Handling Drums of Acetone at Carolina Castings
Located in High Point, North Carolina, Carolina Casting, Inc. is an innovative leader in polyester resin based products for the furniture industry. For its customers, Carolina Castings creates bunn feet, finials, moldings and roto-casted table bases to include items such as chair backs, ornate fixtures, tabletops, mirror frames and highly complex assembled table bases and pedestals. Recent activities have also included upscale hotel corridor corner guards, lamp bases and chandeliers, statuettes, decorative mailbox trim, outdoor dining tables and bases, as well as items such as specialty kitchen and bath tiles. The process Carolina Castings employs also includes the capacity to supply texture and color for the striking results their customers require.
The Problem: Daily, it was necessary to dispense a large volume of Acetone. Large faucet-equipped drums of the chemical were stored in the upright position in the chemical storage room. For use, the 350 pound drums had to be moved from the chemical room to another location, placed on a cradle in a prone position, have bonding and grounding wires attached and tilted to permit dispensing through hand control of the faucet. After dispensing, the bonding and grounding wires were disconnected, and the container returned to the storage area and again placed in an upright position. According to plant engineer, Dan Stiles, the process was slow, labor intensive and subject to potential spills when transferring the flammable solvent. “We use Acetone as a solvent to clean hand tools, small containers and machine flushing operations, “noted Mr. Stiles. “However, our primary use is to clean our finished product so that it is free of chemical component, flashing, and foreign debris. The finished product is then ready for painting or staining with a similar texture and acceptance of the final finish just as if it were its wood counterpart.”
The Search : Dissatisfied, Stiles tried using a rotary hand-crank pump on the container but found this unsatisfactory because the liquid pulsed at the spout and splashed on the employees during dispensing. Additionally, these pumps were unreliable after a few months, requiring costly repairs. Stiles then investigated air driven pumps. This was turned down because of high initial costs, expensive replacement parts and high maintenance costs.
The Solution: “We decided to try a pressure action pump sourced from GoatThroat Pumps,” according to Stiles. “These polypropylene pumps proved reliable, and permitted us to keep our drums safely in an upright position. We now have 2 rigs. At the fixed location, we utilize fixed grounding and bonding wires that are hooked directly to the drum. We have added the air compressor adapter which, with only 2psi, delivers the acetone to small containers for our labor force to use at their benches for “small work” . This solution has proved ideal for dispensing on demand. We also use the same setup for our larger, mobile units which fill 20 to 40 gallon day tanks. At a rate of 4 gallons a minute, it takes one man about 12 minutes to fill for the 40 gallon tank. No more carrying buckets of acetone across the factory, which consumed the better part of 30 minutes and could hurt the employee’s back. We have replaced o-rings a couple of times, but the original pumps are still in use after 4 years. The new procedure is faster and safer, and has helped us exceed our environmental compliance requirements.”
About GoatThroat Pumps
Westcott Distribution Inc. is a worldwide leader in environmentally preferable liquid transfer solutions and the manufacturer of GoatThroat Pumps. GoatThroat™ thermoplastic pumps are designed to fit containers and drums from 5 to 55-gallons and are available in four models, have a cost-effective life expectancy of 10 to 15 years, and provide spill-proof, safe transfer of over 800 fluids and solvents. Designed to drain containers dry, making them Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) empty, they also meet UN safety standards and RoHS standards, helping customers meet compliance and environmental requirements.
Primarily for low viscosity liquids, GoatThroat products are suited for manufacturing processes within the pharmaceutical, semiconductor, medical, inkjet printing, fuel cell, toxic gas detection, chemical processing and analysis instrumentation industries. Offered with Viton, Santoprene, EPDM or Nitrile depending on the fluid, they are also recyclable.
For more information visit www.goatthroat.com.