Cross-border collaboration in catastrophic weather conditions

The fact that Europe was hit hard by storms and floods this summer, with some areas suffering the worst devastation in decades is undeniable. Polygon is proud to have been able to help where it was needed the most. However, in catastrophic weather disasters like this, our resources are not always enough in one country. We are therefore grateful to be an international company with the strength to be able to help each other across borders.

At the end of July, Carla Slaets, Country President at Polygon Belgium reached out asking Dick Stoppelenburg, TR Manager at Polygon in the Netherlands for help. As a result of heavy rains, a reliable manufacturer of PU foams products in Belgium, had their production halls in the cable and foam divisions flooded. The water masses, which reached a height of up to three meters, caused considerable damage to their production facilities and parts of the infrastructure. Dick was asked to help with this case, as there were no people available in Belgium at this current time.

With a large team of about 25 people, led by Dick Stoppelenburg and Harrie Vos on-site and Michel van Sliedregt in the workshop, the control and switch cabinets of the factory, affected by the flood disaster, were wet cleaned and treated with dry ice blasting.

“When we arrived, everything, including machines and electronics were dirty and wet. Our first priority was the control cabinets. All PLC’s and frequency regulators were disassembled from the control cabinets. These units were taken to our workshop in Zwolle in the Netherlands to be disassembled further, for proper cleaning.” says Dick Stoppelenburg.

On location in the factory, the control cabinets were cleaned in two ways: wet cleaned and treated with dry ice blasting, using the C02 method.

CO2 method

When the dry ice meets the surface to be cleaned, it turns into gas that removes the contamination without damage. Dry-ice blasting is an efficient cleaning method, which saves time and is sustainable. With this method, Polygon can work efficiently and sustainably to restore the electrical engineering of the factory, so that the production processes can be restarted quickly.

“We are now 4 weeks in progress and expecting to be on site for another 4 weeks. After a period of drying, everything will be assembled again. When all control cabinets are cleaned and reassembled, we will start cleaning all the machines in the factory. The machines will be cleaned by hand and by the C02 cleaning method” Dick Stoppelenburg concludes.

The foam factory expects to start testing the restart of the production at the beginning of December.

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