Walter Surface Technologies Helps Machine Shops and Fabricators Leverage the Internet of Things to Improve and Map Passivation Processes

SURFOX cloud-based passivation app allows technicians to chart oxidation levels of stainless steel to measure its passivation state

July 8, 2015

Walter Surface Technologies continues to enhance business processes in industries across-the-board, and the machine industry is no exception. The manufacturing marketplace is evolving to utilize “The Internet of Things,” wherein facilities look toward cloud-based data collection and sophisticated analytics to assess their materials, extend the usefulness and safety of their equipment, and augment their own competitiveness.

For instance, Walter Surface Technologies, a leading provider of surface treatment technologies for more than 60 years, is encouraging machine shops and fabricators to utilize the SURFOX Smart Passivation Tester, a new “passivation” tool and a component of its SURFOX™ electrochemical cleaning system, to analyze passivation levels in stainless steel. The tool includes a cloud-based app that can be managed via smartphone, which measures chemical levels to determine the degree of passivation in which the stainless steel item (e.g., in mixing tanks or drums) is currently contained.

Passivation is the process by which chemical reactions cause stainless steel to reach a more protected state where they are less vulnerable to corrosion. It occurs when the chromium contained in stainless steel comes in contact with oxygen, forming a passive chromium oxide layer that protects a stainless steel surface. Once the passivation process is completed, materials are least affected by environmental factors.

The SURFOX passivation app allows machinists to capture data, which is stored via the cloud, and utilize telemetry to analyze the changing chemical levels during this passivation process. Technicians can then map the oxidation process and track the progression of the passivation state in the stainless steel item and identify if the piece has been fully passivated to avoid rust and corrosion.

“The concept of leveraging technology, cloud-based platforms and mobile apps to support production in the metal equipment industry is still emerging, yet it’s a way for machine shops and fabricators to differentiate themselves, offering more efficient and accurate assessments of how their metal equipment will endure over time,” said Jonathan Douville, Product Manager from Walter Surface Technologies. “We’re looking to help our customers use these new technologies to become more competitive, especially smaller machine shops who are competing for business with larger companies that are in possession of greater resources. The more we can increase awareness of how technology can help deliver an edge to these shops, the sooner we can speed adoption of these enhanced processes in the market.”

The SURFOX Smart Passivation Tester is part of a larger family of SURFOX electrochemical cleaning products which deliver a safer (NSF-certified), cleaner, and more efficient method by which to clean stainless steel welds without altering the finish of metal surfaces. Stainless steel is pervasively used in facilities found in a wide range of industries, including the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, architecture and transportation industries.


Watch the Smart Passivation Tester video!


About Walter Surface Technologies

Walter Surface Technologies provides innovative solutions for the global metal working industry. From high performance abrasives, power tools and tooling to industrial parts washing systems, cleaners, degreasers and lubricants Walter focuses on helping its customers work better. Founded in 1952, the company is established in 7 countries throughout North America, South America and Europe. International headquarters is in Montreal and US headquarters is located in Windsor, Connecticut. Key certification and awards include ISO 9001: 2008, Wall Street Journal Award; Deutscher Material Preiz; American Eagle Award; CleanTech Cleaning Technology Award.