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Changing conveyor speed means chemistry adjustments?

7 replies created about 1 year ago
posted by GSBZ2112 about 1 year ago

Been in the car wash maint/repair field about 4 years now, been to Sonny's training, hard knocks training and the most important of training....trial and error courses 101 thru What the Hell did YOU DO!?!?!?!?
I've heard that if you speed up or slow down your conveyor you have to adjust your chemistry. But I never hear How or which way or which ones to adjust.
I'm guessing none of the programming in a controller needs to be changed because whether your running 70 cph or 90 cph, still want those foaming arches to come on say 6" before and 6" after the vehicle, right?
Maybe it's the product volume that needs to be adjusted to make sure the coverage is correct for new speed. If so, which way? faster means more product for less duration?
I have to speed up one of my customers 8 month old express wash on Thursday (approx. 34 hours away) and I can not find any specifics, advice, how to's, chats, discussions or nothin' on this topic. I need help and I need it friggin' FAST.
If you can help, please reply here and I'll check it before I head out on Thursday morning.

Here's some info about my situation to help you guys and gals answers to me:
Location: Southern California (I know...Great Friggin place for a car wash and it's true!)
Tunnel was a beat up labor intensive hand wash converted 8 months ago or so to a Express wash with new Sonny's installed line of equipment about 100' in length.
Current chain speed is 70 cph and we are speeding UP. To what, I haven't been told yet.
DRB's new Tunnel Watch 4 (I believe) is in control
Customer runs a tight budget and the manager seems to be on top of that aspect because I keep hearing that she's going thru WAY TOO MUCH of our product compared to the other guys. This is more of a "Previous tunnel type and supplier/product vs. a new and totally different tunnel type and supplier/product.
Rear wheel push I believe and a lot of equipment for all the products you can squeeze into the 100' space.

Thanks for all your help.....and I mean ALL YOUR HELP...LOL


reply by Robert Roman about 1 year ago

With all due respect to your wrenching abilities, I would find someone to take along that understands carwash chemistry.

Setting up and calibrating a tunnel requires considerable experience and knowledge.

This is especially so “because I keep hearing that she's going thru WAY TOO MUCH of our product compared to the other guys.”

So, you face technical problems as well as potential customer relations issue, and you are going 1/2 prepared.

reply by AutoWashUSA about 1 year ago

Use a precision scale to measure how much of each product is being used per car.

Assuming all delivery systems are working properly, you can adjust product concentration, water and air pressure or all three.

I have a mix of Dosatron mixers and flojet and aro pumps.

I don't change conveyor speed on different seasons, and I use the minimum amount of product I can get away with, delivering a very clean and dry car.

It's a combination of science and budgeting with a little bit of trial and error.

Several factors influence your chemical costs, from types of arches and nozzle sizes to mixing tip sizes, air and water pressures, volume, etc...

reply by GSBZ2112 about 1 year ago

Thank you both for the replies. Experience and knowledge comes with time and I am only at the beginning of my journey.

The "our product to the other guys" seemed like a simple understanding when I heard that the installers products was basically thicker than ours AND that they love too put out a lot of product for show and, of course, sell more product. So thinking ours is thinner and everything is turned way up, I should be able to balance the issue with a total tuning of our products thru the new equipment with all the adjustments that you made, AutoWashUSA.

1/2 prepared is giving me some credit and I appreciate that. But trying to get the guy with the most knowledge out there with me is impossible. Out of town.

Could anyone maybe answer me this........?

knowing that setting all equipment to it's lowest most cost effective settings while getting good results in the tunnel is ideal, then speeding up the chain with no chemistry adjustments would in a sense,....weaken or decrease the chemistries effects on the vehicles in the tunnel?

Damn, it's hard to put hat I'm trying to say in words.

let me put it in this way of a question......
What happens to the chemistry in a tunnel if no adjustments are made after you speed up your chain?

reply by S1YN about 1 year ago

By increasing conveyor speed you lose out on dwell time and drip time. This can result in a dirty wet car. If you make no chemistry adjustments this would save water/product as the vehicles go through the tunnel quicker

If the operator is happy with the current car quality I would increase the line speed with no chemistry adjustments. Trial and error until it's perfect. With a 100' and all new Sonny's equipment I would imagine that drying agent may be the only necessary adjustment unless the line speed is going up by 50%+.

It is also important to keep an eye on quality after different weather events (aka rain) to make sure quality is still great.

If you want to go in 100% I would find out what the new line speed will be and either call Sonny's for advice or the chemical manufacturer.

Good luck

reply by GSBZ2112 about 1 year ago

alrighty then. I appreciate the info. She's at 70 cph now and I can't imagine going higher than 95 to 100 an hour. Business is capable of that so who knows.

Thank you all again. I'll advise on what happens a couple of times after so more can benefit from this experience.

reply by Earl Weiss about 1 year ago

There is no "Stock" answer or formula because conditions, dirt and temp vary widely and affect cleaning and drying along with concentrations and line speed. In the Salt Belt, cars look the worst but at 35 degrees are easy to clean because salt is water soluble. You can run a fast line speed and get a clean dry car. A few spots of cooked on Tree sap, bug guts and Bird poop are much tougher but overall may not look as bad. AFAIAC absent tough dirt issues like stated above your chain speed is about 60% of what it should be. 120CPH should be easily doable. That is 30 seconds per car from front bumper of one to the front bumper of the next. This adjustment alone will save 40% on Chemicals. Do nothing to chemicals, adjust speed and check wash quality. Then you can gradually try to reduce concentrations. One element at a time for a day or so and check quality. You may also want to comparison shop chemicals. More cost does not always mean better products.

reply by GSBZ2112 about 1 year ago

So chain was increased from 70 to 85 cph. The manager wanted 90, but then remembered that chain was set at 90 when the new equipment went in and cars were coming out wet. So she set the speed at 70. Don't yet know if 85 will do the same, but we have a good dying agent that only needs .5oz per car to do it's thing. So, with the Sonny's 4 arch drying system at the end, the cars should be dry and that's what I've seen since the chain adjustment.

As for adjusting the chemistry, I had no choice but to adjust it all.

See, they had 2 of the "Aqua Lab HD" boards installed and it was just sucking our chemicals down. I had already ordered the vacuum and injector tools along with the spiral metering tips, which by the way are Friggin' AWESOME, to check/adjust it all when she had asked us to speed up the chain. So doing both at the same time seemed to be the right call. we will see.

Only thing about all this is the damn tunnel is in Orange county California,...and I live in East County San Diego. Roughly 100 miles one way.

I know I'll be up there again at least one more time on this issue so I'll post again after to wrap this thread up.

Thank you all again. Damn good advice and opinions that did help me out.

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