A process similar and used in galvanizing industry. It's a surface preparation process that uses hot alkili solution to remove grease, dirt, oil, paint marking and etc. Typically sodium hydroxide is used in this process.
It is my nature to thrive in situations like this and I understand their concern with that as the company is always evolving and improving what they do, and with change, growing pains are expected. But that's just life, in my opinion.