Walter Surface Technologies (Montreal), a supplier of surface treatment technologies for over 60 years, is encouraging machine shops and fabricators to utilize the new SURFOX Smart Passivation Tester. This is 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. The technology relates to ‘The Internet of Things,’ wherein facilities look toward cloud-based data collection and sophisticated analytics to assess their materials. This can  extend the usefulness and safety of equipment, and augment competitiveness. 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 less 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,” says Jonathan Douville, product manager with Walter Surface Technologies. “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. “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.