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Solvent cleaner wash down tanks & storage vessel

17 March 2021

Supply and Install bespoke pumping system for solvent cleaner incorporating existing wash down tanks and storage vessel, for the printing industry. 

Scope of works

To design a new pumping system to replace the existing manual open wash down tanks with an automatic pumped system.

The current set up has two free standing wash down tanks that contain around 2000 litres of solvent liquid in each. The tanks are open with no lid or cover when not being used. This is a major problem as the storage of a potential flammable liquid and vapours escaping into the work area. The solvent cleaner is used to remove ink from the components of the printing machine. The removed inks viscosity thickens as it settles in the tanks and becomes a sludge. This is currently removed from the tanks manually which is labour consuming and timely.

The operative places the parts into the tank and uses rags to clean them. This process uses a huge amount of rags and also causes a lot of spillage of the solvent.


  • Removing the open storage area
  • Providing the solvent solution at the tanks
  • Storage of the solvent
  • Pumping of the solvent
  • Cleaning/replacing the old solvent

Identifying the properties of the solvent


Existing solvent                                        Location of new pumping system         New vessel    End product       

The new proposal discussed with the client looks at the risks and problems and takes out 90% of the manual element.

The new design is based around a pumped solution providing the solvent at the tanks via a hand brush. The solvent is stored in a stainless steel vessel on the floor below the cleaning tanks. The solvent is pumped using a Wilden stainless steel air driven diaphragm pump fitted with stainless steel non return balls and solvent resistant elastomers.

An IBC station is incorporated in the skid design to accommodate the removal of dirty solvent and replacement of new.

The pipework and valve arrangement has been designed to utilise the pump for all three processes, directing the solvent to the cleaning tanks, emptying the vessel when the solvent needs changing and replenishing the storage vessel with new solvent.

The IBC sits on a raised section of steel work to enable fork lift access as and when the IBC requires changing.

The feed pipe into the IBC has a union in the pipework that can be slackened and tightened by hand which allows this section of pipe to be raised and lowered onto the IBC when it is being replaced.

The pipework used for this application was 304 stainless steel incorporating the Gerberit mapress crimped fittings with chemical resistant O ring seals.

The valve handles were colour coded and a laminated user guide was provided to assist the operator with easy identification of which valves to open/close for each of the operations.

The spare vessel from site was adapted to accommodate the 2” inlet at the top and 2 x ½” weld sockets positioned one at high level and one at low level to accommodate the Mobrey level sensors. These were connected to an alarm panel which was fitted with a siren and flashing beacon. The alarm panel was incorporated to provide early indication to the operator that their attention was required and prevent any accidental spillages.