Conveyor Parts Washers
A conveyor parts washer is a system designed for continuous, flow-through parts cleaning. Parts are fed onto a conveyor belt, into a cabinet to be washed. An operator controls the speed at which parts enter the cabinet.
A client can choose between a few different standard types of conveyor parts washers. Examples are the U-Bend, Monorail and In-Line washers. U-Bend washers have a turning feature, bringing the processed parts back to the operator. These work well for industrial dish washing. Monorail washers have an overhead conveyor and are best suited to high-volume, continuous cleaning applications. For example, these are great for very large stamped parts. In-Line washers feed parts through a tunnel. These washers are ruggedly built and good for a wide range of cleaning needs. A conveyor parts washer has many optional add-ons, such as a rinser and sealer. A rinser removes cleaning solution residue using highly pressurized water. A sealer applies a rust inhibitor or oil-based mix to the part surface. This addition is useful for the preservation of parts that will have long delays between manufacturing processes.
An advantage of the conveyor parts washer is its versatility. It can be integrated into a handling line, or it can function as a stand-alone system. Similarly, the many different types of conveyor parts washers offer great flexibility to a consumer. They can be fitted to squeeze into a cramped kitchen or made to sprawl on a vast plant floor. A Monorail washer may be a great option to free up space, as it is conducted from overhead. Washers can be custom-made to fit many variables. Variables include but are not limited to: weight capacity, belt width, turning radius, tunnel height, wash/rinse tank size, wash/rinse tank heating method, pump output and general dimensions. Generally, a conveyor parts washer can be made to be automatic or manual, to accommodate the consumer. There is also some flexibility with the heating method, the options being steam, gas and electricity, measured in kilowatts. The best machines are made of stainless steel, as stainless steel is resistant to corrosion, ensuring a longer life. With its many options, the conveyor parts washer is a great option for someone with specialized needs.
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Defining Conveyor Parts Washers
Parts washers play an important role in manufacturing, re-manufacturing and maintenance industries, since proper cleaning is a big factor in the performance of components. In industrial facilities, washers are used for cleaning casted or machined components to remove contaminants, like cutting oil or baked dirt resulting from processing. Within maintenance workshops, washers are employed to break down stubborn grime that sticks to automotive parts—including grease, oil, burnt carbon, metal pieces or many other types of contaminants. Be it a transmission or train engine block, washers clean all types of automotive components.
Based on a manufacture’s unique needs, different types of conveyor parts washers are available on the market. Based on the requirement, metal parts washers can perform simple in-sink cleaning procedures, and automated delivery systems perform much more complicated tasks. When facilities need parts cleaners for only a specific period within a production operation, batch washers are typically employed. However, in continuous processes, conveyor parts washers are utilized, as they can load, wash, rinse, and dry components metal parts in an assembly over a conveyor.
Conveyor parts washers are all-in-one units that come with combinations of processes, including wash, rinse, and dry, and are highly customizable based on the needs of the manufacturer. To meet different needs, conveyor systems can be fitted with variable part height openings and a wide range of belt widths. The washer unit is installed with a cache of jet spray manifolds to provide 360 degrees cleaning.
Types of Conveyor Parts Washers
Typically, three types of conveyor parts washers are available: monorail, U bend, and in-line washers.
- Monorail washers: In this type of parts washer, an overhead-monorail conveyor transports the parts for cleaning. The monorail conveyor has a special hanger to hold parts, without causing damage to parts as they move along different processing stages. Based on the need, custom hangers can also be fabricated. Moreover, you have a choice of mounting the monorail either internally or externally. In external mounting, the monorail system is fitted above the wash system, and the hangers pass through different brush configurations that do not let steam and vapor escape. In the internal mounting, the unit remains fully closed from the top. This design suits continuous and high-volume cleaning and simplified washing of large stamped parts.
- U-Bend Washers: As their name implies, these washing systems havea “U” shaped turning feature which brings the washed parts back to the machine. These types of washers are considered for industrial dishwashing.
- In-Line Washers: Using in-line washers, parts are fed into the conveyor part washing system through a tunnel. Based on their exact washing application, many optional add-ons are available for these systems, like sealers. Sealers apply rust inhibitors to the parts, which usually contain an oil-based mixture that allows the sealer to remove residue by utilizing a highly pressurized water stream. Sealers are important in situations where parts need to be preserved due to a significant difference in the production processes they support.
Other than these modification and variations, there are numbers of customizable features added to conveyor parts washers. Contact multiple manufacturers to know learn about conveyor parts washers that best meet your unique needs.
Selecting a Suitable Cleaning Solution for Conveyor Parts Washers
Most buyers of a conveyor parts washer focus on the suitability of metal parts washers in terms of efficiency, cost, operation, and maintenance. What they generally miss is the suitability of the cleaning solution used with the washer. With the onset of stringent environmental regulations, it has more important than ever to make cleaning solutions a major factor to consider while buying industrial washers. Waste management costs have also risen sharply, which can add substantially to the operational costs of parts washers.
What do the environmental regulations state?
The newer regulations either restrict the use of petroleum-based solvents or mandate costly waste management practices. Under new regulations, solvents that depend heavily on their capability to break up organic contaminants are considered hazardous to human beings and the environment. Thus, aqueous-based cleaning solutions are recommended as an alternative because they use a combination of chemical and physical characteristics to remove soil or oil from parts.
What is the alternative to hazardous solutions?
All modern conveyor part washers utilize aqueous-based cleaning solutions in which the primary solvent is water and includes other additives such as surfactants, detergents, and conditioners for promoting efficient cleaning of metal parts. To make the cleaning action stronger for challenging washing scenarios, compounds like de-flocculants, emulsifiers, inhibitors, pH buffers, builders, and saponifiers can also be added.
Factors to consider while choosing cleaning solutions for conveyor parts washers are:
- Cleaner Efficiency: Washers are typically used in settings where parts are extremely dirty and cleaners must get rid of large quantities of grease, soil, carbon, and oil.
- Part Safety: The cleaning solution should not damage the part in any way. If the solution affects the parts, it should not be considered as an acceptable solution for use in a parts washer.
- Solvency of the Solution: Most aqueous cleaning solutions, if used without any additives, remain low in comparison to non-aqueous solutions. Therefore, carefully review the capabilities of additives and supplements. Moreover, you should know which supplement complements your requirements. The easiest way to heighten the cleaning action of aqueous based cleaning solutions is by raising their temperature.
- Strength of Parts: Generally, if delicate parts containing grease and oil need to be washed, aqueous cleaning systems are considered inappropriate. Since mechanical action cannot be applied due to the delicacy of parts, only ultrasonic cleaners are deemed appropriate for this use.
- Rust Protection: When conventional solvents are used, a sealing stage is not required in conveyor parts washers—this stage applies a corrosion resistant layer to washed parts and provides excellent rust protection. However, with aqueous-based solutions, a sealing stage becomes important.
- pH Value: To make aqueous-based solutions stronger, alkaline solutions are sometimes added. These solutions can negatively affect soft metals. Similarly, acidic solutions can cause component damage like laminate and ink markings, as well as damage to solder points and metals such as lead and tin. Therefore, each cleaning solution should be evaluated properly for its pH value before use.
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