Brinkmann Formenbau GmbH is located in the Lower Saxony city of Mühlen, Germany. With around 50 employees, the company manufactures spray-castable, stamping and foaming tools for the automotive, agriculture, sanitary and medical industries.
These tools often weigh more than 59,000 lbs. The company develops and designs various innovative tools and injection molded products via rapid prototyping. With continuous CAD and CAM technology, in combination with a modern machine facility, the injection molding tools are developed and implemented by the first sampling to series production stage in close consultation with the customer. The company also offers a maintenance and repair service to ensure the functionality of their own tools in Germany and also foreign tools that may be sent in.
The tools are typically delivered to the facility already disassembled, especially the large tools. Until recently, the company cleaned with mold cleaners and solvents as well as an ultrasonic bath. The delicate surfaces and contours of the forms cannot get any scratches or other abrasions.
“When we receive the tools for maintenance, they are usually very dirty and need to be cleaned first,” said Roman Baev, an employee in the assembly department at Brinkmann. “Because of this, an enormous amount of time was required to clean. To clean, for example, a larger form with sliders, two or three co-workers needed six hours and still, the result was sometimes lacking.”
The cleaning agents that were previously used also posed a risk to the workers and had an unpleasant odor.
The workshop manager at Brinkmann Formenbau began searching for an alternative cleaning method. The right solution was found with the innovative dry ice cleaning systems of Cold Jet.
Cold Jet’s dry ice cleaning systems use non-abrasive media in the form of recycled CO2 pellets that will not damage surfaces or equipment. The combination of dry ice cleaning’s kinetic energy and thermal effect breaks the connection between the dirt and surface, lifting away contaminants.
Unlike blasting with other media, dry ice cleaning:
- does not leave any secondary waste, because the dry ice particles sublimate upon impact – converting from solid to gas
- is safe and non-toxic
- does not create downstream contamination
- reduces or eliminates employee exposure to dangerous chemical cleaning agents
Cold Jet uses MicroParticles, which are scraped off the dry ice block via a patented technology. They form a finer blast media, which allows a gentle, yet highly effective treatment for surfaces of equipment that may be easily damaged.
“An employee of Cold Jet came to our company and demonstrated the device,” said Baev. “We could work on our own with the system and it was impressive how quickly and thoroughly the contaminant was removed.”
“For earlier cleaning tasks, two or three people needed several hours, and now we can do it in about 45 minutes - and completely without chemicals,” said Baev. “We are not only significantly more economical, but have at the same time labor and environmental improvement.”