Ford Motor Company made their own alternators at the Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti Michigan. The alternators were made inside varnish ovens. The problem that Ford encountered was that during the manufacturing process the oil and heat was prone to start on fire. Therefore, Ford hired Precision Iceblast Corporation to clean these varnish ovens nightly.
This project spanned over a two-year period and became part of the routine maintenance process at the facility. The alternators were manufactured during first and second shift so nightly cleaning was performed five days a week during third shift.
Dry ice blasting was a great fit for the cleaning the alternator ovens because all components inside these ovens were safe to clean. For example, the ovens were filled with various metal, plastic, rubber, and even glass components. Due to the non-abrasive nature of dry ice, these surfaces are all cleaned without damage. Dry ice by nature is also dry. Therefore, any electrical components found inside these ovens were safe to clean as well. Furthermore, there was no cool down period needed for the oven. Although dry ice is cold, the temperature change on the surface being blasted is negligent. If a cool down period was needed for the cleaning, there would not have been enough time during one single shift to perform the proper cleaning.
Debris removed included varnish, dirt, dust, grease, and oil. Resources included high pressure compressors, three blasting units and four crew members.