Parts can accumulate a variety of contaminants during the fabrication process, such as chemicals, burrs, and residue. There are also components that must undergo surface finishing, but need contaminants removed beforehand. Parts cleaners are pieces of equipment that prepare large and small industrial parts for surface treatment, assembly, or distribution by cleaning them and eliminating all of these contaminants in large quantities at a time. Some types of parts cleaners degrease and dry them as well.
Parts cleaners use various solutions to carry out their functions. Some of these solutions are aqueous chemical solutions, ultrasonic blasts, and agitation. Other solutions are non-aqueous, such as acoustic cleaning, vapor cleaning, vibration cleaning and laser ablation. Some parts washing machinery are designed as a single stage immersion parts washing container, Another type of parts cleaner is an industrial washer. Industrial washers may be designed as a series of processes, such as combining deburring, cleaning, drying, and powder coating all into one.
Aqueous parts washing is commonly utilized for the removal of surface oils. Aqueous cleaning can be categorized in two ways: spray washing and immersion washing. Immersion washing is also known as agitation, and involves the immersion of parts within a hot organic or water based solvent. The part is placed within a mesh basket that shakes the contaminants off of the parts. Immersion washers can vary in complexity, from a simple tub in which the parts are easily placed inside and removed, or a network of tubs with automated arms and that work with a variety of cleaning solvents. However, when aqueous cleaning is not appropriate or possible, non-aqueous solutions are used.
Most aqueous parts washing solutions have been chemical based, but recently, more concerns have arisen in regards to the environment and the safety of workers. In response to these concerns, the use of organic solvents have become more common. Ultrasonic cleaning is a recent, innovative method that has become more widely used. This process requires a significantly lower amount of solvents than traditional parts washings. Ultrasonic cleaning reduces expensive and harmful waste, and greatly reduce the risk of malfunction from part contamination due to their ability to get into spaces that other types of parts washers cannot reach. All of these abilities make ultrasonic parts washers popular among the automotive, surgical, dental, and electronics industries, and other fields that have little to no tolerance for underperforming machinery because of contamination by oil, dirt, or grease. Contaminants can lead to high labor costs, and to a greater extreme, risk lives. Fortunately, ultrasonic parts washers can greatly reduce these risks.
For decades, manufacturers have used solvent solutions to clean their parts. Over the years, however, environmental researchers have proven that solvents are not environmentally friendly and a health risk to anyone who uses them. With these new scientific discoveries, new, more strict regulations have been set in place for what we use to clean parts.
Finding a new solution is not without its difficulties. Aqueous solutions are the most popular alternative to solvents, but they are not as effective. Fortunately, parts washer manufacturers have done a great deal of research on how to make aqueous solutions more powerful, and several methods have been proven to effectively clean parts and be a sufficient alternative to harmful solvent cleaners. These methods include the use of bioclean systems, specially formulated bacteria, nano particles, and finally, cleaning methods that bind soap and dirt particles together. An additional solution is the use of a “smart washer,” or a machine whose goal is to wash parts more quickly while reducing both waste and the use of harmful chemicals in the parts washing process. The machine introduces a new way of safely nad effectively removing and disposing of contaminants and save a company both time and money. This process is known as bioremediation, which involves mixing natural particles with the cleaning solution, converting various contaminants into water and carbon dioxide.
As effective as these methods are, they may not be the best choice for all parts. A parts cleaning manufacturer will be able to assist you in finding the best cleaning method for the desired part, so getting in touch with a representative is highly recommended. Parts cleaning manufacturers have a solution that will not only benefit your company, but will be compliant with the cleaning regulations in your region. Manufacturers will have an assortment of cleaning systems available, including simple soap, bio-based, and ultrasonic aqueous cleaners that adhere to the environmental regulations that have been implemented in most modern facilities.
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