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December 2010
Nice in Nice for Enviro Tech Europe 2010 conference for EnSolv distributors

Despite all the efforts of the French air traffic controllers distributors throughout Europe, using all the determination and ingenuity which they use to service the needs of customers, defied the strike and met in Nice for the 2010 Conference.

Larry Clark the president of ETE travelled from the USA to welcome the delegates and began the meeting by comparing the situation in the US and Europe with regard to legislative actions by the authorities to reduce the usage of solvents and in particular restrict the use of chlorinated solvents which are causing considerable problems in the US by contamination of ground water supplies used by many communities for drinking water. EnSolv is replacing Trike in many cases as an acceptable biodegradable alternative which has much lower persistence in soil and water.

He congratulated all distributors for the excellence of service to customers throughout the recession under very difficult circumstances. The increasing  growth in sales of EnSolv throughout Europe during this period demonstrates the need for a simple, drop in replacement for the carcinogen trichloroethylene,which, despite economic uncertainty responsible managements are still prepared to finance for the safety of their workforce. Despite the differences in legislation the trend for sales of EnSolv in both markets is rising sharply and in Europe is increasing at a faster rate than in the US.

Each distributor was the asked to report on their own markets and all were very upbeat despite the recession with sales in all areas increasing to customers needing critical cleaning in aerospace, medical and precision engineering. The stability of EnSolv was one of the topics discussed.  Comments received from customers were very favourable with increased periods between cleanout up to three and four time longer than previous usage of chlorinated solvents. Doug Went, the new managing director, wearing his technical hat, explained that Ensolv was formulated with stabilisers and other additives to improve the life of the bath by inhibiting the production of acidic by products and with the lower operating  temperature of 70C improved the solubility of oil without producing the tars and sludges produced by other vapour degreasing solvents. Increased production rates with lower energy costs and lower solvent usage give a cost of usage very close to chlorinated solvents.

The difficulties of obtaining trichloroethylene and its rising costs was another widely debated topic and the need for Ensolv in these circumstances was very clear. The new Trichloroethylene Substitution Centre has been established to  assist users with vapour degreasing tanks, which will not meet the legislative requirements for using trichloroethylene, to evaluate Ensolv for efficiency and costs to allow simple” drop in” substitution.  Distributors were all able to demonstrate their readiness to assist customers who needed equipment inspection, advice on reducing solvent usage and validation of efficiency for cleaning soil and oils. All EnSolv distributors gave their commitment to provide this service free of charge and without obligation.

Doug Went explained in detail the current situation regarding REACH legislation assuring distributors that all chemicals used in formulating EnSolv have been registered for use.

The increasing acceptance of EnSolv by vapour degreasing equipment manufacturers was the subject of an interesting paper  from Italy. There are many excellent manufacturers of ultrasonic solvent degreasing equipment in Italy.  The market for these machines is in all areas of industry but especially the high precision markets for jewellery, watches, bearings and medical instruments. In these specialised fields complete solutions are required and where, in many cases, trichloroethylene is not acceptable various fluorinated solvents have been offered as alternatives. Because the fluorinated solvents have little solvency power most are sold as blends with trans 1,2 dichloroethylene (structurally similar to trichloroethylene) a flammable solvent unsuitable for vapour degreasing on its own and where the fluorocarbon is used as a flash point suppressant. The cost of these formulations is extremely expensive and as Ensolv offers an alternative at less than 30% of the price with none of the disadvantages. Equipment suppliers have recognised that offering Ensolv as the  solvent of choice is a very competitive option.

Other papers discussed the use of carbon adsorbtion systems with EnSolv which are becoming increasingly common to reduce the levels of solvent in extracted air and the results of recent tests were given with advice on the small modifications which may be required to ensure trouble free use of these systems.

Another visitor from America was introduced to the delegates.  An expert on corrosion Bob Kay gave a superb paper on the science of corrosion and techniques for  control. This was an introduction to an exciting new product range  which the  EnviroTech CorrEx division will introduce to the market in the New Year and was enthusiastically received as complementary technology of interest to most of the markets already served.

The ladies in the party were well cared for while the seminars took place with guided tour of Eze a beautiful hill village , Monaco and the delights of Monte Carlo which included a hectic ride around the Grand Prix circuit and lunch in the artists village of Mougins. They claimed their day was more exhausting than the seminars the delegates attended.  

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