Green Chemistry in Action Webinar: Lubrication Technologies Develops Water Based Paint Booth Cleaner

Lubrication Technologies offered to specifically develop a product for the St. Paul, Minnesota Ford Motor Plant that would be safer, more effective, and able to replace high VOC emitting solvents used in their glass cleaning, floor cleaning and paint booth maintenance operations. Lubrication Technologies worked with the Ford Motor Company to develop and test a cleaning product that works better than a solvent, contains less VOC’s per gallon, improves worker safety, and is competitively priced. After 17 prototypes, a formula was developed that breaks the paint sludge bonds by separating the solvent from paint solids thereby causing it to work effectively and longer on more surfaces than originally intended. As a result, Ford Sludge Remover (FSR) reduced paint department costs both in product and labor, provided a more employee friendly product, and significantly decreased Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions. Pollution is prevented at the source due to the reduced VOC content of the product coupled with the product’s ability to perform at a reduced usage rate.


Punch VanGrasstek started her career in 1969 as a product development chemist specializing in hard surface cleaning compounds used in industrial and institutional markets. Then in 1971, she partnered to develop and author a complete formulary for a new start up manufacturing company named Private Label Chemicals in Minneapolis, MN. The formulary encompassed cleaning compounds used for industrial processes, mass finishing, car washing, food processing, restaurants, janitorial, and personal care.

In 2001, Punch joined Lube-Tech and authored an industrial water-based cleaning formulary that targets their lubrication customers. Product uses include cleaners for transportation, industrial, automotive, and fleet customers.  Her responsibilities included working with sales staff, customers, product development, product safety, and trouble-shooting.

In January, 2011, Punch decided that it was time to retire. However, she continues to work with Lube-Tech on special projects and lab staff training on a very part time basis. Most of her time is now spent biking, walking, fly fishing, and working with science students.

Rich Limpert has been with Lube-Tech for 7 years as an Industrial Sales Representative STLE: Certified Lubrication Specialist.  Prior to coming to Lube-Tech, he worked with Gage Chemical Company as a Chemical Manager at various Ford Paint facilities world wide.  Prior to working for Gage Chemical, Rich worked with DuPont for 5 years as an Automation/ Electrocoat Deposition Specialist.

Webinar Slides Part 1

Webinar Slides Part 2

Webinar Slides Part 3


This webinar was funded through a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant.