For decades, ASCO CARBON DIOXIDE LTD and its ASCOJET Dry Ice Blasting Technology has been offering a high-performance and gentle cleaning process to countless companies. Traditional Swiss company ABB also counts on ASCOJET when it comes to automatically removing silicon release agent from insulator base bodies with the help of a special construction.
As a leading supplier of energy and automation technology, ABB supplies systems and overall solutions for public utilities and industrial companies. A new product development challenged the company as Roland Gisin, Operations Manager at ABB, explains: "We intended to launch a new product. During this process our development team succeeded in producing a functioning test piece. Nevertheless we had to deal with residues of release agent on the casting mould during the removing process. The primer to be applied could not adhere properly which stood in the way of all subsequent production steps."
ABB tried several cleaning methods to remove the silicone residues from the new moulds. Among other procedures, they tried gringing. But this cleaning method is very unsuitable in such cases since there is a considerable amount of pollution left. Also the moulds have a high wear. This is where ASCOJET Dry Ice Blasting Technology came into play. José Fernandez, Application Technician / Sales Dry Ice Application at ASCO, explains the unbeatable advantages of ASCOJET: "Cleaning with dry ice is effective and gentle without leaving abrasive residues. The user receives a clean contact surface on which the primer can be easily applied. This allows an optimum adhesion in further production processes. An additional advantage lies in the fact that the moulds do not have wear marks because of the extremely gentle cleaning with dry ice. This ensures a high level of profitability."
In the case of ABB, the blasting nozzle of the ASCOJET unit is mounted on a linear drive which is controlled by program. The blasting unit including the nozzle and an exhaust system is integrated in a sound insulated enclosure. This guarantees a pleasant working environment by reducing noises to an absolute minimum – no safety instructions needed. The blasting process is not visible during the operation which is why the dry ice stream is monitored via a temperature sensor in the gun housing. ASCO also supplies the required dry ice at the right time, in the right quantity and in top quality to ABB.
ASCO is thankful for the confidence ABB places in ASCO: "I believe that the economic and quality-assuring characteristics of ASCOJET as well as our focus on the individual customer needs are essential to our success," says Fernandez. Roland Gisin of ABB concludes: "All in all, our experiences can be summarised as very positive and we confirm that the investment in the ASCOJET technology was the right solution for us."