ThermOmegaTech’s highest priority is safety! They have developed tepid water solutions for emergency showers and eyewash stations to meet OSHA and ANSI requirements, and also prevent water lines from freezing or overheating to protect personnel and ensure a safe working environment.
Factory-packaged with ThermOmegaTech’s Therm-O-Mix®, the ESS combines cold and tank-heated hot water to deliver a constant 85°F tepid water outlet temperature at the point of use. The unit is completely mechanical and requires no outside electricity to function, making it particularly ideal for explosion-proof industrial environments. See how the Therm-O-Mix® station works here.
Federal regulations require that any facility where workers may be exposed to hazardous or corrosive materials must have immediate access to a tepid water emergency drench system to protect the eyes and body in the event of accidental exposure. The Therm-O-Mix® station consistently supplies tepid water on demand to these fixtures to meet OSHA and ANSI Z358.1 safety requirements. Read more about ThermOmegaTech’s Therm-O-Mix® station here.
ThermOmegaTech supplies an innovative solution to the challenge of difficult-to-maintain steam and water mixing stations used to provide a high-temperature washdown for sanitization procedures at processing plants. See how the STVM Washdown station works here.
ThermOmegaTech is also very interested in speaking with end users of our valves, STVM Washdown Station, and the Therm-O-Mix for case studies and testimonials.
Stop by Booth #4350 at the Process Expo for more information.
We look forward to seeing you at the Process Expo!
Industrial washdown stations are often used in manufacturing, chemical or petrochemical, and food processing facilities as part of cleaning and sanitation procedures where maintaining hygiene is crucial. A bucket of water with a mop and a cleaning agent does not effectively sanitize a plant the way food processing cleaning equipment can.
Cleaning and Sanitation Procedures in the Food Industry
Using industrial washdown systems for food processing is important because they help to keep the facility clean and sanitary. They also help to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.
Authoritative agencies like the FDA have defined sanitation requirements that each facility must adhere to such as identifying hazards that could impact a production facility.
Food production and detergent residue, liquid, and airborne contamination, transient soil, and microorganisms often are present in food production facilities, which is why washdown stations are recommended in these corporations.
While the hazards present on a production line vary from facility to facility and depend primarily on the specific products produced, they all must be effectively and routinely removed to preserve sanitation and product quality.
Using food processing cleaning equipment can help to reduce costs, too. Regular maintenance and repair of equipment can help to reduce downtime, saving your facility time and money. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of surface areas can also help to reduce labor costs while following a daily process.
Industrial washdown stations can be used in both commercial and industrial production facilities and are described as stationary equipment that produces a high-pressure and high-temperature stream of water to remove debris while cleaning. However, when used in production facilities such as food processing for meat and dairy, this cleaning equipment offers a fast and efficient cleanup while maintaining sanitation standards.
Food processing cleaning equipment for food processing typically utilizes stations that produce water temperatures at 150°F (65.5°C) or above to quickly cleanse and sanitize surfaces like processing equipment, walls, floors, and other surfaces.
To properly follow cleaning and sanitation procedures for food processing, a washdown system frequently includes a mixing valve that combines hot and cold water along with an industrial-use cleaning agent, if needed.
Using Food Processing Cleaning Equipment Sanitize
Having efficient cleaning equipment in a food processing facility can provide several benefits. By keeping the facility clean, the risk of food contamination is minimized. Food allergies and foodborne illnesses caused by bacteria and viruses can be avoided.
ThermOmegaTech created several washdown systems that offer high-temperature sanitation and maintenance equipment necessary for industrial and food facilities, including steam and water washdown stations with hot water mixing unit hose stations.
To be even more effective, ThermOmegaTech created a specific mixing valve that combines steam and cold water to create a steam water mixing station that lowers the decibel sound in facilities while producing a flow of user-defined stream of water to efficiently sanitize, clean, and kill bacteria.
Choosing The Right Equipment for Food Plant Sanitation
Choosing the right washdown station for your facility can be a challenge. There are a few key factors that should be considered when choosing the equipment for food plant sanitation. Staff should receive proper training on the washdown station when using such as donning the correct clothing and protective gear as well as regularly inspecting and cleaning your equipment.
The ThermOmegaTech® STVM® Washdown Station is used in many processing facilities where a high-temperature washdown is required. The STVM® industrial washdown station combines steam and cold water at a user-set temperature using its proprietary mixing valve.
STVM® Steam & Water Washdown Station
The unique Venturi valve throttles open and closed, using a scouring action that minimizes the buildup of minerals, offering a quieter wash without the ‘water hammer effect.’ Plus, the in-line cartridge is easy to replace or clean with no special tools required and takes just a few minutes.
Ultimately, food processing cleaning equipment is an essential component of food-processing plants. They offer a dependable, safe, and easy-to-implement way of keeping these facilities clean and sanitized.
By following the correct processes and safety protocols, companies can ensure that their food-processing facilities are well-maintained and properly sanitized as well as sustain production line schedules.
Questions? We can help! Find more info here or contact us.
Video Focuses on High-Temperature Washdown Equipment For Industrial Sanitation
ThermOmegaTech is excited to introduce their newest Talking With TOTs video, featuring Senior Product Specialist Glenn Quinty on ThermOmegaTech’s STVM® Washdown Station.
“We know how critical it is to maintain a clean environment in food processing, dairy, beverage, chemical, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical facilities,” Quinty says. “High-temperature washdown equipment is used to quickly and efficiently clean and sanitize equipment in place to keep production running on time.”
Washdown stations are recommended in food production facilities where transient soil, food production residue, and microorganisms can be present. Not every facility encounters these hazards depending on the specific product it produces, but removing debris, cleaning, and sanitizing is essential to preserving sanitation and product quality.
Steam Water Mixing Valve for Sanitization
Simply put: sanitizing kills bacteria.
Industrial Sanitation comprises several sequences created to protect workers’ health and safety in industrial environments and designed to protect the environment from pollution and industrial waste.
With high temperature washdown equipment, industrial sanitation is achievable. In the Talking with TOTS video, Quinty takes viewers through the washdown process, demonstrating how ThermOmegaTech’s proprietary Silent Venturi Mixing Valve (STVM®) combines steam and water to a user-defined temperature.
STVM® Steam & Water Washdown Station
“The steam and water mixing valve’s design is self-scouring, which prevents mineral buildup in tight spaces and reduces maintenance frequency. Maintaining competitor steam and water mixing stations can be time-consuming due to complex disassembly, special tooling requirements, and non-reusable components,” Quinty says.
The compact, reliable, and entirely mechanically operated STVM® Washdown Station is beneficial to any industrial processing plant’s sanitation procedures.
It is more durable and at least 8-15 decibels quieter when compared to competitor units, as found in recent testing.
How to Choose the Right High Temperature Washdown Equipment for Your Facility
Choosing the right washdown equipment can be a challenge, taking into account your facility’s needs and government regulations.
To minimize maintenance downtime and get production lines moving again, the STVM® station is in-line serviceable. The operator simply switches out the STVM® mixing valve cartridge with a spare using a standard wrench, and the unit is operational again in minutes. In contrast, competitor stations must be removed from the wall and completely disassembled to repair, which takes hours and results in more extended downtime.
Operator’s safety is another crucial element that positions the STVM® Station above the competition. Employees should wear the correct PPE (personal protective equipment — including gloves, masks, smocks, etc.) when operating any washdown equipment and have the proper training on the unit. In addition to these safety guidelines, our station has two safety features to help keep your employees safe.
“The mixing valve is designed to reduce flow if the output temperature exceeds the factory set-point and will completely stop flow 15°F above that,” Quinty notes in the video. “The station also has interlocking steam and water shut-off ball valves, so both inlets shut off at the same time to prevent accidental steam-only operation.”
Using food processing cleaning equipment can help to reduce costs, too. Regular maintenance and repair of equipment can help to minimize downtime, saving your facility time and money. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of surface areas can also help to reduce labor costs while following a daily process.
Freeze protection is essential for locomotives during winter months to prevent catastrophic damage to equipment. A diesel locomotive’s cooling system is at risk of freezing when the locomotive is turned off. If the cooling water freezes, it can cause the piping and tanks to crack, resulting in extensive damage, lengthy repairs, and interrupted schedules.
Operators could keep their locomotives running at all hours to prevent a freeze-up, but that can contribute to air pollution and fuel waste. Another more cost-effective and efficient way is to install ThermOmegaTech’s GURU® Plug.
The GURU® DL2.1 thermostatic drain valve is installed at the lowest point within the cooling system and automatically responds to engine coolant temperature.
The Plug will snap open and drain the system if the water temperature reaches the Plug’s set point, typically 35°F. This provides almost a full one-inch bore to rapidly drain a typical locomotive’s coolant system before freeze damage can occur. The Plug can be reset when the operator is ready to refill the locomotive and return it to service.
SMS Rail Lines, a one-stop provider of rail distribution services to businesses along the Washington, D.C. to Boston corridor, is based in Bridgeport, New Jersey, and has been using ThermOmegaTech’s GURU® Plugs for over a decade on their locomotive cooling systems and compressors.
SMS Rail Lines operates over 6 miles of track throughout Pureland Industrial Park in Bridgeport, New Jersey, providing service daily, including on-demand rail switching and daily interchange with Class I railways CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Corporation.
SMS Rail Lines also offers rail-to-truck and truck-to-rail transloading, warehousing, distribution services, and rail car storage at this location, with 12 locomotives in service at any given time. Additionally, the company restores, maintains, and operates historic Baldwin diesel locomotives.
Utilizing the GURU® Plug
“We normally have 12 to 14 locomotives in service at any given time,” General Manager Brian Murray explains. “Some of our locomotives have only a single GURU if they are plumbed in a way where everything can drain to a central location. We have a couple with a second GURU to handle additional low points in the cooling system. Our GE locomotives have 4 GURUs. They have 2 GURUs to handle low-point general draining and 2 on the low-pressure heads of the water-cooled air compressor.”
SMS operators have previously used other freeze protection devices on their locomotives. “We initially used ‘that other name brand.’ It would occasionally open while the engine was hot and running,” said GM Murray. Because of this, he looked for another solution and was introduced to ThermOmegaTech’s GURU® Plugs over ten years ago by then-product manager Dana Logue.
The GURU® Plug Rebuild Program
The GURU® Plug satisfied their needs and came with an additional perk – the GURU® Rebuild Program. ThermOmegaTech® offers a rebuild program for the self-actuating GURU® Plug, which protect thousands of locomotives from freeze damage annually. The program allows customers to return their old GURU® Plugs to be cleaned, refurbished, retested, and returned, so customers get back an almost brand new valve.
“We are very happy with ThermOmegaTech® and think the GURU® Plug is terrific. We have never had a GURU fail to open when necessary. As the end user, we should probably do a better job at keeping track of which GURU plug is in which locomotive and how old they are,” stated GM Murray.
Luckily for SMS Rail Lines, there’s an easy way to track that!
Each GURU® Plug has a yearly-rotated color cap which is also laser marked with its month and year of manufacture. ThermOmegaTech® recommends changing the GURU® Plugs every 18-24 months, as the GURU® Plug’s actuator loses a small amount of stroke as it ages beyond one year. This stroke loss causes the release temperature and the manual reset temperature to creep upward. While this is a “safe” tendency for freeze protection, the upward creep can eventually cause nuisance dumping.
The colored caps rotate through 5 colors over 5 years and visually indicate the year it was built. Maintenance personnel can compare the cap’s color against our chart to determine when it needs to be sent back for rebuild. SMS has taken advantage of this perk and utilizes the rebuild program yearly.
“We send in about 4 or 5 valves per year for rebuilding to have them on hand. Our cost savings are significant as we have a lot of older GURUs around, so it makes sense to rebuild them,” says GM Murray.
And when they come back, rebuilt, and refurbished, GM Murray says they are good as new, and they’ve never had any issues.
The Result of the GURU® Plug
“In my experience, all the folks at ThermOmegaTech® are genuinely interested in providing to the railroad industry effective, reliable solutions. The staff is always accessible and willing to work cooperatively with the customer to examine the need and suggest the appropriate product,” says James Pfeiffer – Superintendent of Operating Practices.
“Customer feedback is welcomed, technical questions are quickly answered, and the engineering department is seemingly always working on something new and improved. And they do all this while maintaining first-class customer service.”
If you are interested in hearing more about Locomotive Freeze Protection and how the GURU® Plugs can help save you time, energy, and money, we’d love to help. Contact us today.
Washdown stations ensure cleanliness in food processing, dairy, breweries, wineries, chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and other industrial facilities where a high-temperature washdown is required.
Traditional cleaning methods include soap, hot water, and sometimes chemical disinfectants. These procedures may require breaking down equipment to ensure all components are efficiently cleaned and sanitized. If chemicals are used to sanitize a processing plant, especially in food and beverage, labor costs, the possibility of safety hazards, and the overall sanitization time increase.
Utilizing a Steam and Water Mixing Valve to Sanitize Processing Plants
Sanitizing your facility or plant using a steam and water mixing valve is one of the most efficient ways. Using steam to heat the water is more beneficial than chemical cleansing because it avoids chemical agents and can reduce labor times and water consumption.
Steam and water mixing valve stations provide instantaneous high-temperature steam-heated water with pressure behind it, which can kill bacteria, sterilize, and break down greases and other residues in processing plants. The World Health Organization states that bacteria are rapidly killed at temperatures between 149°F and 185°F degrees.
There’s also less downtime for dismantling and reassembly when utilizing steam-heated water to sanitize manufacturing equipment. Steam is sterile as well as being an excellent carrier of heat. Harmful chemicals are also used less or not at all, allowing for more uptime and a safer environment for personnel; while they are doing their jobs.
Not just anyone can utilize high-temperature steam and water mixing washdown stations. Plant personnel must be trained on proper use to ensure safety because the goal is to sanitize, and the goal of the plant is safety.
STVM® Steam & Water Washdown Station
ThermOmegaTech’s STVM® Steam & Water Washdown Station has been designed to put the safety of maintenance operators first. Every STVM® Washdown Station is built-to-last and has two built-in safety features – interlocking ball valves to prevent steam-only operation and an automatic shut-off when output is 15°F over the unit’s temperature set-point (either 150°F or 185°F) or when cold water flow is interrupted.
This Washdown Station also incorporates unique Venturi mixing technology to deliver water at the required temperature quickly, quietly, and on demand.
The ‘ST’ in STVM stands for ‘Silent Type,’ meaning it is quieter than other washdown mixing stations. The Venturi effect mixes water in smoother than other steam-to-water mixing stations on the market, which can cause cavitation downstream of the mixing valve.
The steam-supplied station is a self-contained mechanical control unit, so it doesn’t require external hookups for electrical, instrumentation controls, or compressed air.
Thermostatic Freeze Protection: Winter is the time to protect your pipes and personnel.
Water-bearing piping must be appropriately winterized to keep temperature-sensitive processes and equipment functioning optimally throughout the freeze season. When water lines to cooling and condensate systems, safety showers, and eyewash or facewash stations are left exposed to the elements, or their heat tracing fails, freezing temperatures can cause frozen or burst piping. This can lead to overheated equipment and severely dangerous working conditions for your employees, which can interrupt systems, burst piping, and cause lengthy and costly repairs.
If safety shower, eyewash, or facewash station water lines freeze, personnel could be at significant risk of being unable to cleanse after contamination exposure. Condensate drain lines are also in danger of freezing even if it is electrically heat traced and the tracing malfunctions or the facility loses power.
ThermOmegaTech’s self-actuating temperature control valves are the ideal water line freeze protection solution.
The HAT/FP valve is designed to sense the water temperature in the pipe or ambient temperature, depending on installation. The valve will gradually open to bleed off the cold water when temperatures approach the valve’s set point, typically 35°F (1.6°C).
Once the flow is initiated, the valve will remain open until the discharge water temperature is 5 degrees above that, typically 40°F (4.4°C). Once the freeze danger passes, the valve will modulate closed again to conserve water and reduce wastewater disposal costs.
These 100% mechanical valves require no power source to operate, eliminating the human errors associated with manual valves. They can also save you thousands on your water or energy bills.
Result: Guaranteed freeze protection and water savings because of the reliable and automatic HAT/FP thermostatic valves.
This month, ThermOmegaTech and Grundfos announced a partnership, bringing together two industry leaders to simplify and enhance domestic plumbing systems and installations for contractors throughout the United States.
“We are excited about growing our relationship with a well-respected worldwide company like Grundfos,” said Tom Ruggierio, national business development manager at ThermOmegaTech. “Having two companies with innovative, synergistic products working together will bring optimized solutions for domestic hot water systems that will serve the plumbing community well.”
The partnership supports the companies’ shared goals of enhancing the accessibility and conservation of water, our most precious resource, by providing solutions that exceed energy and efficiency standards. “Working together allows us to save time for contractors who no longer need to source the appropriate pump style and size,” said Ruggierio. “The CircuitSolver® solution will now come with an expert-recommended pump, allowing contractors to focus their efforts on what they do best — the installation.”
“We continue to be impressed by the innovation of our ThermOmegaTech partner. Joining forces is a win-win opportunity for both companies as well as our manufacturer representatives, contractors, and the homeowners,” said Barry Nauss, Grundfos vice president of HVAC OEM. “When used together, our products greatly minimize water consumption and increase energy efficiency by optimizing the recirculating flow rate. This ensures the precise amount of water and power are utilized as water rotates through the system versus flowing down the drain. We’re proud to offer our new, sustainability-focused packaged solutions to the market.”
Grundfos and ThermOmegaTech will also offer expert training sessions together in 2022 with the goal of increasing awareness of the benefits their product portfolios bring to a domestic hot water system.
Recently, an employee at a chemical plant was accidentally exposed to a caustic solution that the plant was processing. He ran to the nearest safety shower in order to rinse the caustic off. Unfortunately, the safety shower was malfunctioning.
Instead of tepid water in the 85°F (29° C) range, he was doused in water under 60° F (15.5° C). His initial reaction was to jump out, but his fellow employees held him under the cold water to rinse off the chemical. As a result, he ended up with hypothermia from the cold water.
Avoid permanent injury, freeze damage and corrosion.
Federal regulations require you to flush supply lines to emergency showers and eyewash stations weekly.
The water passing through these devices must be at a temperature between 60°F and 100°F.
The showers/eyewashes must be placed strategically, depending on the plant’s physical layout.
Regulations and standards are intended to help keep employees and processes safe. Water temperature can mean the difference between whether an employee incurs permanent injury in an accident, whether outdoor processing facilities avoid expensive freeze damage, and whether a plant can keep operating without extensive maintenance. These matters are critical to operating a safe, compliant, and efficient plant. Continue reading →
Freeze protection valves are effective in preventing freeze damage in process lines. Unlike steam or electric tracing, which require power and can cause water to overheat, freeze protection valves operate by simply draining or bleeding water as the temperature approaches freezing.
This prevents the formation of ice that can clog lines, shut off the flow, and cause pressure within the line to build, cracking pipes, valves, and fittings and damaging equipment. Damage due to ice formation can incur costs for replacement parts and labor and reduce productivity due to shutdowns.
Nonetheless, freeze protection valves do not necessarily completely prevent the formation of ice. In some cases, ice may still form as a layer on the inside of a pipe. This acts as a good insulator, reducing further heat loss to the cold outside air. Also, no damage will occur if the ice does not completely block the pipe or equipment flow area.
Damage due to freezing is caused when a pipe or flow passage in equipment is completely blocked. Then, as additional ice forms, the expansion associated with the ice formation compresses the water and causes a dramatic increase in the internal pressure in the line. When the pressure exceeds the pipe’s or housing’s strength, these will break.
Tracing is required when the temperature to be maintained is above the resupply water temperature; that is when additional heat input is required. Use tracing if the complexity of the equipment layout makes it difficult or impossible to bleed or drain the system properly. Also, tracing should be used if the discharge from bleeder or drain valves presents a handling problem. This may be the case in plant areas where all discharges must be controlled or reported or where discharge treatment problems and expenses outweigh the benefits of bleeder/drain valves.
When to Use Valves
Valves are generally more economical to install and operate than tracing. Use valves in remote plant areas where steam or electricity are not available and the cost to provide them is high. Also, use valves when potential overheating from tracing is a problem. In critical applications, where power failures will cut off electric or steam tracing, select self-operating valves as the primary or backup freeze protection system.
Circuit Solver is a self-actuating thermostatic recirculation valve which automatically and continuously maintains the end of each domestic hot water supply line at the specified water temperature. This simple inline valve completely eliminates the need for time consuming and expensive manual balancing procedures and equipment. By allowing only water that actually cools below the setpoint to flow to the return, the Circuit Solver also eliminates the need for oversized recirculation pumps which cause pipeline erosion and waste energy.
1. Water flows to the path of least resistance.
2. Many buildings require multiple branches off the hot water supply line.
3. Hot water use is hyper-dynamic, so the path of least resistance constantly changes.
4. Manual flow control valves cannot properly resolve these issues.
Install a Circuit Solver on each hot water supply branch line immediately downstream of the last run out to a hot tap.
Australia has the highest average amount of solar radiation of any continent, making it the perfect place for generating power or heating water with energy from the sun. Not surprisingly, the combination of generous rebates and sunny weather has given rise to solar thermal installations across the continent. Generally these installations are quite straightforward, but in the southern part of the continent, temperatures can drop below zero (Celsius), causing freezing problems for some thermal systems.
Will OSHA cite a facility for not following the recommendations as stated in ANSI standard Z358.1-1990? Specifically, will an OSHA inspector cite a facility for not supplying tempered water to an emergency eyewash and shower?
Imagine the following scenario: One of your plant floor employees has just had their eye or skin exposed to a caustic chemical, which needs to be immediately flushed from contact. Per OSHA regulations, you should already have an eye washing station or emergency shower on the plant floor, which the employee should be familiar with. In an instant, they need the proper water, at precisely the correct temperature, to prevent scalding or escalating the issue any further. Can you be sure that your employees are safe in a washing emergency?
It could be the temperature inside your enclosure.
Are your enclosed instruments under the weather? It might be time to check the temperature inside the enclosure. Enclosures protect instrumentation against adverse weather conditions or physical damage, and ensure that instruments operate in the proper temperature ranges. However, enclosures may not always provide sufficient protection against temperature extremes that can affect instrument performance. High temperatures can cause some fluids to vaporize, while low temperatures can cause some lines to freeze or some products to thicken – even damaging sensitive equipment. For many instruments, the correct temperature of the instrument and sample will affect measurement accuracy. The best way to solve this problem is to equip enclosures with systems designed to maintain interior temperature within the range specified for optimal instrument performance.
The most common systems used to keep enclosures warm involve steam or electricity – essentially using an outside heat source to keep equipment in the enclosure at a predetermined temperature. Electrical heating can take several forms. Typically, a radiant heater or heating cable is installed inside the enclosure. A thermostat is used to control temperature or the cable may be self-limiting. However, electrical heating has limits. In large installations, the electricity required can be ex- pensive. If combustible substances are present, the possibility of electrical sparks poses risk. And, if the cable breaks, everything beyond the break could freeze.
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