Change is never easy, and changing something that has been an integral cog in our business was certainly not easy, it required strong leadership throughout MPM ensuring the process ran as smoothly as it did.
Change requires strong leadership
MPM have used Acetone to clean tools and fibreglass for over 30 years now, while it does the job it is supposed to do, it does however have quite a few drawbacks. One of the major drawbacks to acetone's use is that it is highly flammable. Another major drawback is that it's a solvent; this has major implications for the health of the team, a long list of health issues that we were very concerned about, including:
- Irritation of the skin, eyes and nose
- Respiratory irritation
- Headaches and Light-headedness
- Hematologic effects
The last major drawback of using acetone is an economical one, when acetone is left open to the environment it evaporates; this is a rather large issue as a lot of expensive acetone is lost to the evaporation process.
With all these issues a prominent concern in our heads, we decided a change was needed (change is never easy however, especially after 30 years of working with acetone). After a while searching for a suitable replacement, we found one in Surfasolve. Surfasolve solved many of the key issues that we had with acetone, offering:
- It is 100% biodegradable.
- Safe for Human use (non-solvent)
- Doesn't evaporate, so very little waste
- Cheaper than acetone
We are a well-established company and with most well-established companies, change isn't always easy and it doesn't always come quickly. However, with the issues in mind and worries about the health and safety of our team, we needed to change. We decided to go ahead and use Surfasolve, and found a number of key areas to focus on to help the transition run as smoothly as possible.
The key areas were:
- Surfasolve leaves a slippy residue; we made sure the team were provided with ample amounts of paper towels to ensure the tools were thoroughly dry.
- As well as this, we designated a team member to maintain and check cleaning stations on a weekly basis.
- We ensured tools were cleaned meticulously to remove all excess debris prior to cleaning them in Surfasolve.
Not long after the change, we began to see the benefits of using Surfasolve rather than acetone. We spent less on Surfasolve due to the lack of waste, we vastly improved MPM's working environment, which in turn meant our team were not breathing in harmful chemicals, and due to Surfasolve being non-flammable there was a lot less risk of fire and factory accidents, which also meant our insurance company were happier.