Polymerized Reactor Tank Cleaning in Power Outage

Client: Global Polymer & Intermediates Manufacturer
Issue: Polymerized Chemical Reactor
Solution: A “Lights Out” Trip to the ERC Midwest Toolbox

A global polymer and intermediates manufacturer had a big problem on a recent morning. ERC Midwest got the call at 6:50 a.m. The client had made a mistake with a formulation ingredient and, as a result, a crucial-to-production 4,000-gallon specialty reactor full of product had polymerized and solidified. They needed the reactor water-blasted and cleaned. ASAP.

This was our first opportunity with this client. A trial by fire, so to speak. By 8:10 a.m., ERC Midwest and the client had agreed to a work and safety plan. We both knew that the job would be complex. The second-floor reactor was equipped with a large mixer shaft and blades, as well as heating coils, all of which made entering it an operational and safety challenge. ERC Midwest mobilized a 20K PSI water blaster, along with a vacuum truck, a vacuum box, our confined space and safety gear and, most importantly, our experienced project manager and CSE team.

The cleaning project was progressing well when, on day 4, the lights went out. In fact, the client’s entire plant lost power. Most teams would have called it a day. Not us. Collaborating with our client, ERC Midwest’s team designed a solution to bring in a generator that could power our lighting rig and keep the project moving while the client dealt with the power issue. It was a crucial time and money savings solution, all from our “lights-out thinking” toolbox.

We completed the reactor cleaning the next morning, getting our client back on production ahead of schedule and despite the challenges, the client provided the following feedback about their experience with ERC Midwest:

  • Safety: “No lip service; all team members used safe work practices.”
  • Effort: “We knew after only a few hours into this project that we’d made a good decision to try ERC Midwest.”
  • Professionalism: “Attention to detail, to safety, to cleanliness and to our needs were all top-notch.”
  • Communication: “We were informed about every step of the project. The why’s, when’s and where’s. No surprises.

Another complex waste problem solved. Happy Client!

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