PH-CLEANTEC was founded almost 40 years ago and produces cleaning devices with a special twist – the machines work with hot temperatures and low pressure: with 95°C, the machines are perfect for cleaning anything that is fatty, oily, or greasy. And with low pressure of only 7.5 or 14 bars, they are strong enough to remove the dirt, but at the same time gentle enough so that nothing is broken or damaged. In many ways PH-CLEANTEC is a typical German machine manufacturer: Their machines are made in Germany, and are built to last (and they do). The company sells worldwide, mostly through hand-selected competent local partners such as G.S.S. Equipment SRL in Brasov in Romania. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company, what are the ranges of traded products? PH-CLEANTEC: This tried and tested, yet highly innovative method is particularly efficient in the following three areas of application: Parts cleaning from a thimble all the way to a truck diesel motor or an E-bike;Machine cleaning for entire machines, but particularly for tooling machines where we clean the tooling machine with its own cooling lubricant;Thermal disinfection of the cooling lubricant, instead of using biocides. For these three applications we offer devices with special collectors for the parts cleaning (our SR-series), devices that can suck in the coolant lubricant for cleaning tooling machines (our SRE-series), and special devices that disinfect the coolant lubricant for thermal disinfection (our ThermoDes series). Obviously, there are also combinations – some devices can do parts cleaning, machine cleaning, and thermal disinfection. This is complemented by extremely efficient accessories for spraying and cleaning all sorts of surfaces, including difficult to reach (and clean) holes and crannies. E.E: At what stage are the markets you are currently active; can you tell us about market trends? PH-CLEANTEC: In all our markets we see a clear trend towards more maintenance, and that plays into our cards: It is more and more widely understood that maintaining your machines will reduce costs in the medium and long term. Making sure that your machines are proper is, of course, the first step with respect to proper maintenance, and our devices are simply the best to accomplish this. At the same time, we see clear trends towards more environmental protection and towards more health protection. Our devices use significantly less chemicals – often less than 90% – of what any other method that we know of would require. In many instances, zero chemistry is needed: Parts are cleaned with hot water, and tooling machines are cleaned with their own coolant. This obviously helps to protect the environment, but more importantly, it helps to protect workers’ health because they do not come into contact with oftentimes nasty chemicals. And last but not least: Clearly this is extremely healthy for the employer’s purse, because of lower to sick times, and of course because of significant savings on the chemical! A nascent market is the market for thermal disinfection: Everybody in the industry knows about disinfecting coolant lubricants with biocides, but thermal disinfection – which is equally efficient but much cheaper and without any negative by-effects for employees’ health – is widely unheard of. This is, of course, a great challenge for us. Interestingly, some producers of coolant lubricants are finding that in today’s markets, simply selling coolant lubricant is not enough anymore, and that they need to really bring value to their customers rather than just sell volume. And they are finding that they can possibly make more money, and build more durable relations, if they advise their customers properly. And some of these producers are starting to analyse and, once convinced, to successfully market our solution. E.E: What’s the news for 2020 about new products, what are the most innovative products marketed? PH-CLEANTEC: While we are certainly known for parts cleaning and machine cleaning in particular, our newest and most innovative product is the thermal disinfection of coolant lubricants. Coolant lubricants in tooling machines are often befallen by bacteria and, less frequently so, by fungi. This will sooner or later cause the coolant lubricant to lose its properties, and to “turn”, that is it starts smelling rather unpleasantly and has to be exchanged. In most cases by far, companies use biocides (bactericides and fungicides) to prevent this, but biocides are expensive and often have negative impacts on employees’ health, with problems ranging from skin rashes to allergies all the way to breathing problems. Thermal disinfection, on the other hand, is perfectly harmless to employees, yet extremely successful against germs: In 90% of cases, 100% of bacteria were destroyed, and in the remaining 10% bacteria were reduced by a factor 10^2 to 10^4. And in 100% of cases, 100% of fungi were eliminated. Not only is extremely advantageous from the perspective of workers’ health and occupational safety, this is also extremely advantageous with respect to costs – if your coolant lubricant has only a 50% longer life, that saves significant monies on purchasing new coolant lubricant, disposing of the old coolant lubricant, and avoiding stand-still times of the tooling machines. Quite often, our devices are paid off in less than a year on these savings alone. Outlook for 2020 and 2021 Already in 2019 large parts of the metal industry have seen significant drops in activity, particularly all companies serving the automotive sector. This was due to Diesel-gate, and a general insecurity about where the automotive industry should go: Everybody wants electrical or hybrid, but the technology isn’t there or at least it’s not affordable for most. In 2020, this was exacerbated by the Corona crisis. Clearly, this environment has not boosted our business, but we are convinced that after Corona people will be even more environmentally and health conscious. And as international competition becomes more important, it also becomes more important to properly maintain your machine park. We are convinced that over time these mega-trends will play into our hand – our products are more efficient than others, they are much more environmentally and health friendly, and they have extremely short amortisation times given the time and money our customers can save. Hence our motto and vision: Clearly Clean Results – this does not only stand for perfect results with respect to your cleaning job, it also stands for clean results with respect to employees’ health, the environment, and of course for clean results financially.