As part of some recent product development activity, we undertook market research with customers who buy degreasers from competitor companies. We wanted to know more about how they used degreasers and the factors that influenced their buying decision. The customers we spoke to were in the industrial manufacturing, food production and transport sectors.
Unsurprisingly, by far the most important factor for any buyer is that the product is effective for the application it was purchased for. If a degreaser doesn't remove the soil from the substrate in the first place, it is of little use.
Secondly, again very unsurprisingly, was controlling cost. If a customer was looking to switch product or brand they would be looking for some kind of cost saving, or at least improved product performance whilst keeping costs in line.
What was surprising however, given that so many listed cost control as very high on their priority list, was how few actually used any form of dilution or dosing equipment to ensure the correct amounts of chemical concentrate were being used. This would apply to any form of concentrated chemical, not just degreasers.
“88% of respondents did not use any form of chemical dilution or dosing equipment”
A massive 88% of respondents did not use any form of chemical dilution or dosing equipment, preferring to manually pour the concentrate into a bucket or bottle before filling with water. This manual method of diluting will inevitably lead to over use of the chemical concentrate as users overestimate how much they need for the given task, as a result managers have little control over the volumes of concentrate being used and therefore spend.
A simple and cost effective solution is to use a dilution system. These low cost (circa €100) simple pieces of equipment, readily available from most chemical solution suppliers (including NCH), will dramatically reduce spend on concentrated chemicals.
They connect directly to the water supply and draw chemical concentrate from the container. The unit mixes the chemical concentrate with the water to a predetermined ratio to provide a premixed ready to use solution into your spray bottle or bucket.
Whilst the short term of prospect of customers over using chemical concentrates might seem appealing to some, the reality in this cost conscious world is that it will lead to sourcing of inferior or even ready to use (RTU) solutions.
Users should be encouraged to move away from RTU solutions towards concentrates. Concentrates reduce the amount of water needing to be being shipped and the impact this has on the carbon footprint left behind. RTU products also create more packaging waste and, by switching to more efficient concentrate systems, we can also make a reduction in this waste and reduce the environmental impact.
It's also worth considering that in order for companies to meet their green objectives they are increasingly looking to switch away from more hazardous industrial solvent solutions to water based and ideally pH neutral solutions. Dilution systems are an effective way of ensuring that the water based replacement solutions are correctly diluted and effective for the application.
Health & Safety Improvements
Managers should also consider the health and safety implications and potential risk to users coming into direct contact with chemical concentrates which could be high in alkalinity or pose other risks to skin and eyes. Eliminating the need to pour chemical concentrates into a bottle or bucket massively reduces splash risk.
Next time you are walking around your plant or site, take a look around and see how much concentrated cleaning or degreasing chemicals are being manually diluted and just imagine the saving you could make by installing some low cost dilution systems.
For such a small investment users can make significant cost savings, ensure correct dilution of chemical concentrates, improve environmental credentials and improve site safety. So why do so few sites use dilution systems?
For more information on how a dilution system could lower your costs and ensure correct dilution of chemical concentrates, get in touch with our industrial maintenance experts; call us on +44 (0) 1902 510200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org