacole’s chance to catch up with industry partners, suppliers, and customers.

What’s on Deck for SUR/FIN 2018

While we’re at the conference, we’ll meet more than 180 suppliers and take advantage of several of the more than 80 technical sessions. The Seacole team is especially looking forward to sessions on surface finishing waste management and surface finishing in the automotive sector. And we’d be lying if we said we weren’t also looking forward to the Industry Night social on June 5 at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland!

We’re looking forward to learning a lot at SUR/FIN 2018 and passing that knowledge and expertise onto our customers. The Seacole surface finishing team enjoys helping our customers improve the quality and efficiency of their surface finishing processes. For advice on choosing the right surface finishing solutions for your application, contact the Seacole team today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:

When Concentration, Temperature, and Time Aren’t Enough, Seacole Has a Solution

parts cleaning troubleshooting_Seacole

Earlier this month, we shared how titration testing often solves poor-quality parts cleaning. But sometimes, parts cleaning operations continue to produce poor work even after you’ve recalibrated the concentration of your detergent. You’ve checked concentration and are running your bath hotter and longer and your parts still aren’t clean. What’s your next step?

In our experience, if you’ve accounted for concentration, temperature, and time and you’re confident your equipment is in working order, it’s time to see if ancillary chemistries may help improve your parts cleaning process. Bath additives can help you tackle three remaining issues that may be producing poor-quality work: tough soils, synthetic greases and oils, and environmental conditions.

Removing Tough Soils

Parts such as locomotive engine heads and engine blocks produce tough soils. These parts run so hot that paint and soils are baked on. You can remove excess or heavy carbon-based soils with a quality surfactant. Spraydet Turbo Charge is non-VOC and can remove carbon deposits, mill oils, heavy greases and lubricants, and other tough soils. While it’s tough on grime, Turbo Charge will not damage the base metal of your parts or leave a residue behind.

Reducing Foam and Bubbles

The formation of bubbles is usually associated with cleaning. But adding complex detergents to a washer before it reaches the correct operating temperature can lead to excessive foaming and even washer overflows. Defoamers are designed to work with all sorts of different types of soils, including synthetic lubricants. One of our favorites is Defoamer O, a highly concentrated, non-silicone defoamer. It works well in systems that have excess foaming or a buildup of soils.

Accounting for Environmental Conditions

Adverse environmental conditions or delays in the processing of parts following the cleaning step can lead to the formation of flash rust and corrosion on your parts. Add a corrosion inhibitor to your bath to prevent rust forming on your parts. 571 Rust Inhibitor works well for short-term corrosion resistance, while 577 Rust Inhibitor is ideal for long-term applications.

Lastly, consider the environmental conditions within your parts cleaning equipment. Is foam, scale build-up and grime gunking up your process? Clean-out chemistries clean out your actual parts washer. Over time, wash equipment can build up layers of scale from hard water, excess detergent and soils, and start to rust. Customers often see build up and corrosion in the nooks and crannies of their equipment. Running a non-acid wash like Spraydet 131 through the equipment periodically helps strip these contaminants and help maintain the efficiencies and appearance of your equipment.

If adjusting detergent concentration, temperature, and time is not improving the quality of your parts cleaning operation, it’s time to consider ancillary chemistries. Seacole’s technical department and sales team works with you to create a custom solution for your specific soils and process. Contact the Seacole team today for expert help.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
titration testing for parts cleaning_Seacole

Keep Your Parts Cleaning Process Running Efficiently with Titration Testing

titration testing for parts cleaning_Seacole

Quality assurance departments can spend a lot of time, resources, and money trying to figure out why their parts cleaning process is producing poor work. Before you invest your company’s resources running Kaizen events and implementing Six Sigma or other problem-solving tools, take a look at your chemistries.

Common Parts Cleaning Process Challenges

Many quality assurance teams discover there’s a problem in their process when poorly cleaned parts result in rework or poor performance in the field, resulting in customer complaints. They may find themselves running wash cycles longer and still find residue on parts.

An inefficient and ineffective parts cleaning process leads to higher energy and labor costs. An inefficient process can lengthen lead times in delivering parts to customers, throwing off their timelines. If your process is producing poor-quality work, it could damage your company’s reputation in your industry.

Possible Reasons for Poor-Quality Parts Cleaning

Poor-quality parts cleaning can have several different causes, but  two of the biggest factors in parts cleaning are temperature and time. Seacole always suggests following the manufacturer’s operating instructions for temperature settings on their equipment. Running at the right temperature can allow Seacole’s detergents to do the hard work, resulting in cleaner parts and a shorter wash cycle.

Once your machines are effectively cleaning parts, all that soil has to go somewhere! Another significant factor is the cleanliness of the bath. If your parts are taking longer to clean, the solution of detergent is likely spent, overloaded with soil, and in need of maintenance. To keep these factors in check, and get the best value out of your investments in equipment and chemistry, Seacole strongly suggests using titration testing.

Titration Testing Rapidly Determines the Cause of Poor Quality

Titration testing measures the concentration of parts cleaning detergent in your bath water. If the concentration is too low, your parts will not be completely cleaned. Weak solutions coupled with hard water can lead to scale and lime build-up in your equipment. This can lead to costly maintenance down the road. If the concentration of detergent is too high, the detergent could damage your parts or cause corrosion on your equipment.

Using titration testing to check your detergent concentration levels can produce substantial cost savings. When you optimize your detergent concentration, you save energy and labor costs with shorter wash cycles. You may even reduce chemical use by not overconcentrating your bath water or dumping an entire bucket at once.

But even if you need to increase the concentration of detergent in your bath water, you could save money. The consequences of poor-quality parts cleaning from diluted bath water are often found in the field, after parts have left your facility. By not checking your detergent concentration, you may have to invest in rework and fend off customer complaints.

What Seacole Recommends for Optimal Parts Cleaning

Seacole offers titration kits calibrated specifically for our most popular parts cleaning chemistries. Our kits can be used up to 70 times and include step-by-step instructions. Our customer service department helps you interpret your test results and determine the optimal concentration for our application. We can also help you set up a maintenance schedule for your equipment to keep it in excellent working order.

Wondering why your parts cleaning process is producing poor-quality work? Seacole can help you diagnose and fix the problem. Seacole also offers companion products designed to enhance specific parts cleaning needs. Contact the Seacole team today to learn more about our defoamers, rust inhibitors, and boosters for cleaning carbon deposits from parts.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:

Aluminum Corrosion Resistance and How to Get Consistent Results from Neutral Salt Spray Testing

corrosion resistance

Plated aluminum is notorious for its susceptibility to corrosion. When it undergoes NSS testing, aluminum plated with electroless nickel often falls short of the 100-hour MIL-SPEC standard. That’s why it’s so important that you use a high-quality electroless nickel plating bath. Here’s a look at why corrosion resistance with aluminum is difficult and how you can increase your chances of success.

HOW do finishers use neutral salt spray (NSS) testing?

Neutral salt spray (NSS) testing is a quality-assurance test for metal parts finished with a surface coating. It’s used to check the corrosion resistance of a particular finish. Surface finishers use NSS testing to evaluate the corrosion resistance of their electroplated, galvanized, and painted finishes. Typically, testing subjects parts to 96 or 120 hours of salt spray before checking how well finishes hold up to the corrosive effects of salt and water.

WHY is aluminum so difficult to plate to MIL-SPEC standards?

Achieving consistent corrosion resistance results with aluminum is notoriously difficult. Aluminum must pass a 100-hour NSS test to meet MIL-SPEC standards, which is a very high bar. Without a robust electroless nickel bath, the salt spray used in NSS testing pits and corrodes aluminum after just 36 hours of exposure.

WHAT should I look for in an electroless nickel bath for aluminum?

Look for an electroless nickel bath that is pH self-regulating and offers unique stabilizer/complexor chemistry, so the finish protects the aluminum within the salt bath. Compliance with RoHS, WEEE, and ELV standards is a plus, too.

The electroless nickel bath Seacole recommends

We recommend Metal Chem’s Meta-Plate UCB to meet corrosion resistance specifications over aluminum. No other electroless nickel bath comes close to consistently meeting the 100-hour MIL-SPEC standard for aluminum.

Meta-Plate UCB easily attains the 100-hour standard and can be used in your monthly NSS testing. It has excellent copper initiation and contains no lead or cadmium. Meta-Plate UCB consistently produces pit-free surfaces. It’s also compliant with ELV automotive, RoHS and WEEE electronics, and Green Initiative standards.

If you’re looking for an electroless nickel plating finisher that delivers consistent corrosion resistance, Seacole can help. Contact our team of experts to find the chemistries that are ideal for your process.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Seacole and Hubbard-Hall

See You at the 2018 Minnesota Paint & Powder Coating Expo!

Seacole and Hubbard-Hall

Are you ready for two action-packed days of all things paint and powder coating? The Seacole team is! Seacole is participating and exhibiting at the annual Minnesota Paint & Powder Coating Expo in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Whether you’re a supplier, plant manager, IT support, or technician, there’s something for you at the 2018 Minnesota Paint & Powder Coating Expo.

Day One: A Symposium on the Industrial Internet of Things

You’ve likely heard of the Internet of Things (IoT)—the network of billions of devices that are connected to the Internet. Your smartphone, fitness watch, and smart speaker are all part of the IoT.

But did you know an Industrial IoT exists, too? This network of connected devices drive the automatic braking system in your car, connect patient monitoring systems in hospitals, and now, automate your manufacturing plant.

On March 14, attend the symposium on the Industrial IoT to learn how a connected plant can help you monitor inventory and processes and collect, analyze, and act on data—all without direction or intervention from humans. We’re particularly looking forward to learning how to protect the data the Industrial IoT creates.

Day One: Painter Training

We’re also excited about the virtual painter training offered on day one. The class trains participants in the best practices of spray application and technique to increase productivity and reduce errors and rework. We’ll be working with virtual reality spray equipment, which is pretty neat, too.

Day Two: Classes & Vendor Show

Day two offers nine classes on paint and powder coating pretreatment, equipment, and materials. We’re looking forward to “Media Blast or Acid Pickle: Removing Laser Edge and Weld Scale” and “Post-Addable Powder Coating Additive Technology.”

After a morning of classes, don’t forget to visit the Seacole booth at the vendor show!

Surface Finishing Products We’ll Feature

We’re splitting our booth with manufacturing partner Hubbard-Hall. We’ll feature a few of their paint and powder coating products, including Aquapure industrial wastewater treatment, Aquastrip industrial paint stripper, Emerald paint prep, and Metal Guard rust preventative.

We hope to see you at the 2018 Minnesota Paint & Powder Coating Expo! For help sourcing and formulating chemistries for your paint or powder coating operation, contact Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Spring Cleaning Pressure Wash_Seacole Specialty Chemical

Get a Jump Start on Spring Cleaning!

Spring Cleaning Pressure Wash_Seacole Specialty Chemical

If you’re a professional cleaning contractor, the best time to add new customers is right around the corner. Here are a few ways spring cleaning can help you add extra value for your customers—and revenue for your business!

  1. Blast away parking lot grease and grime.

Commercial property owners want their properties to shine, too. Many reserve capital improvements for the warmer spring and summer months.

The exteriors of commercial businesses can benefit from a general pressure wash of its walls, driveways, and walkways. Pressure washing removes grime, grease, and hard water stains. It also prepares these surfaces for a fresh coat of paint or sealing. Sometimes, pressure washing can even replace the need to paint or resurface. Degreasers cut through grease and oil deposits from concrete drive-through lanes, parking lots, and gas station pump areas.

  1. Offer to deep clean decks and patios.

What happens to deck and patio surfaces after several months of being buried under rotting leaves, snow, and ice?

At the very least, they look aged well beyond their years. But more often, the grime and gunk presents a major slip-and-fall hazard. Rotting leaves and melting snow and ice can make decks and patios very slippery. Hard water stains and organic soils can erode concrete and natural stone surfaces.

A proper cleaning removes the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. But it also protects deck and patio surfaces against rot and the growth of mold and algae. Pressure washing these areas will make any deck or patio look like new and extend its life. With the right equipment and products, you can serve several customers a day, adding to your list of loyal customers.

  1. Scrub grills and BBQs.

Do your deck and patio customers have outdoor kitchens or at least a gas or charcoal grill? Spring is the perfect time to help them get their equipment ready for the grilling season.

Clean grill grates ensure food will taste great and protect cooks from greasy flare-up grill fires. Degreasers tackle tough grill and oven grease to make your customers’ grills shine and prepare them for a season of cook-outs.

Spring’s just around the corner. Seacole can help you get ready for a busy cleaning season. Contact us today to stock up on the industrial cleaning products you need.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Anna Luckow_Spotted at Seacole

Meet Anna Luckow, Seacole Marketing Coordinator

Anna Luckow_Spotted at Seacole

We had a chance this month to catch up with marketing coordinator Anna Luckow. Anna works on Seacole’s marketing initiatives, including our product brochures, blog, eNewsletters, and social media. Take a moment to get to know Anna!

What is your role at Seacole?

I’m the marketing coordinator.

What advice would you give people in your field?

No matter what industry you are in, learn to check in with your surroundings. It can only help you. It is tempting to get bogged down on the specific job details of your position. Training yourself to focus on the bigger picture and become more aware will help you do better!

What is your favorite thing about Seacole products?

I like seeing the end use of our products. Some of them are used for very unusual applications, such as keeping your scuba goggles from fogging!

What might someone be surprised to know about Seacole?

We have a chili cook-off every February! Volunteers bring in their favorite chili recipes. The rest of us get to taste them all, and then we vote for the winner. The winner gets a giant spoon trophy/plaque!

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

Drink my tea and get going on my to-do list!

Do you have a secret for staying productive?

I like to make a list at the very end of the day of the things I need to get done the next day. This way, when I sit down at my desk in the mornings, I don’t have to think about what I need to do. I can just start doing it!

Before starting your career, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I also work in a bike shop and lead bike rides for adults and mainly kids looking to get into cycling! Turns out you can learn a lot from those little munchkins!

What is something you can’t live without?

Family, bikes, and chicken wings!

Anna’s Motto:

The tallest oak in the forest was once just a little nut that held its ground.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Industrial Cleaning Challenges_Seacole

3 Industrial Cleaning Challenges, Solved

Industrial Cleaning Challenges_Seacole

You don’t have to wait until spring to take care of your industrial cleaning challenges. Cold weather presents its own unique cleaning difficulties, from salt and slush to dust. Here are the three biggest industrial cleaning challenges we face in the winter.

Industrial Cleaning Challenge: Dangerous Shop Floors | Solution: Spraydet EL

It’s inevitable that your staff will track ice, snow, and salt into your facility. But leaving slush and salt on your floors can cause a slip-and-fall hazard, not to mention damage your floors. Regular detergent leaves residue behind that can cause even more slipping.

Seacole’s Spraydet EL is a low-residue liquid soap. While many of our customers use it for precision parts cleaning, its specialized formula is excellent for the mop bucket, too. Spraydet EL eliminates the slush and salt without leaving greasy floors behind. You can even use it in your electric floor scrubber with our Defoamer O to ensure no suds are left behind.

Industrial Cleaning Challenge: Stuffy, Grimy, Dusty Shipping/Receiving Docks | Solution: Total

When the weather’s frigid, your dock doors stay shut. Dust, grime, vaporized cutting oils, and metal grinding dust can’t escape and instead settle all over your surfaces. By the end of winter, your floors, walls, ceilings, and equipment are covered in grime and dust.

Fortunately, a single product can take care of every surface. Total is a liquid cleaner that can be diluted (or used concentrated) to blast away dust and grime from any surface. It’s perfect for pressure washers, the mop bucket, and spray bottles as a surface cleaner.

Industrial Cleaning Challenge: Industrial Hard Surfaces | Solution: Break

To truly clean your industrial hard surfaces, no household cleaners need apply. Heavy-duty equipment needs a powerful degreaser to keep it in good working order.

Our Break degreaser is formulated to cut through and remove grease, oil, and grime from your parts and equipment. It’s powerful enough to pre-treat components before cleaning them in a cabinet washer. But, Break is also gentle enough to use as a degreasing spray on shop desks, lunch room cabinets, switch plates, phones, and anywhere else greasy hands leave smudges.

You don’t need to wait until the snow’s melted to start your spring cleaning. Seacole has every product you need to keep your shop squeaky clean. Contact our team today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags: ,

What Our ISO 9001:2015 Recertification Means for You

ISO 9001:2015_Seacole

We’re recertified! Seacole recently upgraded its ISO certification to the enhanced 9001:2015 guidelines. Our upgraded certification bolsters our already strong quality management system, so we can continue to deliver a high-quality product and customer experience for you.

Our founder Gregg Elliott was featured in Enterprise Minnesota recently. He described the many benefits ISO certification bestowed on Seacole’s customers, employees, and bottom line:

Seacole, which has nearly 50 employees, buys chemical components and blends them into new products. It manufactures 2,000 products in its 85,000-square-foot facility. Its capabilities include creating chemical products for surface finishing, printed circuit boards, industrial cleaning, railroad and other transportation, agriculture, and laboratories.

Because Seacole deals with significant quantities of chemicals, it is highly regulated by numerous agencies, from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to the Department of Homeland Security. As the level of regulation continues to increase, many companies have started outsourcing their chemistry manufacturing to specialists like Seacole.

The manufacturer already has benefitted from this trend, and it will be compounded by Seacole’s ISO certification. Thanks to these factors and more, Seacole is on track to hit $35 million in revenue in three years, Elliott said.

Through the process, Seacole uncovered that it was making the same errors repeatedly. Obtaining ISO certification helped the manufacturer secure significant business from large customers like 3M and Dow, but it also prompted better workflow, reduced mistakes, and improved customer service, Elliott said.

“Incidents of both internal and customer complaints have gone way down since ISO was put in place,” he added. “And in this day of finding employees, I found this was a really good way to empower people. It gave them pride in the job they didn’t have before and it helps with retention of employees.”

Documenting our workflows and abiding by our ISO-certified processes helps the Seacole team deliver you a better experience, from sourcing and blending your products to support and advice once our products are in the field.

For more information on ISO certification or to get started on your order, contact Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:
,

Seacole Product Tags:
contract manufacturing customer service_Seacole_Minneapolis_Minnesota

Happy Anniversary, Seacole!

Did you know that Seacole is celebrating its 15-year anniversary? It’s true! In 2002, our CEO and owner Gregg Elliott founded Seacole and acquired Circuit Research Corporation (CRC) to offer exceptional chemical solutions for surface finishers and printed circuit board manufacturers. Here’s a look at our work over the past 15 years and a sneak peek at the exciting things happening at Seacole in 2018.

The First Five Years: 2002-2007

After founding Seacole, Gregg Elliott acquired his first company, CRC, to build a powerful chemical manufacturing and distribution organization. Over the next five years, Seacole-CRC expanded its offerings to include chemistries for metal finishing, semiconductor fabrication, lab analysis, personal care, and food and pharmaceutical manufacturing. In 2007, Seacole-CRC purchased C&H Chemical to expand Seacole’s industrial cleaning offerings and reach national clients including Northwest Airlines and Burlington Northern Railroad. We also expanded our custom blending capabilities to serve more customers.

A Move to Plymouth

By 2009, it had become apparent that we could improve our efficiency and productivity by consolidating our two locations down to one. That year, Seacole-CRC moved into a new building in Plymouth, Minnesota, just west of Minneapolis. This remains our facility today, and houses both our sales and office staff and our warehouse and production team.

Earning ISO Certification

In 2015, Seacole became ISO 9001:2008 certified. The certification process helped us create and implement business operations systems that keep our processes efficient and productive. Being ISO certified is a badge of honor and tells potential customers that Seacole’s one of the best-run chemical manufacturers and distributors in the industry.

A Look at What’s Ahead for 2018

This year, we look forward to starting the process to update our ISO certification to the 9001:2015 guidelines. This February, we’ll attend the IPC Apex Expo in San Diego to learn all about the latest technologies and innovations in the printed circuit board industry. You’ll see us in June for the NASF SUR/FIN® conference in Cleveland.

As always, we’ll continue to partner with the most trusted chemical manufacturers to provide our customers the surface finishing, printed circuit board, and industrial cleaning solutions they need to keep their own facilities working optimally. If you have a specific challenge you need to solve in 2018, contact the Seacole team today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Pat Haugen_Spotted at Seacole

Meet Pat Haugen, Seacole Surface Finishing Account Manager

Pat Haugen_Spotted at Seacole

We had a chance this month to catch up with surface finishing account manager and newest Seacole employee Pat Haugen. Pat works with Seacole customers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Take a moment to get to know Pat!

What is your role at Seacole?

I’m the surface finishing account manager for Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

What trends are you seeing this year?

Personally, I am looking for a good year to develop more business primarily in Wisconsin and Iowa. There is a lot of potential in plating, anodizing, and pre-paint well-suited for Seacole and our suppliers. Overall, the economy is heating up. I expect Seacole will have a good year.

What advice would you give people in your field?

Put yourself in your customers’ or prospects’ shoes and try to see yourself from their point of view. Listen to their concerns and look for where you can help. Be persistent; it takes time to earn trust.

What is your favorite Seacole product?

My favorite group of products would be electroless nickel. It is a complex process, and we have very good products with Metalchem.

What might someone be surprised to know about Seacole?

All the diverse things we do and do well.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

Get coffee! I like the coffee at Seacole: strong!

Do you have a secret for staying productive?

Have some method for staying on track. Write it down, make a list, prioritize your activities into what you can do now to influence the desired result. Don’t get down, just start and it will happen.

Before starting your career, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I worked concrete construction of grain buildings one summer in college. It was hard work, but I really got in shape.

What is something you can’t live without?

Family – all but especially my wife and grandkids.

Friends – both new and old but especially the old ones that know me the best.

Fun –Go Wild! Skol Vikings! Win Twins! And vacations to relax.

Pat’s Motto:

Work hard and have fun. You only have one life to live; appreciate it.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Cookie Chemistry_Seacole

Christmas Cookie Chemistry: A Look Inside the Oven (and Seacole’s Favorite Cookie Recipe)

Cookie Chemistry_Seacole

We’ve decked the halls at Seacole and we’re all settling in for some festive time off at the end of month. And if your office is like ours, the Christmas cookies are . . . everywhere!

And that got us thinking: what’s the chemistry behind a good cookie?

Cookie Chemistry at Work

Baking cookies (and treats of all kinds, actually) is an example of chemistry in action. Baking is one of the first chemistry experiments we do as kids. The ingredients you use, the amount you beat the dough, the temperature of the oven, and baking time work together to set off chemical reactions, resulting in the perfect cookie.

Cookie Chemistry Basics: Spread, Rise, Color, and Flavor

The spread, or diameter, of your cookie is determined by the butter. If you use melted butter in your dough, it’s very wet when the cookies go in the oven. Their structure quickly breaks down in the heat, expanding the cookie’s diameter. Using colder butter helps maintain the structure.

Your cookie’s rise occurs when the water in your dough is converted from liquid to gas (i.e. steam). The steam pushes the dough up as it starts to rise. Then, the baking soda and baking powder combination cause a chemical reaction, producing carbon dioxide. This makes the cookie rise even further and creates holes in the dough, resulting in a light and flaky cookie. Also, did you know a cookie won’t rise in temperatures lower than 212 degrees Fahrenheit? That’s the boiling point of water. Any lower and the water in the dough won’t convert to steam.

Just when you thought the chemical reactions were done, the last few minutes of the bake cause two delicious chemical reactions. As the sugars break down, they caramelize and create that signature “fresh-baked cookie” odor. Then the proteins in the egg and flour finally succumb to the Maillard reaction. This reaction occurs when sugars and proteins are heated together, for delicious results. It’s responsible for the toasty flavor of your favorite cookie.

Cookie Chemistry: Advanced Skills

Now that you’ve mastered the basics, here are a few chemistry tips for perfecting your favorite cookie. We’ve already mentioned that using melted butter in your dough will create a flatter, chewier cookie. Using cold butter creates a cakey, fluffy cookie.

Baking soda (aka sodium bicarbonate) and baking powder (baking soda plus a dry acid, such as cream of tartar) can alter your cookie chemistry, too. Switching out soda for powder will create extra rise because baking powder leavens the dough when it’s mixed in and when it’s heated.

Another pro tip? Use more flour for a thicker cookie. And, dark sugars such as molasses and honey will get you a toastier flavor than white sugar.

Seacole’s Favorite Cookie Recipe: Aunt Mary’s Sugar Cookies

Here’s a sugar cookie recipe straight from the kitchen of Seacole owner and founder Gregg Elliott.

Aunt Mary’s Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter

2 eggs

1 ½ cup white sugar

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. fresh baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups flour (reserve 3 Tbsp. for rolling)

Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together three times. Cut into butter like a pie crust. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until light. Add sugar and vanilla to eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Combine all ingredients and hand mix gently. Store in the refrigerator overnight.

Roll thin or make into balls and press with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in sugar. Bake at 300–325 degrees for 10–12 minutes. Enjoy!

Happy Holidays from the Seacole team!


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Plant De-Icing Tips_Seacole

Think Spring This Winter! Plant-Safe De-Icing Products for Ice and Snow

Plant De-Icing Tips_Seacole

Recent winter storms brought ice and snow to Minneapolis, Boston, and Houston. Many property owners were caught unprepared for the icy road and walkway conditions. Finding an effective deicer that’s also safe for your landscaping can be tricky. Here are a few tips on what to look for when you’re hunting for this season’s supply of ice melt.

Choose Your Road Salt Wisely

De-icing products all look alike on store shelves, but each product is very different. Salt is the most popular de-icing agent, but did you know there are different types of salt? Each one has its own ice-melting capacity, price point, and degree of safety.

Rock Salt, aka sodium chloride, is the most common de-icing agent. It’s available, affordable, and easy to spread. But, it only works down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (sorry, Minnesota). And of all your salt options, rock salt is the most harmful to plants. So, if you’re using it adjacent to grass or landscape beds, it’s not your best bet.

Calcium chloride is another salt option. It works faster than rock salt and at colder temperatures, down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. But while it won’t hurt your concrete walkways, it will damage or kill your plants. So, it’s more effective for colder climates, but it won’t save your landscaping.

Potash, aka potassium chloride, is better known as a fertilizer. But it is also an effective deicer and safe for your plants as long as you don’t overdo it on the application. Don’t use more than 5 pounds per 100 square feet. Potash is not as fast as rock salt or calcium chloride, but is ultimately more effective.

Magnesium chloride is the most plant-safe bet of your solid ice melt options. It works down to a Minnesota-friendly -13 degrees Fahrenheit and requires just 1–2 pounds per 100 square feet. Magnesium chloride is safe for plants and your paving.

For the Best De-Icing Results, Spray, Don’t Spread

Solid salt ice melt is a conventional choice for de-icing, but Seacole has an innovative and plant-safe option. Our PA Liquid Deicer works in Arctic Circle-level temperatures (below -40 degrees Fahrenheit!). Plus, a single application of our liquid deicer will last longer than solid rock salt. It’s also safe for plants and driveway and walkway surfaces. You can apply our liquid deicer with a standard lawn and garden sprayer.

This winter, don’t let your de-icing product wreak havoc on your spring landscaping. Choose a plant-safe solution like our PA Liquid Deicer for effective and safe ice melting, even in sub-zero weather. Contact Seacole today to place your order.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Copper Alloy Cleaning

Tips for a Safer, Simpler Copper Alloy Cleaning Process

Copper Alloy Cleaning

Sometimes, cleaning and brightening copper alloys seems more like an art than a science. The slightest adjustment in your process or chemistries can create vastly different results. Switching out your mineral acid wash for an organic one can help you cut down on rinse cycles, improve the safety of your workers, and keep your waste treatment process in-house. Here’s how.

Challenges with cleaning copper alloys with mineral acids.

Mineral acids require multiple rinse steps. When you add steps to any process, the chance you’ll make an error increases. So does the risk of contamination. More rinse steps also make it more difficult to maintain a clean rinse liquid.

Mineral acids are hazardous. They’re unstable, give off harmful fumes, and can add dust to the air that is harmful to your workers. Chelators and phosphates pollute wastewater and require you to treat it off-site, increasing costs.

Mineral acids can go too far. Mineral acids are very potent. There is little room for error when cleaning and brightening copper alloys with mineral acids. Often, this results in over-etching and the need to reprocess your parts.

A safer, simpler solution is to use a methane sulfonic acid based product.

Organic acids are safer alternatives to mineral acids. They are excellent deoxidation agents, so replacing your mineral acid with an organic one won’t sacrifice quality. But organic acids are safer to handle and give off fewer fumes than mineral acids do. Organic acids are also more forgiving during application, which means you reduce the chances you’ll need to reprocess parts.

Our favorite methane sulfonic acid (MSA) based product is formulated by Hubbard-Hall. It’s capable of handling your toughest copper cleaning challenge. But also it’s odorless, easy to handle, and biodegradable, so it’s easy on your employees and the environment.

Hubbard-Hall’s MSA based product cleans and brightens copper in a single step, reducing the number of rinse cycles in your process. And since it requires no chelators or phosphates, you can treat your wastewater in-house, saving time and money. A company case study found that manufacturers could save up to $90,000 a year in waste disposal alone by switching to methane sulfonic acid.

Your copper cleaning and brightening process does not need to be complicated. Contact the experts at Seacole to discover how changing your chemistries could help you improve results, reduce costs, and create a safer work environment.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags: ,
IceMelt_Seacole

Solve These Ice Melt Challenges before Old Man Winter Arrives

IceMelt_Seacole

It’s November, and winter is just around the corner. Many property owners and snow removal companies are digging out shovels and plows and stockpiling salt. But 50-pound bags of ice melt are cumbersome to move and use. And if you’re a commercial plow company, a single 50-pound bag isn’t going to cut it! Property owners and snow removal companies alike need a better solution. Seacole’s got it. Here’s how our EZ-Spread Ice Melt solves your most common winter challenges.

Challenge 1: Big bags of ice melt are heavy, awkward, and prone to tearing.

Twenty- or 50-pound bags of salt or other ice melt products are really big and heavy. You have the option of dragging the bag around with you across your driveway, tearing it in the process. Or, you can try to pour your 50-pound bag into a more manageable bucket, which is messy and requires more equipment.

Seacole’s solution for heavy bags of ice melt.

We offer EZ-Spread Ice Melt in a 10-pound, lightweight, flexible plastic tube. That’s the same weight as the average housecat. The tube makes it easy to regulate the flow of the ice melt. Simply snip the end, hold the tube under your arms, and use your fingers to regulate the flow of ice melt. When you’re through, simply roll up the end and clip to store. No mess, no fuss, and no backbreaking heavy lifting.

Challenge 2: There’s a bottleneck in your bulk supply.

In other words, you have enough salt to handle Old Man Winter, but it’s all in the same place, leaving many entrances and walkways untreated. How do you distribute your salt so every entrance is safe?

Seacole’s solution for the bulk supply bottleneck.

You can buy our 10-pound plastic tubes of ice melt in four-tube boxes or in a pallet of 160 tubes. Simply put a box at each entrance. If you’ve invested in a pallet of ice melt, ask your building manager to drop off single bags at each location from your central supply each week.

Challenge 3: Salt spreaders are frustratingly difficult to use.

Shovel crews need a lot of salt throughout the day, but also need an easy way to apply it. Salt spreaders continuously clog and break. Plus, they are cumbersome to unload from your truck. Fixing and fighting a salt spreader all day can cause delays in your plow and shovel schedule.

Seacole’s solution, no salt spreader necessary.

The average pickup truck can easily hold a pallet of 160 10-pound tubes of EZ-Spread Ice Melt. All your crew needs to do is grab a 10-pound tube from the pallet, snip the end, and start applying, no salt spreader required. Our box of four 10-pound tubes is easy to keep in the cab of your plow truck, so you can apply salt to walkways without scooping inside the hopper of your spreader.

Don’t wait for the first snowstorm to order your EZ-Spread Ice Melt. Contact Seacole today to order the quantity that’s right for you and your business.


Seacole Product Tags:
,

Seacole Product Tags:
5 Scary Industrial Cleaning Mistakes_Seacole

The 5 Scariest Industrial Cleaning Mistakes Manufacturers Make

5 Scary Industrial Cleaning Mistakes_Seacole

With decades of experience helping manufacturers find solutions to their industrial cleaning challenges, the Seacole team has seen it all. Just in time for Halloween, here are the five scariest industrial cleaning mistakes we see manufacturers make.

  1. Leaving spills on the floor.

Not cleaning up spills right away is a common mistake we see manufacturers make. It’s tempting to let a spill sit while you finish up production for the shift or the day. But spills can be hazardous for your team and your facility. Slip and fall accidents are huge liabilities for manufacturers. Slipping on spilled oil, paint, or lubricant can put an employee out of work for weeks. Instead of being productive on your assembly line, they’re healing at home.

If not resolved quickly, spills of certain chemicals can be hazardous to your facility and the environment. If your process requires flammable, corrosive, or other hazardous chemicals, leaving these materials on the floor can cause damage to your equipment, affect air quality, or even cause a serious environmental accident.

  1. Not drafting a disaster/emergency plan.

Speaking of environmental accidents, we’ve discovered many manufacturers fail to properly plan for a disaster or other emergency. What are the risks your facility and team face in the event of a fire, explosion, flooding, or structural damage? These incidents can expose flammable and other hazardous chemicals, causing a chain reaction. Is your team prepared to respond to such an event? A disaster/emergency plan helps your team spring into action and mitigates risk.

  1. Improperly storing industrial cleaners.

The storage requirements for your industrial cleaners varies from product to product. Some can tolerate extreme temperatures; others cannot. Some chemicals shouldn’t be stored near each other because combining them could cause an adverse chemical reaction. Is your storage room neat and organized? Are your various products and their storage and usage requirements documented? If not, we encourage you to invest some time into properly storing your industrial cleaners.

  1. Not training your staff.

Not training your staff on the safe and effective use of your industrial cleaning chemicals is very risky. Without training in the safe and proper use and storage of chemicals, your team is more likely to hurt themselves, their coworkers, and even your equipment. If you’re having trouble finding the time to properly train your staff, the Seacole experts can help.

  1. Investing in unneeded, expensive new equipment.

Sometimes, we discover a manufacturer has invested in expensive equipment to solve an industrial cleaning challenge. Often, there’s a chemical solution that costs a fraction of what they spent on new sprayers, tanks, and other equipment. If you’re considering investing in new equipment to solve a cleaning challenge, call Seacole first. Chances are that we can source or formulate a chemical solution that’s highly effective and affordable.

Are you making any of these industrial cleaning mistakes? Contact the Seacole team today for help.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Spotted at Seacole Heather Thornberg

Meet Heather Thornberg, Seacole Inside Sales and Product Development

Spotted at Seacole Heather Thornberg

We had a chance this month to catch up with inside sales and product development specialist Heather Thornberg. Heather builds customer relationships at Seacole. Take a moment to get to know Heather!

What is your role at Seacole?

I work in inside sales at Seacole and also work on product development.

What advice would you give people in your field?

Relationship building and listening to customers is the most important thing we can do in sales. Slow down and take the time to work through and understand customer challenges to deliver the best value and results.

What is your favorite Seacole product?

My favorite Seacole product is our Spraydet EL. It’s a liquid detergent for spray cabinet washers and an all-around performer.

What might someone be surprised to know about Seacole?

Seacole is the combination of our CEO’s children’s names: Sean and Nicole. This is a testament to Seacole’s humble roots and family business mentality.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

The first thing I do when I get to work is settle in and make a strong cup of tea to enjoy while responding to my emails.

Do you have a secret for staying productive?

I like to time-block so I can focus on and complete one task at a time.

Before starting your career, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I used to work for the University of Minnesota as an Emergency Medical Technician. Driving ambulances and working the Vikings and Gopher games could get pretty wild at times!

What is something you can’t live without?

Family, friends, and travel.

Heather’s Motto:

What would Rob Lowe say?


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
boat cleaning products

4 Boat Cleaning Products That Save You Time and Increase Your Bottom Line

boat cleaning products

The boating season may be winding down, your boat cleaning company’s busy season is just getting started. Without the right tools, cleaning your clients’ boats can cost you thousands in extra labor and time. Here are four boat cleaning products for getting your clients’ boats ready for winter storage that will save you time and labor and increase your profit margins:

  1. 99BH Boat Hull Cleaner removes water scale, slime, and algae all at once.

Water scale, slime, and algae are some of the most time-consuming contaminants to remove from boat hulls, especially when they’ve stained the fiberglass. There are plenty of boat cleaning products that can remove one of these contaminants, but they are not all-in-one solutions. And often, they are not safe for fish and other aquatic life.

A product that can safely remove scale, slime, and algae in a single application can cut down on the time it takes your staff to scrub a single boat hull so you can clean more boats in less time. Our favorite is 99BH Boat Hull Cleaner. Simply spray the exterior of your boat down, let the solution penetrate, scrub, and rinse away. It’s safe for the environment and super concentrated so a single pail can clean hundreds of boat hulls.

  1. BREAK spray is effective and safe for use on all interior surfaces.

Boat interiors can be very complicated—and time-consuming—to clean. They have multiple finishes that usually require separate cleaning products, from vinyl seats and plastic dashboards to teak decks and Plexiglass windshields. That’s why cleaning boat interiors often slows your production way down.

But with the right product, you can clean all of these finishes with a single chemical, cutting down on the time and materials it takes to clean a single boat’s interior. For interior grime, dirt, and even stained surfaces, we recommend Break, a degreaser and cleaner that comes in a handy spray bottle. Its powerful formula works hard so your staff spends less time scrubbing. Plus, it’s water-based, so it’s safe for your staff and the environment.

  1. Bill’s Bug Blaster blasts bugs from the windshields of speedboats and other craft.

It seems like no matter how hard they scrub, your staff has trouble removing those bug carcasses from boat hulls and windshields. All-purpose cleaners, degreasers, and soaps just don’t cut it for bugs, even when there’s an extra dose of elbow grease.

Instead, use a product developed specifically for blasting those bugs. Our favorite is Bill’s Bug Blaster, which doesn’t require any elbow grease (except in extreme cases) and is safe on Plexiglass and glass. Simply spray, let sit for a few minutes, rinse, and wipe dry. A word for the wise: don’t let Bill’s Bug Blaster dry on actual glass, since it can cause a film to form.

  1. Fresh Again removes mildew smells.

Mildew smell is one of the hardest things to get rid of when you’re winterizing boats. It seems like it doesn’t matter how hard you scrub, vacuum, or steam clean—the odor remains. Usually, it’s because mildew remains hidden in hard-to-reach places, including live wells.

With Fresh Again odor eliminator, all you need to do is spray and let the product fully dry. As it dries, the chemicals in the product react with the mold and mildew, eliminating the mildew odor. It’s safe for both hard and soft surfaces. You can even add it to your carpet cleaning solution to clean and erase odors in a single application.

Choosing the right cleaning products for the right jobs can help you clean more boats in less time and with less elbow grease. When you choose the right chemicals, they work harder so you don’t have to. To learn more about the different products that can make your boat winterizing operation more efficient and profitable, contact Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
concrete pouring in cold weather

How to Extend Your Concrete Pouring Season and Save Money

concrete pouring in cold weather

Direct-contact water heaters have revolutionized the concrete industry. Your concrete pouring season is no longer at the mercy of Old Man Winter. With a water heater, you can pour later into the winter and earlier in the spring, adding dozens of projects to your production schedule.

But there’s one problem with direct-contact water heaters: they are notorious for scale buildup in areas with hard water. When water heaters are brand new, they are very efficient and have minimal operation costs. But as they age, scale builds up in the heaters, heat exchangers, and transfer lines. Your heater must work harder to operate, which means you lose efficiency and spend more money to run the heater. You also spend more in labor to periodically descale your equipment by hand with hazardous chemicals.

Effects of Water Scale on Your Concrete Pouring Operation

If you’re experiencing inefficient heating or rising fuel costs, chances are your water heater has water scale issues. If your water hardness level is greater than 9 grains (153 ppm) of calcium carbonate per gallon, you’ll eventually experience water scaling in your heater.

If you allow scale to build up in your tank, exchanger, or water lines, you’ll feel its effects in your operation’s efficiency and on its fuel bill. Your pouring season will get shorter and shorter the more scale builds up in your heater. And as your season gets shorter, your fuel costs will rise. In the offseason, you may even find you need to pay a crew to take your heater apart and clean it with hazardous chemicals.

An Effective, Affordable Solution for Water Scale

By regularly metering in a scale inhibitor and anti-foulant into fresh water entering your heater, you can extend your production season and keep ahead of your competition. Scale inhibitors extend the life of your equipment and reduce the need for yearly deep cleaning. Clean equipment is more effective and efficient, saving you time and money.

Our most effective scale inhibitor and anti-foulant is 864A Scale Control Agent/Hardness Handler. Its liquid formula removes and prevents scaling and fouling without hazardous ingredients. In fact, 864A has a very low toxicity and does not contain zinc, chromates, or phosphates, making it safe for your employees and the environment and harmless to your concrete mix.

Because 864A is super concentrated, most Redi-Mix concrete operations need just one or two drums a year to keep their equipment working optimally. You can even conveniently dispense it directly from its shipping container into your water heater lines via a Pulsatron pump dispensing system.

Water scale issues often put concrete businesses out of commission when the weather gets cold. But regular descaling with a scale inhibitor can keep your equipment running efficiently and affordably well into the winter months. For more information on 864A, contact the experts at Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Meet Bill Blanchet

Meet Bill Blanchet, Seacole Surface Finishing Manager

Meet Bill Blanchet

We had a chance this month to catch up with surface finishing manager Bill Blanchet. Bill supports the Seacole sales team, coordinates with suppliers, and engineers our finishing lines. Take a moment to get to know Bill!

What is your role at Seacole?

I’m the surface finishing manager overseeing all sales, technical service, and supplier activities for the division. I also engineer finishing lines which involves design, equipment specification, quoting, and quarterbacking the installation and start up of these lines.

What surface finishing industry trends are you seeing this year?

Two trends that seem to drive our industry on an ongoing basis are the development of more environmentally friendly products and new coating technologies. Green products include those that are not only less toxic to the environment and generate less waste, but are also a safer alternative for production workers. New coating technologies include new products that provide the end user with a host of benefits and advanced methods of applying traditional coatings.

What advice would you give people in your field?

Think safety first. Last year, two major chemical accidents occurred at two different facilities caused by carelessness. I would emphasize safe handling of chemical products, obey all current rules and regulations, use proper ventilation when needed, and use properly designed and maintained equipment.

What is your favorite Seacole product?

PhosFan is one of my favorite new products/processes. It is a new form of zinc phosphate that is applied to the base substrate by a new and improved method. First, the substrate can be iron based, stainless steel, aluminum, brass, even plastic. Second, the process runs at ambient temperature, generates no sludge byproduct (which is a heavy byproduct for traditional zinc phosphate) and runs on a continuous line. Third, the coating weight can be varied and the fine-grained crystal structure can be dyed to various colors. Very cool.

What might someone be surprised to know about Seacole?

The incredible growth Seacole has enjoyed over its history, and the diversity of the industries we serve and sell into.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

Review my follow up lists, which I have several going at any given time, prioritize my activities, and start in on whatever need is the greatest or warrants my attention.

Do you have a secret for staying productive?

Follow up and stay focused. I’m a follow-up addict and I never like to keep my team or customers waiting or wondering if their need is being attended to. Every need or question a customer has is important. Stay focused as much as possible to systematically knock of items on your follow up list. If you don’t, the list will become overwhelming as it continues to grow and items will get missed.

Before starting your career, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

During college, I worked evenings as a parking lot attendant at North Memorial Hospital. Over that time period, I was able to meet and strike up conversations with numerous doctors, nurses, or other health care officials as I checked them out.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Eliminating Phosphorus

Remove Phosphates from Your Wastewater, No Special Equipment Necessary

Eliminating Phosphorus

Municipalities across the country are tamping down on the amount of phosphorus and its derivatives that can be discharged in wastewater. Phosphorus causes algal bloom in lakes and streams, which depletes the oxygen in the water and leads to the death of fish and other aquatic life.

While agricultural runoff contributes to increased phosphorus levels in water, industrial processes are also to blame. The phosphates and phosphites used in metal finishing and industrial cleaning processes are flushed away in wastewater before heading to the treatment plant and eventually, into local lakes and streams.

Complying with new phosphorus limits in your wastewater could become expensive if you had to invest in new equipment. But fortunately, reducing the amount of phosphorus in your wastewater does not require any expensive process or equipment changes. You can comply with municipal and county phosphorus limits by simply changing the chemistries you use in your finishing, cleaning, and wastewater treatment processes.

Phosphorus applications in metal finishing

Metal finishers often use phosphorus and its derivatives to clean, plate, improve paint adhesion, and prevent corrosion on metal parts. Some finishers use phosphates and phosphites to improve lubrication, too. Most facilities use a system of chemical bath to apply the products. It’s the wastewater from these baths that causes the high amounts of phosphorus in wastewater.

Affordable solutions for reducing and eliminating phosphorus in your wastewater

Small changes can have a big impact. You can reduce and eliminate the phosphorus in your wastewater without changing your processes or your equipment. Your chemical supplier can help you find affordable, alternative solutions to either remove phosphates from your wastewater or eliminate phosphorus from your chemical baths when possible.

Seacole can help you identify the chemicals that can help you reduce not only the phosphates in your wastewater, but heavy metals as well. Some of our favorite phosphate removers are a new line of products formulated by Advanced Chemical Systems. These coagulants can usually remove metals and phosphates with a single product, no special equipment required. ACP 157 in particular is an excellent phosphate remover.

If you’d rather replace the products that contain targeted types of phosphorous with safer alternatives, we can help with that, too. Non-phosphated cleaners are available while zirconium, vanadium, and titanium oxides offer corrosion protection and improved adhesion. An added benefit to these phosphate alternatives is they can be used at ambient or low temperatures, reducing your energy costs. We can also offer you alternatives to phosphoric acid.

To help reduce phosphorus in your wastewater, contact our surface finishing experts today. We can perform onsite audits and evaluations and recommend the proper chemical products based upon our lab results. These simple process and maintenance changes cost little or nothing but go a long way to keeping our waters safe.

Contact Seacole for low-phosphorus chemistries or solutions that contain no phosphorus at all.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
PTMS Parts Cleaning Expo

A Look at the 2017 Parts Cleaning Expo in Cleveland, Ohio

PTMS Parts Cleaning Expo

Source: PTMS

With a speaker lineup that featured the “Who’s Who” in the products finishing world, valuable industry training, and a well-organized expo of supplier booths, it’s no wonder one of Seacole’s business development managers Paula Anderson wishes the Parts Cleaning Expo had been around when she started in the manufacturing industry. Paula was recently featured in an article on the expo in Products Finishing magazine.

“The classes were the right blend of general information and specific topics tailored to the different groups of people in attendance, such as equipment OEMs, end users of that equipment and vendors to the industry,” Paula says. “It was some of the best trade show-related seminars I’ve attended.”

Valuable Industry Training

Industry training at the Parts Cleaning Expo included two-day technical sessions that dug deep into industrial cleaning processes. These sessions approached industrial cleaning from all perspectives and gave attendees the chance to share their challenges and use the knowledge of the group to uncover new solutions.

Other training focused on new regulations and requirements for industrial cleaning and inspection processes. Training sessions served both the aqueous and solvent cleaning markets, which separates the Parts Cleaning Expo from other similar events.

Innovative Parts Cleaning Pavilion

Paula and other expo attendees were impressed with the range of innovative technologies on display at the expo, especially at the Parts Cleaning Pavilion. Suppliers of cleaning equipment, chemicals, machine tool builders, and software vendors were all present to answer attendee questions, no matter how specific.

The Parts Cleaning Expo is part of the Precision Machining Technology Show (PTMS) that takes place every two years in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s the only show in North America that serves the precision machining industry. It’s our chance to get the latest updates for the industry, meet vendors and suppliers, and hear from industry leaders.

Mark your own calendars for the next PTMS and Parts Cleaning Expo, April 2–4, 2019, in Cleveland, Ohio. We’re excited to see you there! In the meantime, contact Seacole with your industrial cleaning needs and read all about the expo on the Products Finishing website.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:

Meet Wayne “Andy” Anderberg, Seacole Inside Sales Manager

We had a chance this month to catch up with inside sales manager Wayne “Andy” Anderberg. Andy helps our customers find greener solutions to their industrial cleaning challenges. Take a moment to get to know Andy!

What is your role at Seacole?

I guess you would say that I am the senior (literally) member of the Seacole inside sales team. I provide technical information on many of our products and product training to new members of our sales staff. I am also deeply involved with private labeling and contract blending projects as well as maintaining business with many accounts that I had when I was in outside sales at Seacole.

What industrial cleaning industry trends are you seeing this year?

During my 11 years with Seacole, I have continued to see the industry move steadily toward the production and use of greener formulations for our customers. There has been a move away from the old days of degreasing with solvents and moving to safer and less expensive water-based degreasers, which in many cases are biodegradable.

What advice would you give people in your field?

Don’t be complacent. Competitors are always looking for an opportunity to acquire the business you have with your clients. Remember to stay in touch and be visible with your customers, listen to their issues, and respond in a timely manner. Too many sales people are enthusiastic and sometimes spend so much time talking that they forget to listen. Also, stay positive: not every sales call turns into a sale.

What is your favorite Seacole product?

My favorite product would be our Spraydet 14EX powdered detergent, which is used in aqueous spray cabinet washers, for cleaning parts. Spraydet 14EX can be used in production cleaning of new manufactured parts, as well as in engine and transmission rebuilding. This is one of our top products, and I have worked with this since I started with the company, back in the C&H Chemical days. In my opinion, this is the finest product of its kind in our industry.

What might someone be surprised to know about Seacole?

Many people have mentioned that our name “Seacole” has something to do with the sea and being into green products. Actually, the company is named after owner Gregg Elliott’s two children. It is a combination of both of their first names. I’ve always like that.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

Check my emails and phone messages, go over my notes, and check my calendar. Then probably eat my yogurt and granola bar.

Do you have a secret for staying productive?

Be organized and keep good records and notes, then make a plan and execute that plan. It’s great to multi-task, but make sure you are taking your existing projects all the way to completion and not just performing a juggling act. Always be open to new products and ideas.

Before starting your career, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

When I was 16 years old, my first real job was working as an usher at the old Metropolitan Stadium and Met Sports Center. I would take tickets and seat people for the Vikings, Twins and North Stars games. I gained a lot of confidence, being able to inform adults that they were sitting in the wrong seats and would have to move. I also ushered for concerts including Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and Frank Sinatra.

What is something you can’t live without?

My wife, my children and my friends. And I guess, air, water, and food.

Andy’s Motto:

“Shower the people, you love with love, show them the way that you feel.” James Taylor

Is that too sappy? 🙂


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Degreasing heavy equipment

August Is the Perfect Time to Give Your Heavy Equipment a Little Extra Attention

Degreasing heavy equipmentIt’s sunny, warm, and your chore list is already fairly long. Why not put off the maintenance on your heavy farm equipment? Unfortunately, ignoring routine maintenance and care of your heavy equipment—especially those hard-to-clean places—can lead to a much bigger problem down the road.

Neglecting Maintenance Can Lead to a Frozen Nightmare

Anything that requires lubrication attracts contaminants. Greasy attachment plates, component joints, and engine bays are magnets for dirt and other soils. Many of these areas are in hard-to-clean places on your equipment. Instead of taking the time to remove excess grease before relubricating these areas, some equipment owners just add more grease on top of the contaminants to keep their equipment working.

But in colder climates, you’re taking a risk with this bad habit. The grease and contaminants you allow to build up on your equipment will eventually harden and freeze once temperatures drop. Frozen grease and contaminants are nearly impossible to remove, as degreasers do not work in freezing conditions. This puts your machinery out of work until the weather heats up, and even then, you’ll have to clean the equipment off to use it.

A Little Regular Maintenance Goes a Long Way

You can avoid this frozen nightmare by investing in a little maintenance throughout the summer months. By August, the attachment plates on your tractor-trailer and the grease Zerks on your heavy equipment need a little TLC. Stripping these and other hard-to-reach areas now will keep your equipment in good working order through the fall and winter months.

Degreasers and coating removers are excellent chemistries for grease and contaminant removal on heavy equipment. The most versatile products can be brushed or sprayed on with a pressure washer and left to soak to break down contaminants.

Seacole recommends 956 Plus, a coating remover that is environmentally safe so it won’t affect the pH of your waste water, which is good news for farm and other outdoor applications. Spray, brush, or soak 956 Plus onto the parts you’re cleaning, including steel, copper, brass, aluminum, plastics, rubber, and painted surfaces. Soak, spray, brush, and rinse your parts for a squeaky-clean surface free from residue.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to degrease your heavy equipment. Contact the industrial cleaning experts at Seacole to find a solution that will work for you.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Avoid industrial slip and fall accidents

3 Ways to Reduce Industrial Slip and Fall Accidents

Avoid industrial slip and fall accidents

Slip and fall accidents are becoming huge liabilities for industrial facilities of all kinds. Spilled oils, lubricants, paints, and other messes are common culprits in slip and fall incidents. That’s why it’s so important to clean up spills as soon as they occur. But many facility managers do not realize the cleaning chemicals they use may be making the problem worse, not better.

Lack of friction is to blame for most slip and fall accidents. Clean floors often have enough friction with the soles of your employees’ shoes that it’s easy for workers to stay upright. But when floor cleaners leave behind a greasy residue (or oily messes are allowed to sit on the floor), floors of all types can become as slick as ice. Here’s how to treat spills and clean floors to reduce the number of slip and fall accidents at your facility.

  1. Spot-Treat Spills

Spot-treat greasy spills as soon as they occur to eliminate slick spots on your floor. Powder cleaners are very effective at removing oil and oil stains. Sprinkle the powder cleaner on the spill, scrub with a stiff bristle brush or broom, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, hose the area down and use a squeegee to dry off the spot. Our favorite powder cleaner is PFC II, a heavy-duty detergent that won’t harm your concrete floor or your floor’s sealant. The only thing this low-residue cleaner leaves behind is a fresh pine scent.

  1. Scrub Floors Regularly

Spot-treating spills reduces the immediate risk for slip and fall accidents, but regular cleaning of your floors will prevent slip and falls long-term. Floor scrubbers are a great solution for general floor cleaning. Make sure you choose the appropriate detergent for your floor and mix the chemicals correctly. Then, add your solution to the floor scrubber and get cleaning. Our favorite general cleaner is Spraydet CW, a liquid soap that’s compatible with our defoamers for a sparkling clean that doesn’t leave a residue.

  1. Pressure Wash Floors as Needed

Even with regular cleaning, plant and facility floors periodically require a deep clean to keep them safe. Pressure washing is a great solution for deep cleaning industrial floors, driveways, and even heavy equipment. To avoid leaving a greasy residue, it’s important to get your mixture just right. We’ve found 6 to 8 ounces of detergent per gallon of water is ideal. Our favorite pressure washing cleaner is Total, a liquid product that won’t attack the sealant on your shop floor. It’s also non-hazardous, environmentally safe, and super concentrated.

BONUS: Educate Your Team, Rinse, Repeat

To reduce slip and fall accidents at your facility, choose the right chemicals for your floor and contaminants and mix them correctly. Then, educate your team on how to use them appropriately. You may even consider adding scraper mats to entryways to reduce the contaminants entering and leaving your shop.

For help finding the right cleaning chemistry for your floor, contact the experts at Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Meet Surface Finishing Account Manager Jim Mayer

Meet Jim Mayer, Seacole Surface Finishing Account Manager

Meet Surface Finishing Account Manager Jim MayerWe had a chance this month to catch up with surface finishing account manager Jim Mayer. Jim helps our customers understand their metal finishing and industrial cleaning challenges and find Seacole products that will be effective solutions. Take a moment to get to know Jim!

What is your role at Seacole?

I’m the surface finishing account manager and also help with industrial cleaning chemistries.

What surface finishing industry trends are you seeing this year?

As a whole, the surface finishing is robust. Though gun parts and ammunition are down, but everything else seems to be going strong.

What advice would you give people in your field?

Be persistent and don’t give up.

What is your favorite Seacole product?

Total. It is a great all-around cleaner for everything and is safe on all surfaces (except asphalt). It just does a great job of cleaning products. Total is one of my favorite products and has been for a long time.

What might someone be surprised to know about Seacole?

How diverse we are. People who I tour through our facility say “You guys do this?” and “You guys do that?” They’re impressed with the industries we serve and the number of products we offer.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

Get in the car, look at my plan for the week, and go from there. Once I start calling on customers, it seems like something always comes up, but I get it all done!

Do you have a secret for staying productive?

I have to be persistent and never take no for an answer. That’s hard to do, but you have to keep at it. Eventually, things will come around.

Before starting your career, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I worked in a birdseed packing company in high school. I bagged 50 pound bags of birdseed every day. It wasn’t bad, and I got to work with all my friends.

What is something you can’t live without?

My family, my friends, and fishing.

Jim’s Motto:

Try to do the right thing all the time. Be honest and do the right thing. Can’t go wrong with that.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Seacole and Hubbard-Hall

Our 5 Takeaways from the 2017 Sur/Fin Conference

Sur/Fin 2017

Gregg Elliott with Hubbard Hall representatives at Sur/Fin 2017.

Seacole is proud to be a member of the National Association of Surface Finishing (NASF), the trade association for the Surface Finishing Industry. The Seacole leadership team is back from the 2017 Sur/Fin conference in Atlanta! The team had a great time catching up with our industry partners and receiving important updates and training on the surface technology industry. We wanted to share a few of our big takeaways with you.

1. The surface finishing industry is healthy.

A survey conducted by NASF, which hosts the Sur/Fin conference, found nearly half of surface finishing suppliers across the country have reported good business conditions since 2015. Generally, southern suppliers report more optimism than Midwest and coastal suppliers, but suppliers generally agree that the future of the industry is positive.

2. Wastewater control technologies continue to improve.

This is great news for our industry, especially for Seacole and other companies that are committed to environmental sustainability. Improvements in wastewater quality will help the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decide how to approach future regulation of surface finishing effluents, which the agency is expected to consider this summer.

3. However, the Toxic Substances Control Act is expected to remain law.

While the EPA may loosen regulations on effluents, industry experts expect the federal government to continue to implement the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which identifies several high-priority chemicals for regulation. This includes metals, such as nickel, used in the surface finishing industry.

At the same time, some states, including California and Oregon, are expected to implement stricter air emissions regulations for the surface finishing industry.

4. We expect some changes to labor rules for the surface finishing industry.

With the recent leadership changes at the Department of Labor, surface finishing industry leaders believe changes to labor rules will likely shake up surface finishing workplaces. Look for changes to overtime rules and how companies are required to report injury and illness.

5. Surface finishing suppliers will continue to serve innovative industries.

Atlanta was picked as the site for the 2017 Sur/Fin conference because it’s a hub for all sorts of innovative industries. Many of the breakout sessions and vendors at the conferences focused on the needs of the aerospace, defense, and auto industries. We expect growth and innovation to continue in these industries, which impacts surface finishing chemistries and technologies.

Let us put our knowledge from Sur/Fin to work for you and your company. For more on the surface finishing industry or to place your surface finishing chemistries order, contact Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Bill's Bug Blaster Windshield Cleaner

Get Those Bugs off Your Vehicle’s Exterior Surfaces

Bill's Bug Blaster Windshield Cleaner

You’re cruising down the freeway when suddenly—SPLAT!—a bug the size of Rhode Island hits your windshield. Bugs on your windshield, grill, and other parts of your vehicle are a part of life during the summer, but they can do major damage to your vehicle’s exterior surfaces. Here’s why bugs are so difficult to remove and a product that can take the pain out of bug removal.

The Juicy Truth about Sticky Bugs

There are a few reasons bugs are so difficult to remove from your vehicle’s exterior, even when you run it through the car wash a few times or apply ample elbow grease. Hitting bugs at highway speeds implants them into your vehicle’s exterior. The hot summer sun essentially bakes bugs onto your vehicle, whether you’re on the road or your vehicle is sitting in parking lot all day.

As bugs decompose, they produce acidic enzymes that do major damage to the paint on your vehicle’s exterior. When you go to remove the bugs at this stage, it can be difficult to remove bug carcasses without removing a bit of paint, too. If you’re successful at removing the bugs while leaving the paint intact, chances are the carcass has discolored the paint.

Bill’s Bug Blaster Gets the Job Done

Bug carcasses are impervious to car wash detergents or windshield sprays because those products aren’t formulated to dissolve the acidic enzymes decomposing bugs produce. To remove hardened on bugs, bird droppings, tree sap, and even road tar, you need a spray that’s formulated to break these substances down before you wash your vehicle or wipe down your windshield.

Bill’s Bug Blaster is designed to attack, break down, and soften the proteins in bugs and bird droppings. It’s safe and effective for use on any vehicle that reaches high speeds or sits out in the sun, from commuter cars and motorcycles to RVs and airplanes.

Simply spray Bill’s Bug Blaster on affected areas and let sit for a few minutes before washing your vehicle as usual. It does a great job of removing or loosening bugs and other sticky dirt so it can be washed away, even bugs and other grime that’s been baked on over days in the sun.

Since Bill’s Bug Blaster is not oil-based, it is safe for use on glass and Plexiglas windshields and won’t leave behind a streaky residue. Just remember to rinse it off before it dries or you give your car a wash. Bill’s Bug Blaster won’t damage your vehicle’s paint or chrome or dull its finish.

Let this summer be the first one where your vehicle doesn’t become a bug graveyard. Contact Seacole to order your bottle of Bill’s Bug Blaster today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Paula Anderson Seacole Industrial Cleaning

Meet Paula Anderson, Seacole Industrial Cleaning New Business Development Manager

Paula Anderson Seacole Industrial Cleaning

We had a chance this month to catch up with industrial cleaning new business development manager Paula Anderson. Paula helps our customers understand their industrial cleaning challenges and find Seacole products that will be effective solutions. Take a moment to get to know Paula!

What is your role at Seacole?

I’m the new business development manager for industrial cleaning chemistries.

What industrial cleaning industry trends are you seeing this year?

Many of Seacole’s competitors seem to be adding colors and fragrances to their products to gain an edge with their customers. Unfortunately for those customers, these additives do not add to the cleaning ability of the products. They only add to the cost of the product. Educating customers about the expectations they should have for their chemistries is becoming more important each day.

What advice would you give people in your field?

Be honest with your customers about what your product can and cannot clean.

What is your favorite Seacole product?

Living on a farm, I really like Seacole’s NOR Deodorant odor control spray for ELIMINATING odors in our muck boots and tennis shoes, and our Fresh Again® Laundry Detergent is great for getting out tough-to-remove livestock soils and odors.

Total cleaner is a great general purpose cleaner for spray-washing equipment, shop floors, and metal building exteriors.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

Turn on the lights!

Do you have a secret for staying productive?

Good earbuds and a lot of great music.

Before starting your career, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

I was a production control supervisor for one of Donaldson Company’s third-party factories located inside Miami Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison in Indiana. I had to do an on-site inventory with two coworkers. Spending two days on the “inside” was eye opening to say the least. You learn to appreciate all the personal freedoms we have each day—you don’t ever want to lose those!

What is something you can’t live without?

My husband, my kids, and my dog.

Paula’s Motto:

“Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” Voltaire


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Farm equipment pressure washing

Optimize the Performance and Protect the Appearance of Your Modern Farm Equipment

Farm equipment pressure washingClean farm equipment not only looks great, it works more efficiently and is less prone to rust and other deterioration. Pressure washing is an effective way to keep your agricultural equipment in good working order.

The number of times a piece of equipment is washed, called “wash frequency,” correlates with the amount of time it takes to clean it. By washing faster and with less effort, you’ll be more inclined to wash more frequently. This will prolong the life of your equipment and will increase the chances you’ll get more money when you sell or trade in your equipment. Here are some tips on how to properly maintain your farm equipment with environmentally safe Seacole products.

Pressure Washing Hard-to-Reach Areas and Challenging Residues

First, set your pressure washer on a low pressure setting so the water and detergent soak your equipment instead of splashing away. Start spraying your equipment from the lowest point on the machinery and work your way up to avoid streaking and drying. As you spray, apply plenty of detergent so all the surface dirt is washed away. Then, let the solution sit on your equipment for 5 to 10 minutes so it can dissolve the debris.

After letting the detergent sit for 5 to 10 minutes, it’s time turn up the pressure. Set your washer to a high pressure setting to remove the dirt the detergent has dissolved. Once you’ve sprayed the equipment on a high pressure setting, it’s time to rinse away the dirt and detergent. This time, start at the top of your equipment and work your way down, using plenty of water to flush away the grime.

Applying soap and rinsing it off with a pressure washer allows soap to get into areas that are otherwise unreachable by brush or hand washing. This makes pressure washing ideal for wheel wells, between wheels, and in pulley compartments. Soaping and rinsing with a pressure washer instead of a brush allows greater surface areas to be covered in a shorter amount of time, allowing more farm equipment to be washed overall.

Plant residue and animal fecal matter can be very difficult to remove unless you use harsh cleaners or a lot of elbow grease. With the methods we describe above, these soils come off with ease and you won’t need to invest extra time or attention.

Seacole has formulations to help the agriculture Industry optimize the performance and protect the appearance of these capital investments with OEM Service Professionals, Rebuilders, and Farmers in mind.

OEM Service Professionals

Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) service professionals have to diagnose problems and repair farm equipment as quickly as possible. Seacole’s spray and wipe degreaser, Break, is designed to allow service techs to quickly and thoroughly clean a specific area. This can prevent a complete tear down of the equipment, saving valuable time (and money) for the customer.

Once the problem parts are disassembled, mechanics can use Seacole’s full line of spray wash chemistries in cabinet, agi-lift, or conveyor washers. Our 14EX is the industry-leading chemistry for precision parts cleaning. It can be paired with a series of defoamers, Turbo Charge (for carbon removal), and proprietary rust inhibitors for a complete cleaning and protection package.

Equipment Rebuilders

Equipment rebuilders refurbish machinery components on a mass scale as an alternative to purchasing expensive components from the original equipment manufacturers. Seacole supports these service providers with complex solutions for removing carbon deposits, dirt, oil, and even paint from these parts. Our Spraydet line of detergents has a series of formulations to work with aluminum, ferrous metals, plastics, and electrical components (motors). Seacole’s Rust Inhibitor products protect these parts from corrosion while they await their next life on the farm.

Farmers

Farmers not only take pride in feeding the world’s population, they also love to take pride in their equipment and facilities. Whatever color of equipment you own: green, red, yellow, or blue, Seacole has the chemistries to keep them clean, protected, and looking their best. Our Total Cleaner is an all-purpose, concentrated liquid perfect for pressure washing equipment, steel buildings, shop floors, and parking pads.

Got bugs? No matter how many grasshoppers smashed into the front of the tractor, Bill’s Bug Blaster can help dissolve them. It was originally designed for Plexiglass airplane windshields without fogging.  Use it for the crop-duster, UTV, ATV, motorcycle, or boat windshields. It will also work on glass, but must be rinsed off before it dries!

Why does Seacole know so much about pressure washing farm equipment? We’ve supported the industry for decades with detergents, degreasers, and industrial cleaners for use in pressure washers and other spray equipment. Contact the experts at Seacole today to find the detergent and degreaser that’s best for your equipment.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Put 30 Years of Experience to Work for You

Put 30 Years of Printed Circuit Board Experience to Work for You

Printed circuit board manufacturing is a complicated process with many steps, which means there’s a lot of room for error. When not properly maintained with high-quality support chemistries, it’s easy for residue and scale to slow down your production line and interfere with the quality of your product.

That’s why it’s so important to partner with a support chemistry distributor that understands the complexity of your process and is constantly innovating new ways to keep your processing equipment cleaner and more efficient so it continues to create a superior product.

Nearly 30 Years of PCB Expertise and Innovation

The story of Seacole’s innovation in the PCB support chemistries industry starts in 2002, when Seacole founder Gregg Elliott bought Circuit Research Corporation (CRC). Circuit Research Corporation was founded in 1990 and was a well-known and highly respected printed circuit board chemistry manufacturer. Its staff of talented chemical engineers with decades of experience developing and delivering the highest quality chemistry joined Seacole’s expert group of engineers and chemists.

The newly merged companies continued to build on CRC’s existing high reputation with distributors and agents locally in Minnesota and across the country. Today, Seacole is proud to provide printed circuit board manufacturers with chemistries designed to perform above industry standards while remaining cost-effective.

Two of Our Favorite Printed Circuit Board Support Chemistries

Seacole formulates and distributes dozens of support chemistries for printed circuit board manufacturers. Two of our favorite products are used in the development and stripping processes.

Many anti-foam additives leave behind residues on your PCB surfaces and processing equipment. Our ANTI/Foam CR-98 is silicon-free and solvent-free. Its extremely free-rinsing formula virtually eliminates residue from both products and equipment. Use ANTI/Foam CR-98 as an automated addition for process sumps that use bellows, air diaphragms, or peristaltic pumps.

As you know, regular maintenance of your developers and resist strippers plays a significant role in the quality of your product and efficiency of your production line. Equipment Cleaner 70 is a concentrated acid cleaner that removes hard-water scale and residues, including the stubborn ones that build up in solder mask developer chambers. It’s even reusable over multiple applications.

If you’re having trouble finding support chemistries for your PCB process that won’t leave behind residues, foam, or scale on your product or equipment, contact the experts at Seacole today. We can help you find the support chemistries that will keep your production running smoothly and efficiently.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Walt Fogacs Printed Circuit Board

Meet Walt Forgacs, Seacole PCB Account Manager

Walt Fogacs Printed Circuit BoardWe had a chance this month to catch up with printed circuit board account manager Walt Forgacs. Walt’s been a chemist and engineer for more than three decades, and we’re grateful for the addition his expertise and experience make to the Seacole team. Take a moment to get to know Walt!

What is your role at Seacole?

I’m a printed circuit board account manager.

What printed circuit board industry trends are you seeing this year?

Traditional processing methods evolving at a more rapid rate to take advantage of Automation, LDI and other advanced direct processing technologies while vigilantly being environmentally conscientious. The consolidation of manufacturing sites and suppliers of course will continue.

What advice would you give people in your field?

High quality, consistency and process innovation have always been the triad of this business. I believe the next generations of manufacturing will be highly automated and integrated. My advice is take the time to see what and who is new and cutting edge then, invest in tomorrow today.

What is your favorite Seacole product?

The Equipment Cleaner 70. I like that product because of its powerful performance, extremely long life and the fact it is environmentally friendly due to its longevity.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

Make sure I’m addressing all of my customers’ most important needs.

Do you have a secret for staying productive?

When I have something in mind, I get it done. I stay focused until it’s done. Prioritize.

Before starting your career, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

Chemist and production manager for a medium sized zinc and copper nickel chrome plating company in SLC.

What might someone be surprised to learn about Seacole?

A really high-quality cooperative crew. I like the people.

What is something you can’t live without?

God, country, and my family.

Walt’s Motto:

Measure twice, cut once.

Learn more about Walt here.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Jim Jordan Surface Finishing

Meet Jim Jordan, Seacole Surface Finishing Account Manager

Jim Jordan Surface FinishingWe had a chance this month to catch up with surface finishing account manager Jim Jordan.  Jim holds a chemical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and enjoys helping customers improve their process control methods. Take a moment to get to know Jim!

What is your role at Seacole?

I’m an Account Manager in the Surface Finishing group. I support customers in southern Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska, with a few exceptions.

What surface finishing industry trends are you seeing this year?

Every year, we see an increase in the use of green industry practices, and 2017 is no different. Beyond the usual goals of reducing or eliminating the use of toxic and hazardous chemistries, there is more and more interest in chemistries that require fewer bath change-outs, generate less waste, and consume less energy – with no compromise in performance, of course. And RoHS compliance is still a driving force in many of the industries we support.

What advice would you give people in your field?

I encourage my customers to continually focus on and improve their process control methods. So many quality problems are the result of excessive process variation, and this can be avoided by implementing (and following) process control procedures designed to maintain key chemical parameters within the recommended specifications.

What is your favorite Seacole product?

It’s not easy to pick a single favorite product in the Seacole Surface Finishing portfolio, but I’m a big fan of Surtec 668 Trivalent Blue Chromate Conversion Coating for zinc. This newer product offering is having a lot of success in the marketplace right now because it provides our customers with all of the features and benefits they are looking for – excellent corrosion resistance, an intense blue color, a wide process window, and low operating cost.

What is the first thing you do when you get to work?

I start my day with a quick review of my to-do list, assessing my priorities and goals, and finalizing any items in my schedule that are still not nailed down.

Do you have a secret to staying productive?

Something I learned years ago was to follow the 2-Minute Rule: If a task will take less than 2 minutes to complete, do it right away. Also, I always keep a notepad handy for spontaneously writing down new tasks and ideas, and for remembering unfinished tasks that I can revisit later when less busy.

Before starting your career, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

When I was in 9th or 10th grade I had a job playing “honky-tonk” piano at a local Shakey’s Pizza Parlor on weekend evenings. Thinking back on it, I’m sure I annoyed an awful lot of pizza-eating patrons.

What might someone be surprised to learn about Seacole?

A lot of people would be surprised by the scope of Seacole’s product development and manufacturing capabilities (both staff and facilities) and the fact we’re much more than just a sales office/warehouse.

What are three things you can’t live without?

Well, family and friends are a given, so beyond that it would be coffee (I drink it morning, noon, and night), spicy food (the hotter the better), and my car (both out of need and enjoyment; no self-driving cars for me!).

Jim’s Motto:

Only I am in charge of my destiny.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
electroless nickel plating

Electroless Nickel Plating and Its Support Chemistries

electroless nickel platingElectroless nickel plating is an alternative process to electroplating. It reduces your facility’s water and energy use and cuts down on the hazardous waste produced by the plating process. Electroless nickel plating can be used on metal or plastic parts.

Instead of using electricity to convert the ions in the chemical bath to solids that adhere to your part, electroless nickel plating converts ions through a chemical auto-catalytic process. Here’s a look at the chemistries involved in electroless nickel plating.

Support Chemistries for Electroless Nickel Plating

The cornerstone of the electroless nickel plating process is a bath consisting of several chemical agents. When these agents are used in correct proportions and replenished regularly, the metal ions adhere uniformly to your part with little or no blistering.

The first additive for your chemical bath is the metal salt that contains the ions of the alloy you intend to plate your parts with. To convert these ions into solids that adhere to your part, you need a reducing agent. Hydrated sodium hypophosphite is a common reducing agent used in the electroless nickel plating process. The amount of the reducing agent present in the chemical bath determines the thickness of the metal coating on the parts.

In addition to the metal salt and reducing agent, your electroless plating bath requires stabilizers, wetting agents, and surfactants to promote adhesion and maintain a consistent and ideal pH. Stabilizers help control how well the metal ions adhere to your part. To reduce friction, you can add Teflon™ along with your wetting agent and surfactants. When your chemical bath is regularly monitored for ideal temperature and replenished regularly, electroless nickel plating can be a simple, effective, and sustainable way to plate your parts.

Three of Our Favorite Support Chemistry Products for Electroless Plating

Seacole’s electroless plating experts have identified several products that are best-in-class for adhesion, waste treatment, and specialized applications. Metal-Chem’s Meta-Mate Zincate 40 is a concentrated liquid pretreatment for aluminum parts that promotes adhesion while reducing blistering. When used with Metal-Chem’s electroless plating processes, Meta-Mate Zincate 40 will potentially allow more metal turnovers than other aluminum pretreatment formulations.

When a bath is spent, manufacturers usually send the remaining solution offsite or through a waste treatment system. Metal-Chem’s Meta-Treat EN is a waste treatment additive that eliminates costly investment in waste treatment equipment or offsite transport. The additive allows you to plate nickel onto scrap metal, such as steel wool, and then dispose of the nickel as a recoverable solid instead of hazardous waste. Meta-Treat EN reduces the nickel in your spent bath to less than 10 ppm.

Military, optical, and aerospace parts often require low-reflectivity coatings. Metal-Chem’s Meta-Black Midnite is a matte black coating used over low phosphorous EN to produce parts with excellent hardness and corrosion resistance. It is the only product of its kind that can be used with electroless nickel plating.

For help choosing the appropriate chemicals for your electroless nickel plating process, contact the experts at Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Parts-cleaning

3 Factors That Make or Break the Quality of Your Parts-Cleaning Operation

Parts-cleaning

Manufacturers must clean their metal, glass, and plastic parts before they can be assembled in an engine or other piece of heavy equipment. Choosing the right cleaning process and detergent can make or break the effectiveness of your parts-cleaning operation.

Before you start the parts-cleaning process, you need to know what type of surface you’re trying to clean (metal, plastic, glass, or other substrate) and the contaminants you need to remove, whether it’s oil, grease, carbon, scale, rust, or loose paint. With your surface and contaminants in mind, choose a wash system that will effectively remove the contaminants without damaging the surface of your parts. You may use a spray cabinet washer, a spray conveyor washer, ultrasonic washer, or a soak tank. From there, Seacole can help you choose the best detergent for your process.

Once you’ve determined parts type, contaminant type, and your washing process and detergent, you’re ready to get started. But choosing the right process and cleaner is only the first step. Time, temperature, and concentration are also the most important factors in how clean you’re able to get your parts.

Factor 1: Temperature

For many contaminants, hotter temperatures are better for effective cleaning, especially when you need to remove stubborn greases such as paraffin. Paraffin responds to heat much better than a cleaning chemical with high alkalinity and low heat. Some manufacturers try to run their parts-cleaning process on a low temperature to save on fuel, but low temperatures rarely get parts as clean as you need them to be.

Factor 2: Time

The more time your parts-cleaning process takes, the longer the spray jets in the machine or the chemicals in your soak tank are in contact with your parts. This increases the chances your parts will be damaged. It’s important to find a balance between time and temperature. Sometimes, you can increase the temperature and detergent to cut down on the time your parts spend in the cleaning process. Many manufacturers try to keep their wash temperatures as low as possible. This can save on fuel costs, but running a lower temperature often requires you to extend the wash cycle.

Regular inspections of your spray washers can make your parts-cleaning operation more efficient. Skim oils off the surface of your wash tank when the machine shuts down to keep your solution as clean as possible. Inspect your spray nozzles for clogs. Often, manufacturers don’t get a high-quality cleaning because 25 percent of their nozzles are clogged. Unclog nozzles regularly so your sprayers have good contact with your parts.

Factor 3: Concentration

Increasing the alkalinity or acidity of the bath increases the contaminants you remove. We recommend manufacturers start with a 3 percent concentration for normal cleaning, then increase the percentage until you get the cleaning quality you want. Test your system to make sure the bath has not become diluted, and log your results so you can predict when you’ll need to add more detergent in the future.

If your wash system includes a rinse tank, be careful how you rinse your parts. If you just open the door and take a hose and rinse the parts with a spray nozzle, your rinse water will run directly into the soak tank and dilute your solution. You can also lose concentration to evaporation if your tank vents to the outdoors. Watch the make-up water gauge to make sure your tank is filled to the right level and do titration to see if evaporation is affecting the concentration of your cleaning solution.

One last tip: Don’t be afraid to change your tank out. Manufacturers often don’t want to spend money on chemicals or getting rid of waste, but skimping on waste removal and tank cleaning results in cleaning your parts in dirty water. Filthy water affects how the wash works and your detergent will not work properly if there are too many dissolved solids in the water.

The chemical solutions experts at Seacole can recommend an appropriate cleaning process and detergent for your parts. We carry aluminum-safe and ferrous metal-safe formulations for most metal parts cleaning operations, but also carry detergents for unique cleaning applications. All of our detergents have rust inhibitors and defoamers built into them.

For help creating a high-quality parts-cleaning system or selecting the right detergent for your application, contact Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Industrial Cleaners

7 Applications for Custom-Blended Industrial Cleaners

Industrial CleanersParts cleaners, corrosion inhibitors, defoamers, degreasers, detergents, and descalers—Seacole Specialty Chemical can formulate an industrial cleaner for your industrial process. Our custom liquid blending capabilities help you eliminate contaminants without damaging your products. Here are seven different applications for our custom-blended industrial cleaners. Which one might be just what your industrial process needs?

  1. Parts Cleaning

Gummed up parts on your assembly line or on your heavy equipment slows down production and can lead to down time and extra costs. Seacole can blend a parts cleaner formulated specifically for your process. We blend products that cut through oils and lubricants, printing inks, and protective coatings as well as detergents that are compatible with a variety of washer types, including ultrasonic washers.

  1. Corrosion Inhibition

Moisture can wreak havoc on metal parts during cleaning, storing, and shipping, causing costly damage and delays. We can blend a corrosion inhibitor to treat your products with rust protection before processing, cleaning, and storage. Our custom formulations are safe for ferrous and nonferrous metals and can be painted and heated as needed.

  1. Defoamers

Cleaning your equipment already slows down your industrial process, and foam buildup from your detergent can lead to even longer delays. A custom-blended degreaser reduces or eliminates foam in industrial parts washers. We can formulate a product for you that is ideal for long spray-wash cycles or high temperatures.

  1. Detergents

When conventional, off-the-shelf detergents just aren’t strong enough to remove the dirt from your heavy equipment, facility, or fleet, it’s time to blend a custom detergent. Seacole can create an acidic or alkaline formula to fit your needs, including pressure washing and steam cleaning applications. Many of our detergents can be blended to be environmentally friendly and biodegradable to make cleanup hassle-free and safe.

  1. Descaling and Etching Cleaners

Many industrial processes create scale, rust, oxides, and mill that can be difficult to remove. Descaling and etching cleaners can strip the scale away without harming your product. Seacole can blend descalers that are safe for ferrous and other metals, even when applied multiple times. We can custom blend an acidic or alkaline formulation just for you.

  1. Degreasers

Oils and lubricants leave a tough-to-clean grime on your heavy equipment and vehicle fleet. Seacole can blend a variety of degreasers to meet your needs, from heavy-duty degreasers for spray or immersion to mild detergents that work hard but are safe for the environment and multiple surfaces.

  1. Your Custom Cleaner

When you can’t find what you need in your other supplier’s catalog, it’s time to call Seacole Specialty Chemical. Our custom liquid blending experts can formulate a special product just for you, from release agents for particleboard to paint stripper for polymeric and epoxy coatings. Contact Seacole today to discover how we can liquid blend a custom industrial cleaner to serve you better.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Seacole Responsible Distribution

Our Commitment to Responsible Distribution (and What That Means for You)

Seacole Responsible DistributionSeacole is a proud member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD). As a supplier of specialty chemicals, we’re your connection to the nation’s top chemical distributors. We take our position in the supply chain very seriously, from the health and safety of your employees and ours to the safe transportation, use, and disposal of the products we offer.

Our NACD membership requires Seacole to adhere to a strict code of standards collectively known as Responsible Distribution. It touches every aspect of what we do, from handling, storing, and delivery to your facility and training for you and your team on how to safely use our products.

Responsible Distribution: Our Commitment to You

The NACD Responsible Distribution program is a set of 13 environmental, health, safety, and security standards. The standards are mandatory for all members, including Seacole. While we already adhere to our own commitment to environmentally responsible chemistry, adhering to NACD allow us to learn and implement best practices across all aspects of our business.

A third party verifies that we are compliant with the Responsible Distribution standards. Since 1991, NACD members have gone through five three-year cycles of verification. The sixth cycle started in January 2017 and will be complete in December 2019. The cycle will focus on change management, risk mitigation, sustainability, and security.

Responsible Distribution: Engaged Experts

The NACD requires everyone at Seacole—from delivery drivers to senior management—to attend periodic training on how to implement industry best practices, from rigorous records control to safe chemical handling and transportation. It makes us especially qualified to recommend products that will be effective and safe for you and your employees.

Responsible Distribution: Safe and Sustainable Processes

From developing records control procedures to implementing safe, secure, and sustainable handling, storage, transportation, and disposal processes, Seacole is committed to handling your data and your orders with the utmost seriousness and care. In its most recent survey, the NACD found its members reported half the occupational injuries of non-member manufacturers, a track record we’re proud to be a part of.

Responsible Distribution: Rigorous Training

The Responsible Distribution program requires us to pass our product, health, and safety knowledge down to you and your team. We’ll help train your staff in the safe and effective use and storage of the products we provide to you. We even help you understand how to manage your products in the event of a flood, fire, tornado, or other disaster to minimize damage and get you back up and running faster.

We take our commitment to the Responsible Distribution program very seriously. To learn more about how our NACD membership helps us better serve you and your team, contact Seacole today.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:
Seacole Specialty Chemical

Thinking Outside the Drum: What Can Seacole Specialty Chemical Do for You?

Seacole Specialty ChemicalFor 15 years, Seacole Specialty Chemical has been your resource for highly specialized chemical products that support every stage of your manufacturing process. We value every relationship we have with our customers. If you work with us to provide only one or two products, it’s time to think outside the drum. Take a look at what else we can provide for you.

What Makes Seacole Different

We formulate, manufacture, and distribute every chemical product with you, your employees, and your customers in mind. We bring our core values to bear on every product we formulate: integrity, customer focus, innovative culture, continuous improvement, and being a good corporate citizen. Each formulation must be highly effective and safe for you and your team to use, whether you’re manufacturing printed circuit boards or heavy machinery.

Seacole is dedicated to environmentally responsible chemistry. Where possible, we produce products that eliminate environmentally unfriendly solvents.

Products for Every Stage of the Process—Even Waste Treatment

When your manufacturing process requires unwavering precision, you need effective, highly engineered chemicals that won’t slow down your production line. We formulate and distribute hundreds of chemical products to support every step of your manufacturing process.

Our chemical products for printed circuit board manufacturing are highly effective. Work with us to find or formulate the developer, etchant, foam control, resist stripper, or cleaner that supports your process.

We also offer surface finishing products for metal finishing, plating on plastic (POP), and mass finishing. These specialized chemicals clean, plate, anodize, deburr, and descale metals. Others prepare metal surfaces for powder coating and paint.

Whether you manufacture delicate electronics or heavy machinery, you need an industrial-strength cleaning product best suited for that purpose. Seacole cleaners remove fingerprints and flux from circuit boards to heavy grease and soil from locomotive engines and automobiles. The range of formulation is the key.

How can we think outside the drum for you and your company? Contact Seacole today to discover how we can develop a chemical product to serve you better.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:

Chemical Reaction

From the December 2016 Issue of Enterprise Minnesota

“Gregg Elliott is more than candid about the pragmatic motivation behind his company’s decision to pursue its ISO certification.

“It was, to be honest, a customer-driven process,” he told a room full of manufacturing executives recently, at an event in Maple Grove, organized by Enterprise Minnesota at Great River Energy. Elliott was one of three CEOs who described their ISO journeys. Other presenters included Tom Murphy, president of CARDSource, and Sarah Richards, president and CEO of Jones Metal.

Elliott, a veteran chemist, founded Seacole, a Plymouth-based chemical manufacturing distribution company, in 2002. Operating out of an 85,000-square-foot plant located near the intersection of Interstate Highway 494 and Minnesota State Highway 55, Seacole recorded first-year revenue of about $2 million. Today, it’s nearing $20 million.

He had long studied the way ISO could institutionalize processes, reduce mistakes, and better exploit the capabilities of his ERP system. Yet the ultimate tipping point for his decision to take on ISO, he told event attendees, was prompted by a tip in 2013 that executives at Dow Chemical wanted to sub-contract a considerable chunk of work to Seacole—but only after the company achieved its ISO certification.

Similar subcontracting has long driven part of Seacole’s enviable profitability, because many manufacturers would rather avoid the costs and regulatory hassles of managing in-house chemical packaging operations, especially when those processes are only incidental to their primary business. Chemical manufacturers are among the most closely regulated American industries, with the DEA, the EPA, Homeland Security, Pollution Control Agency, and a host of others continually keeping tabs on their products and processes.

“Everybody watches us,” Elliott said.

After canvassing an assortment of consulting organizations, Elliot and his managers chose Enterprise Minnesota to guide their path to ISO certification.

“We looked at a lot of other options, to be honest,” Elliott said. “You can go online and almost get a mail order ISO program. You send them a bunch of information, they send you back a bunch of information, SOPs, and then you go through your certification. It’s very easy and pretty cost effective, but you really don’t get much out of it. You really don’t improve your company doing it that way.”

After waiting out a year-long delay while Seacole first upgraded its powerful ERP, Enterprise Minnesota’s Kent Myhrman used three-hour bi-monthly sessions for about a year to guide them through several other related projects, including job instruction training.

“It wasn’t the huge time commitment we were expecting,” Elliott said.

Seacole’s hard cost of achieving ISO was about $23,000, according to Elliott, along with $10,000 to account for another 708 hours’ worth of employee time over the year.

The annual time and labor expense of maintaining ISO is under $50,000, he added.

“The return on investment calculation is certainly in our favor,” Elliott said, emphasizing that some of that expense was baked into existing employee responsibilities.

“We were doing all that stuff to begin with,” he said. “We had a complaint system, and we had a corrective action system, but they weren’t very well formalized and documented. Those people were all in place and already doing those functions, just not doing them very efficiently.”

Seacole became ISO certified in October 2015 and since then has notched close to $2 million in annual revenue from the Dow relationship, with more coming, according  to Elliott.

Elliott readily admits that the ISO disciplines have accomplished much more than good sales at Seacole.

The ISO process used inter-department cooperation to develop greater efficiencies, which also “really empowered our employees,” Elliott said. “We’re making fewer mistakes, and we’re not repeating them, which is even more important. In an era when employee retention is a top priority, the ISO process gave them a feeling that they were part of the process. It really helps us retain the employees we have.”

ISO also institutionalized Seacole training processes and reduced audit time with outside customers.

Elliott uses its ISO certification to inspire changes throughout Seacole’s culture. A large sign in the lobby proclaims Seacole’s ISO certification, alongside the company’s core values and mission statement.

“Every visitor, customer, and employee who enters the building understands what we’re all about,” Elliott said. “It’s something that we live on a daily basis.”

Elliott said ISO certification also enabled Seacole’s entrance into the National Association of Chemical Distributors, a large national association whose members move about 90 percent of the chemical products in the United States. That membership, he said, opened the door to a new customer relationship with BASF, the world’s largest chemical producer.

“We’re growing at a clip of between 10 and 12 percent a year right now, and I think it’s largely because of our ISO,” he said.”

Direct Link to Article in Enterprise Minnesota

________________________________________

http://www.enterpriseminnesota.org/

Enterprise Minnesota

310 4th Ave So. Suite 7050 | Minneapolis, MN 55415

612-373-2900 or 800-325-3073

 


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:

It’s Not Just for Compliance Anymore

Chemical manufacturer Seacole uses ISO to help ramp up to $35 million in revenue

By Lynn Shelton

Enterprise Minnesota’s Director of Marketing and Communications

Seacole’s CEO and owner Gregg Elliott found that requests for ISO vendors kept coming from higher up the supply chain in industries ranging from medical device to automotive and aerospace. He knew that if he wanted to nurture continued growth for his Plymouth-based chemical manufacturer and distributor he needed to take the ISO plunge.

Elliott was one of three manufacturing executives who recapped his ISO journey for other manufacturers during a recent Enterprise Minnesota Business Event at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Vadnais Heights. His presentation came at a time when business interest has heightened around the long-awaited – and much improved – release of the 2015 ISO guidelines.

“As we grew 20 percent last year, we realized we needed some sort of management system in place to continue growing. We had a lot of best practices in-house but we hadn’t really documented a lot of them,” Elliott said. If a long-term employee retired, “we needed a way to document best practices so they could be passed on to other people.”

Seacole, which has nearly 50 employees, buys chemical components and blends them into new products. It manufactures 2,000 products in its 85,000-square-foot facility. Its capabilities include creating chemical products for surface finishing, printed circuit boards, industrial cleaning, railroad and other transportation, agriculture, and laboratories.

Because Seacole deals with significant quantities of chemicals, it is highly regulated by numerous agencies, from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to the Department of Homeland Security. As the level of regulation continues to increase, many companies have started outsourcing their chemistry manufacturing to specialists like Seacole.

The manufacturer already has benefitted from this trend, and it will be compounded by Seacole’s ISO certification. Thanks to these factors and more, Seacole is on track to hit $35 million in revenue in three years, Elliott said.

Through the process, Seacole uncovered that it was making the same errors repeatedly. Obtaining ISO certification helped the manufacturer secure significant business from large customers like 3M and Dow, but it also prompted better workflow, reduced mistakes, and improved customer service, Elliott said.

“Incidents of both internal and customer complaints have gone way down since ISO was put in place,” he added. “And in this day of finding employees, I found this was a really good way to empower people. It gave them pride in the job they didn’t have before and it helps with retention of employees.”

Becoming ISO certified took about a year and cost roughly $30,000. During the most intense part of the process, it meant holding three-hour meetings every two weeks. One challenge involved getting all employees involved and invested in the ISO project.

To overcome that, Seacole conducted a series of tutorials for all employees that explained why the company was doing ISO, what would occur during the certification process, and how it would all work in action. This helped all staff support the process and follow the new policies and procedures – which is especially important because ISO really never ends, Elliott said. Companies are audited annually and recertified every three years.

Keys to making ISO successful are communicating regularly with all employees, investing the necessary time and energy in the process, and getting buy-in from all levels of a company. “If you don’t have commitment from the top management of the company, don’t bother going ISO,” Elliott advised. “It has to be driven from the top down.”

To learn more about Seacole visit www.Seacole.com. For more information on the new ISO 9001:2015 standard, see the upcoming issue of Enterprise Minnesota® magazine.

________________________________________

http://www.enterpriseminnesota.org/

Enterprise Minnesota

310 4th Ave So. Suite 7050 | Minneapolis, MN 55415

612-373-2900 or 800-325-3073


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:

ISO Certification

On September 30th, Seacole was granted ISO certification. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides strategic tools and guidelines to help companies tackle challenges of modern business. Meeting ISO standards ensures that business operations are as efficient as possible, helps to increase productivity and helps companies access new markets. Seacole met the ISO 9001 requirements, which address various aspects of quality management. The standards will help guide Seacole to ensure its products consistently meet customer’s requirements, and that quality is consistently being improved. ISO 9001 helps Seacole assess who benefits from its work and what customers expect in return.


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags:

National Customer Service Week

On October 5th, Seacole employees geared up for the start of National Customer Service Week (NCSW). The theme of this year’s customer service week was Recognizing Everyday Heroes. Throughout the week, employees participated in numerous activities and dress-up days in order to boost morale, motivation, and teamwork. In addition, NCSW helped raise companywide awareness of the importance of customer service and reminds customers of Seacole’s commitment to customer satisfaction. The week was started with a company wide breakfast, followed by neon highlighter day on Tuesday, fake-an-injury day on Wednesday, crazy hair/wig day on Thursday, and concluding with the biggest fanday on Friday. The best-dressedemployee on each day was rewarded with a gift card. NCSW concluded with the third annual Seacole 500 desk chair race. Employees formed teams of three or four and raced around a large table pushing one person on a desk chair, while the person doing the pushing was blindfolded. Overall, NCSW at Seacole was a success!


Seacole Product Tags:

Seacole Product Tags: