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Pollution Prevention and Control Technologies for Plating Operations


Section 2 - General Waste Reduction Practices

2.3 GOOD OPERATING PRACTICES

2.3.4 Preventive Maintenance

In general, preventive maintenance is an important element in operating and maintaining a plating facility. With regard to pollution prevention, preventive maintenance can minimize chemical losses due to leaks and can reduce the potential for a catastrophic loss due to a tank failure. Specific areas where preventive maintenance can reduce pollution generation include:

  • Periodic inspection of tanks and tank liners with replacement or repair of damaged or corroded units.
  • Regular replacement of seals on chemical pumps and filter systems.
  • Inspection and repair of racks and barrels, particularly focusing on loose coatings that can hide drag-out and nodules of plated metal that can dissolve in process tanks.
  • Regularly checking tank bottoms for parts, fixtures and racks that have fallen and will corrode.

Of the 318 plating shops responding to the Users Survey, 185 (or 58.2%) indicated that they have established a preventive maintenance program for tanks, 207 (or 65.1%) indicated that they perform regular maintenance of racks and/or barrels and 250 (or 78.6%) indicated that they regularly retrieve fallen parts/racks from tanks (see questions 11, 12 and 16 in Exhibit 2-6). The success ratings for these three items fall within a narrow range (3.72 to 3.80).


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