Measuring ATP for early detection of microbial contamination in metalworking fluids at an engine manufacturing plant


Learn how Ford Valencia Body & Assembly in Valencia, Spain, optimized its biocide treatment program and cut biocide consumption by 58% through the use of 2nd Generation ATP testing.

What’s inside:

Metalworking fluids (MWF) are critical to Ford’s product quality and manufacturing efficiency. Microbial contamination in MWF presents major risk factors that can result in scrapped components, system downtime and require excessive biocide usage.

For this reason, the engine plant monitors for the presence of microorganisms in MWF. However, the traditional culture-based method used to diagnose microbial contamination required 48 to 96 hours to obtain results. This lag time allowed for microbial growth to continue. If a test was positive for contamination, any necessary corrective actions were delayed.

The team at Ford Valencia Body & Assembly evaluated the use of 2nd Generation ATP testing as a faster alternative to culture testing.

LuminUltra’s Quench-Gone Organic Modified (QGOM) 2nd Generation ATP kit was compared against:

  • a 1st generation ATP method
  • traditional culture-based method (dip slides) to analyze MWF samples taken over the course of one month.

Not only did the 2nd Gen ATP results agree with the dip slides during a microbial contamination event — triggering the same corrective action — but the results also acted as an early warning system having revealed an upward trend in biomass six days before the dip slides.


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