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2008-11-18 - Total Productive Maintenance Programs at University of Minnesota Duluth Leverage Cold Jet Dry Ice Blasting Technology

Programs to help wood products manufacturers understand and implement TPM equipment programs for enhanced productivity and competitiveness; Cold Jet to collect important data on impact of dry ice blast cleaning in lean manufacturing environments

CINCINNATI - November 18, 2008 - Cold Jet, the world leader in dry ice blast cleaning technology, today announced that it will provide technical expertise for a new Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) program being conducted by the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at the University of Minnesota Duluth. NRRI's wood products team will also use Cold Jet's dry ice blast cleaning systems to conduct hands-on training for wood product manufacturers that will emphasize a deep cleaning strategy for equipment as the first step in implementing and maintaining a successful TPM program. Dry ice blasting will replace the manufacturers' conventional cleaning methods, which include grinders, wire wheels, vacuums, spray cleaners, degreasers and hand scraping.

The U.S. Forest Service Wood Education and Resource Center provided funding to develop training materials and conduct TPM events under the program. Other project cooperators include the Sloan Foundation Forest Industries Center at Virginia Tech and the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State.

NRRI's training will be provided in-person and via interactive Web conferencing, and will include hands-on simulation, case studies and recommended implementation strategies. The NRRI wood products team anticipates that these projects will result in the following benefits to the participating wood products companies:

  • Reduction of unplanned downtime,
  • Increased production capacity,
  • Improved product quality,
  • Reduced maintenance expenditures,
  • Extended equipment life,
  • Improved dialogue between production employees and maintenance staff, and
  • Improve machine operator moral by imparting a sense of ownership.

Over the past five years, NRRI has trained more than 200 companies and 1,000 employees in the wood products industry on implementing lean manufacturing as a means of improving productivity and competitiveness. NRRI's wood products team will be working with leading wood products companies to implement "clean to inspect, inspect to detect, detect to correct and correct to perfect" basic equipment care as part of their TPM journey. The program will result in the completion of six TPM demonstration and training projects with wood products manufacturers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Virginia.

"We appreciate Cold Jet's support and look forward to the company's ongoing technical expertise as we demonstrate how dry ice blast cleaning can benefit wood products companies in their TPM programs," said Brian Brashaw, program director at NRRI, University of Minnesota Duluth. "Primary and secondary hardwood manufacturers are facing tremendous economic pressures, and by implementing lean manufacturing and TPM into their environments, we are able to help them strengthen their equipment reliability, minimize downtime and improve productivity. Cold Jet's dry ice blast cleaning systems will support our efforts to help promote the benefits of lean manufacturing and TPM."

"The goals of NRRI lean manufacturing training programs align perfectly with the benefits of dry ice blast cleaning," said Michael Parthenakis, director of business development for Cold Jet. "This program will undoubtedly validate the value that dry ice blast cleaning can bring to a company, and while the program is focused on wood products companies, the results of the projects will have far-reaching application across other manufacturing industries. We appreciate the opportunity to work with NRRI, the University of Minnesota Duluth and the other participating organizations to make these projects successful."

About Cold Jet

Cold Jet, LLC is the world leader in dry ice blasting and production technology. Since 1986, Cold Jet has been developing innovative production and cleaning solutions ranging from handheld blasting systems to customized engineered solutions that solve a variety of cleaning challenges around the world. Cold Jet offers the largest selection of environmentally responsible dry ice blasting machines, including the award-winning Aero Series and the revolutionary i3 family of precision cleaning systems, which features the company's patented shaved ice and feeder technologies. In addition to its dry-ice based cleaning systems, the company's dry ice production equipment is used by every major gas company worldwide to produce the highest density dry ice available. Cold Jet is a private company with global headquarters in Loveland, Ohio and international operations in Europe, Asia, Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit www.coldjet.com or call 1-800-337-9423.

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