Automotive Parts Washers
As a result of the manufacturing process or use on the road, automotive parts can get covered in dirt, grease, oils, and other contaminants that can pose a safety and functionality hazard to equipment. Also, automotive parts that are not finished must be cleansed before they are able to be assembled or undergo the surface finishing process. Therefore, automotive parts washers are used to clean automobile parts, either newly manufactured or used.
Quick links to Automotive Parts Washers Information
Purpose of Automotive Parts Washers
Vehicle engines can accumulate dirt over time, and contaminants such as poor quality fuel and other products of combustion can cause buildup on engine components both on and off the road. The buildup of all of these contaminants can have a negative impact on the functionality and the energy efficiency of the engine. Therefore, automotive parts washers are necessary pieces of equipment to keep engines and all of its components functioning at optimal capacity.
There are some cases where it can be more inexpensive to repair a vehicle’s impaired components than replace them. A crucial part of the repair process is thoroughly cleansing the automotive component. Automotive parts washers can aid in the process of restoring the condition of the component by effectively and safely cleaning them. There are some manufacturers that fabricate industrial parts washers with the specific functions of cleaning small parts, hydraulic parts, pneumatic parts, transmission parts, and small engines.
Design of Automotive Parts Washers
It is possible for many automotive parts to be cleaned by a standard parts washers, but there are some parts cleaners that are designed exclusively for applications in the automotive industry. For example, automotive parts washers and ultrasonic cleaning tubs use aqueous hot water solutions in their cleaning operations. Typically, tub or cabinet spray washers are used in auto repair shops, which utilize organic biodegradable solvents for maximum efficiency.
- Types of Cleaners Used
- Aqueous and solvent cleaners are the two main types to choose from when it comes to automotive parts washers. There is a significant difference between the two solutions.
- Solvents have a reputation for exceptional performance, but aqueous cleaners are more environmentally friendly. Therefore, those who operate parts washing equipment are faced with which solution to use. Despite the bad reputation that it has developed of late, solvent cleaners still possess a few advantages. Solvent machines are a heated and renewing system, and are thus cost-effective to operate. In addition, solvents have proven to be a powerful and effective cleaning solution regardless of how much buildup is on the component. A couple of disadvantages are that solvents take longer to dry than their aqueous counterparts, and that solvent cleaners are not environmentally friendly. However, solvents are significantly less harmful to the environment if properly disposed of.
- On the other hand, aqueous cleaners are significantly less harmful to the environment, and any waste system can be used to safely and effectively dispose of it. However, aqueous solutions are not nearly as effective as solvents in regards to how well they remove heavy amounts of contaminants such as dirt and grease. A large amount of hot water is required to run aqueous cleaners, which can make the operating cost of this cleaner much more expensive to operate than a solvent cleaner.
- Since both types of cleaners have their advantages and drawbacks, the choice of which cleaner is better to use is dependent on the application. However, if you need to quickly and effectively clean a certain product, a solvent solution is recommended.
Types of Cleaning Methods for Automotive Parts Washers
Automotive parts washers are a common sight at most automobile maintenance centers. Washers, as their name implies, are specially designed equipment to clean carbon, oil, grease, and fluid as well as dry bulk loads off the surface of metal parts. A washer can be as rudimentary as a simple washbasin or can be a hi-tech computer controlled system which can load, unload, clean and rinse parts, before forwarding them to the assembly line.
Given the number of methods used to clean automotive parts, it is no easy task to choose an appropriate metal-parts washers system. Therefore, the following paragraphs discuss different methods that are employed to clean parts. Understanding these basic principles can assist you as you evaluate the right equipment for your requirements.
- Manual Cleaning
- During this most common and simplest cleaning method, the equipment required is sink-fitted on a drum or a vat. In manual cleaning, a professional manually washes parts in a vat using different types of solvents based on the contaminants found on the parts. Commonly, a spirit-based solvent is used and effectively dissolves oil and grease from the surface of metal parts. Manual washing is preferred when you are washing a low volume of parts or washing smaller parts that can be washed with brushes under low-pressure flows. By using the manual cleaning method, you can achieve a very granular, yet effective cleaning outcome.
- High-Pressure Spray Washing
- With this type of parts cleaning system, the cleaning apparatus used is a cabinet-style washer which works, more or less, like a dishwasher. Metal parts are loaded into the cabinet and a high-pressure jet is employed for cleaning parts from various angles. The cabinet has a turning table, known as a turntable, onto which parts are loaded. The table rotates while jets clean the parts across all angles. With high-pressure washing, a heat solvent if often used to increase cleaning efficiency. The cleaning solution can either be aqueous-based(neutral)solvent-based (acidic, alkaline or chlorinated). Chlorinated solvents are being phased out, as they are considered hazardous to human health and stricter regulations are being implemented to restrict their use in washing parts.
- Ultrasonic Washing
- Ultrasonic washing parts cleaners are recommended extensively by environmental agencies as they are highly efficient and produce no hazardous waste. With ultrasonic energy parts washing, microscopic bubbles vibrate contaminants off the surface of metal parts. Parts are immersed into a bath which consists of an aqueous-based cleaning solution, and parts are washed without any movement. The ultrasonic washing method is suitable for a number of applications; however, this method is most commonly used for cleaning parts that have crevices, blind spots, and unconventional geometry. Ultrasonic systems are, basically, small parts washers. However, the technology involved is a bit expensive compared to alternate parts washing methods.
- Agitation Method
- The agitation method is similar to vat style washing, where parts are immersed into a bath. However, the cleaning action is achieved by agitation and bathing solution. The parts being cleaned are agitated either up and down or side-to-side while being fixated on a tray. In some designs, high-pressure jet sprays are also leveraged in combination with agitation.
Things to Consider When Choosing Automotive Parts Washers
Given the range of automotive parts washers offered on today’s market—each having various specifications, degrees of cleaning ability, and environmental concerns, the task of acquiring a metal parts washer can seem daunting. Automotive parts washers are widely used equipment used for scraping or scrubbing dirt, oil, burnt carbon, and grease from automobile components. Washing parts coating in grease and oil is not an easy task. Many cleaning methods are employed, either individually or in combination, to clean dirty parts.
The three main features that will help you determine what parts washer is best for you are efficiency, the level of maintenance, and how environmentally friendly they are. The higher the efficiency of the parts washer, the better and faster they are at cleaning automotive parts, and the less energy they use. Environmentally friendly machines use less harmful chemicals to finish the job, and low maintenance machines are simpler and more cost-efficient to use. A parts washer manufacturer will provide you with additional information to find the parts washer that fits your application. Other things to consider are the following:
- Cleaning Method
- Parts washing can be manual just like washing clothes in a sink but with specialized solvents, which either are hydrocarbon based or aqueous. Other cleaning methods are automated, where washing is performed without human interference. There are numbers of ways to achieve automated washing: high-pressure cabinet washing, ultrasonic and immersion agitation included. Cabinet washers work like a dishwasher, except the cleaning solution is heated to increase the cleaning capability. Ultrasonic washing uses sound waves to create microscopic bubbles that scrub off dirt gently, without any damage to parts. In immersion agitation washing, as the name implies, parts are immersed in a bath and agitated. To select the best cleaning method for your requirements, you need to consider composition of the part material, geometry and size of the part, properties of soil or dirt and the degree of cleanliness.
- Solvent Type and Potential for Environmental Hazards
- Conventional cleaning solvents are chlorinated and hydrocarbon based, which emanate volatile organic compounds. Therefore, regulations regarding them restrict their use and increase the need for aqueous-based cleaning solutions. While evaluating solvents, try to find alternatives that can be recycled and are non-hazardous. Cleaning solutions prove inefficient after a few washes can be rendered low quality. All good quality solutions maintain their efficiency over time. Always consider the safety of each potential manufacturing use when choosing a cleaner.
- Waste Management
- Generally, for cutting waste management costs, the easiest method is to use aqueous-based cleaning solutions, which are considered harmless and can be disposed of cheaply. However, if solvent-based solutions are used, waste must be professionally disposed of under environmental regulations. Additionally, auxiliary substances or protective gear also needs to be disposed of accordingly.
- Machine Technology
- Many automatic parts washer machines on the market claim to automate all the work related to washing. However, many of these devices, if not properly evaluated before purchasing, can become a major source of maintenance time and cost. Therefore, always take time to research the machine technology before making a purchase.
- Price Discounts
- A low initial cost may tempt you to quickly invest money in more inexpensive parts washing equipment. However, if you make cost the only determining factor in your purchase decision, you may miss key features or other cost saving technology. Research each potential machine choice carefully and understand hidden costs which are commonly tied to ongoing operation and maintenance.
User Safety for Automotive Parts Washing
Automotive parts cleaning systems, although generally labeled safe and non-hazardous, often become unsafe for users under certain circumstances. Most manufacturers of these machines claim that water-based systems pose less risk of catching fire. Water-based cleansing solutions used as cleaning agents in the automotive parts washing process, contain water, detergent, corrosion-reduction chemicals, and heat. This combination of ingredients is extremely effective in combating the strong layer of dust and pollutants that reside on the surfaces of machine parts.
Due to frequent and prolonged use, cleaning solutions used in automotive or aqueous parts washers tend to become toxic and rich in igneous chemicals. A polluted solution is no less than a petroleum-based solvent, which is very much inflammable, hazardous, and unsafe for users as well as the environment. Contaminated water solutions also influence the quality of cleaning and add to the overall production cost.
Following find tips on how manufacturing businesses can ensure the safety of their workers and production processes while controlling costs caused by cleaning waste.
- Hiring a Proficient Staff
- Hire only professionals who have a broad experience in handling parts cleaning operations, preferably on a similar machine that you use for your operations. They will work as a strong safety layer for the process.
- Provide Training to Your Workers
- No matter what safety measures you have taken for your business, accidents can happen. To prepare your staff to deal with workplace accidents, you can organize training programs that allow your professionals to learn advanced emergency response techniques.
- These two safety methods can be included in pre-operation safety checklists that a manufacturing business should follow. Additionally, ensure that the individuals that are working on the machine are familiar with the operations of the parts cleaning equipment. Apart from this, you should also provide your workers with adequate safety gear, including safety glasses, sturdy footwear, and close/tight fitting clothes. Make sure they do not have long or exposed areas of hair while at work.
- Check the Condition of Machines
- The parts cleaning systems that you are using should be in good, acceptable condition. Cleaning machine tanks should have tight and properly fitting lids.
- Ensure Proper Filtration
- For effective cleaning, the supply inlets of parts cleaning machines should have appropriate filters installed. To make sure that no waste is being passed to the environment, a filtration system should also be introduced at the outlet drain.
- Schedule Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
- As with all industrial equipment, part washing systems need routine upkeep. You need to check various aspects such as the filter, the solution, the supply, and the waste production level.