Belco - Alexandria Case Study

Die Cleaning In The United States

Belco’s Automatic Die Cleaning System Proves to be the Perfect Solution for Alexandria

When their die cleaning system was no longer big enough to meet their needs and its aged components and old technology caused safety concerns, Alexandria Industries, a leader in providing manufacturers with innovative solutions, knew it was time for a change. They needed to upgrade and gain better control.

After extensive research, they narrowed their options to two industry-leading companies, visited both, saw their systems in process and recognized that one had multiple benefits over the other. It was a trusted source they had worked with before: Belco.

“Belco is known for their high-quality products and equally high level of service.

Even after a 15 year relationship, we continue to be impressed by their diverse capabilities, flexibility and their willingness to do whatever it takes to help,” said Aaron Stoen, Extrusion Manager for Alexandria.

The fact their company core values were in alignment (something very important to Alexandria) was another big reason Belco stood out. Stoen stated, “Not only were we impressed with their Automatic Die Cleaning System, but also with their staff. 

One System. Multiple Problems Solved.

When Alexandria toured our facility in Belding, it was evident that our Automatic Die Cleaning System was exactly what they were looking for and the answer to their problems, offering increased size, efficiency and safety.

The system features a stainless steel, double-welded caustic mix tank that holds 1,400 gallons of heated solution and is sized to supply a maximum of three cleaning tanks. This not only gave Alexandria the large capacity they needed, but also provided a host of other benefits for their company and staff as well.

The tank’s preheating unit heats up a full tank of mix in one hour, which increases efficiency. Its one horsepower, double set, double propeller mixer keeps solids suspended in the solution, while maintaining a uniform temperature, ensuring quality results.

“The ability to segregate and operate the tanks separately, allowed us flexibility with schedules too”, said Stoen – yet another advantage.

The continuous cleaning cycle, which eliminates sludge, streamlined their process cleaning dies quicker than ever, resulting in faster turnaround. In fact, the automation and intelligent controls of our die cleaning system optimized the process and OEE, reducing the time it took with the old system by nine hours!

In addition, and most importantly, the new product improved safety for the machine operator. With the old system, the operator ran a constant risk of coming in contact with the caustic sodium hydroxide solution because of splashing. Belco’s system features a tank that is completely enclosed, which eliminates the safety hazard, much to the satisfaction of both Alexandria and their employees.

Exceeding Expectations Even After Working Together for Years

The fact that the entire process, from order to install, only took four months was yet another reason Alexandria was so pleased! Unlike the competing company, there was no need to set the system in a pit and much of it was pre-assembled in advance, making the install as close to a plug and play as you could get. “They even invited us out to see the system before installation to ensure it met our expectations. It’s this kind of service that truly sets Belco apart,” commented Stoen.

When asked what it was like working with Belco, he replied, “It was a very successful project. They were extremely responsive, met every challenge we gave them and were very flexible and committed to meeting project timelines. Everyone was involved and attentive and still are, stopping by to help with ongoing efficiencies and improvements, even now well beyond the install.”

This is a great example of everything Belco stands for, which is solving our customers’ problems with high-tech solutions and extraordinary customer service, not only building the most technologically advanced products in the industry, but strong, long-term relationships as well.

Advantages of Belco’s Automatic Die Cleaning System:

  • Reduction in operational hazards by automating manual processes involving risk
  • Job completions without recleaning due to intelligent controls
  • Minimized downtime with ease of installation
  • Adaptable to different dies through optimization tools
  • Full diagnostic system that allows continuous improvement of processes
  • Preheated, ready-to-use cleaning solution that provides consistent concentration throughout process and delivers an even and reliable cleaning over the life of the product
  • Dual rinse cycle cools dies down, so they can be returned to production with a shorter turnaround
  • Independently controlled die cleaning tanks for improved safety
  • Magnetic technology extends pump life

Learn more about our Automatic Die Cleaning System and how it can benefit you, or ask about any of our other products, by contacting us at (616) 794-0410 or by visiting us online at We’re always happy to help!

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