Parts Cleaning Equipment
Parts washers are industrial cleaning machines that wash and sanitize the surface of many different parts and products.
Quick links to Parts Cleaning Equipment Information
Applications of Parts Cleaning Equipment
Parts washers are made of several different components that, when working together, produce an aqueous cleaning process that is used by industrial manufacturers, factories, repair shops, and metal forming operations. They are often one of the last steps in parts manufacturing and clean and dry products that are coated in oils, chemicals, burrs, grease, abrasive dust, paint, and other contaminating residue left over from the fabrication process. Parts washers have a variety of uses in the industry and for general applications in garages and workshops.
The general application of parts washers includes regular parts cleaning and surface preparation to provide optimum finish standards. Descalers, for example, get rid of heat-treat scale, surface discoloration, oxides, weld scale, rust, and corrosions. To remove paint layers or protective coatings for welding, adhesive joining, or reapplication of a coat, the use of strippers is ideal. There are also pharmaceutical and semiconductor cleaners, which are designed for the removal of even the tiniest contaminants on parts surfaces. They are often accompanied with sterilizing or disinfecting washers. Other applications of industrial parts washers, apart from the medical field, include the automotive industry, the aircraft engineering, and the military.
Parts Cleaning Equipment Design and Customization
Since no single parts washer is designed to effectively clean every product, there are many different kinds available that are composed of different equipment and components. The right type of parts washer depends on the size and design complexity of the part, as well as the surface material and the contaminants to be cleaned. Whether water-based or solvent-based, they range from flow through ultrasonic tanks to cabinet style spray washers. Some use overhead conveyor belts to return the operation; others use rotating basket immersion systems, while other types come with flat wire belt conveyors. Furthermore, some utilize the fixture indexing units with distinct spray manifolds, auger drum systems, or the automated high-pressure deburring system.
Each of these parts appliances has customizations and are suited for a particular cleaning. They can be purchased as individual components, complete turnkey systems, and removable subsystems. They may be manually operated, semi-automatic, or fully automated and controlled by a CNC (computer numeric controlled) system or PC software. By using these CNC components, parts washers can make customizations and adjustments of heat, pressure, load, speed, and flow rate of the cleaning agents. Other parts washers use digital technologies like computer UIs to achieve the same adjustments. Additionally, they may be powered by steam, electricity, gas, and oil.
All parts cleaners are made of certain components, including:
- Some sort of conveyor belt.
- A housing that is usually made of stainless steel.
- High pressure pumps that provide water.
- A cabinet, which holds the part during the cleaning process and has a chamber of gloves, a viewing interface, and internal lighting.
- Filtration systems, which trap and remove all the contaminants in a piece being cleaned.
- A heater, which can be gas, steam, water, or electric; its main aim is to provide the optimum temperature of the cleaning agents.
- Brushes and scrubbers, which consistently rub on the surfaces of the components to remove and clean contaminants.
- Most are also equipped with a drying system, which can be a series of cold air guns or heaters.
They generally also include these components:
- These are located at the center of the cabinet. They are fixed and are designed to support and distribute parts to be cleaned. Those with fixed turntables have a clamshell style V-notched door that makes its retraction unnecessary. It also allows safety and precision in loading and distribution. As the wash progress continues, the turntables consistently run in circular motions, while the oscillating manifolds direct streams of pressurized water to the parts, leaving them sparkling clean.
- These are used to generate high flow rates, as well as to ensure that there is constant water pressure during the wash process. Different machines have different varieties of pumps. The correct parts washer pump makes cleaning fast and produces highly consistent results.
- Oscillating System
- Some of these industrial appliances utilize the use of a 3D oscillating system with several manifolds and nozzles that evenly distribute the spray or cleaning agent to the parts fed into the system. As the cycle continues, the 3D oscillating system lets the rotating turntable and a non-sequential oscillating spray manifold provide a complete coverage of the parts. As compared to still or stable spray manifolds, the oscillating systems offer a complete coverage of parts and do not strip on the parts.
- Containment System
- After every successful cleaning, parts washed leave dirt, sludge, and other contaminants that accumulate in the baskets of the debris containment system (DCS). The DCS can be easily accessed depending on the design of the best parts washer. It can be removed from the side of the machine safely, and the dirt disposed of quickly. A good containment system allows for easy access as well as a safe and fast clean out process, a task which often proves daunting when tidying the entire tank. It doesn’t waste your time and saves you money by minimizing the maintenance intervals of the whole system.
Other elements of these machines may include:
- Vibrators or Agitators
- Spray Arms
Loading of these devices can be done either from the back or the front and can be indexed or continuously loaded. Nonetheless, they can be returned to operators in barrels, baskets, trays, rack systems, spinner hangers, robotic arms, turnstile, tumblers, or through the use of conveyor belts.
Notable Types of Parts Cleaning Equipment
An industrial parts washer, also known as industrial parts cleaner, may come in a broad range of categories and styles specifically designed to handle a particular task. There are four main types of parts cleaning systems, each with their own equipment suitable for a variety of applications. Each type can either be a water-based parts washer or solvent-based parts washer.
The four main types are:
- Spray Washers
- Rotary Washers
- Agitating Parts Washer Systems
- Immersion Cleaners
Here is some more information on these four types:
- Spray Washers
- Use high pressure water nozzles that shoot out warm water and cleaning solutions and rely on water pumps to provide the water pressure necessary to clean the part surfaces. These are used to clean larger parts.
- Rotary and Auger Drum Washers
- A heated parts washer often is the best machine one could ever have. Rotary and auger drum machines are good examples apart from the many others that utilize the heating system. The operation of a rotary and auger drum system is consistent and can handle batch cleaning, making it the ideal choice for dealing with a wide variety of tasks. Rotary washers have a rotating, cylindrical tank that is effective in cleaning large volumes of small products by continuous movement. They use sprayer nozzles to help clean the parts. Rotary and auger drum washers produce excellent results, as they uniquely combine spray and immersion methods. They are user-friendly and feature simple loading and unloading surfaces. They are suitable for cleaning many parts, including parts meant to be handled by ultrasonic washers. One needs to ensure that all the parts have passed through the machine for satisfactory cleaning.
- Agitating Parts Washers
- Composed of impellers or paddles that create a vibrating action to help remove grime from fully submerged parts. These parts washers require large holding tanks and aqueous cleaning solutions.
- Ultrasonic and Immersion Systems
- Cleaning parts that have small or tiny holes can be quite challenging while using machines that are not ultrasonic or immersion cleaners. Ultrasonic machines utilize sound waves to get rid of contaminants during the cleaning process. The device manipulates the vibrations and adjusts it to fit different manners to create a cavitation process, which effectively removes debris, dust, soil, etc. from parts. The use of ultrasonic washers requires one to invest heavily in advanced technology that utilizes generators and transducers.
- Immersion parts washers submerge parts into large water tanks and rely on some sort of cavitation-inducing equipment, like ultrasonic sound waves or propellers, to remove dirt and grime from parts. To maintain a clean water tank, all parts cleaners are equipped with some sort of filtration system to collect the waste and debris. Small parts washers usually contain the parts in baskets, while large parts washers set the parts down on conveyors. The cleaning efficacy provided by the ultrasonic and immersion washers can only be realized if the components one is cleaning are exactly what they were designed for.
Other Types of Parts Cleaning Equipment:
- Rotating Table Systems
- These systems, which are cabinet-style machines, sometimes feature small footprints as opposed to other washers. They can be loaded singly, either from the front or the back, which requires only one operator to run it. Rotating table washers are highly applicable in many lines of production, as they are capable of batch processes. The use of baskets also allow them to handle many parts; however, keeping the tank solution or cleaning agent distinct as the parts progress through the washer, might prove challenging, as the system limits itself to a simple wash and blow off.
- Belt Conveyors
- These washers feature a modular design that can be easily manipulated and fitted to any floor plan. They are the most flexible types of washers, allowing an operator to quickly handle material and control the operation as he or she sees fit. This means that, with the conveyor belt, you can modify it to fit a different part whenever necessary. The fast operation that this design features makes it one of the most reliable heated parts washer in the industry. Loading and unloading have been simplified, the material handling as well, making this washer the most cost-efficient machine, as it needs less maintenance and has low production slowdowns. Notably, caution must be exercised when using this type of washer. Because of the constant motion of the parts of the belt, a thorough cleaning may be a little tricky, and it needs precision spray nozzles for efficiency.
- Fixtured, Indexing Wash Systems
- As a manufacturer would suggest, fixtured indexing washers is a great alternative option for those looking to clean complex parts. These washers hold the components strategically in position for the sprays and scrubbers to polish them well. Complex parts with configurations like bores, blind holes, or drilled holes are equally cleaned with efficiency. The cleaning process incorporates the flow of single components with the ability to wash all the critical areas regardless of the design or shape. If you want to minimize the floor production space usage, the use of a fixture indexing wash system is imperative. Unlike many other parts washers, this particular type does not support multiple styles of parts. With every new part, a new fixture nest is a requirement with new part dedicated spray manifold designs.
- Return to Operator Systems
- The name of these washers gives a clear indication of what they do. They feature a system that allows cleaned parts to be returned to operation at the load front. It is operated by only one person when loading or unloading and is the most suitable for cleaning of large parts, like dunnage trays or dashboard frames. These parts, however, must hang rather than laying them flat on the load area to allow them to be appropriately cleaned, as well as to ensure that there is proper drainage before the blow off of the parts.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing Parts Cleaning Equipment
- Efficient Design and Interface
- One of the vital factors to consider is the design and accessibility of the parts washer you select. Look for a machine that is easy to use and has been designed with innovative features to support your business and production goals. You should invest in a parts washer that has been tried and tested by the industry. You may wish to seek input from your technical engineers during the machine selection process. Furthermore, the design and the size of the machine is another essential factor to consider. You should select a system that can fit and adapt within your production facility.
- Availability of Parts and Repair Services
- Eventually, every industrial appliance needs repairs and maintenance. This universal fact is also true with almost all industrial washers, including aqueous cleaning systems, spray washers, and automatic part washers. Your process engineers are trained to work with industrial washers, not to fix and repair these machines. For that reason, you should select a part washing system only after making sure that service, replacement, and maintenance for its parts are easily available in the market. Also make sure that parts and support for your machine are available immediately via online ordering and support systems.
- Cleaning and Repair
- Parts cleaning systems also need to be cleaned and maintained to maintain their longevity. Regular and on-time cleaning will ensure smooth and long-lasting operation. Make sure that your cleaning equipment can be dismantled and that you can clean each (or many) of its parts.
- Technical Machine Features
- Various technical aspects, such as GPM, heat production, detergent acceptability, and the size of the tank, should also be taken into account as you select an industrial parts washer. GPM stands for gallons per minute, and it is a key factor that helps establish the actual rigor of a machine. Furthermore, you should also check the level of heat that your machine can tolerate. For an aqueous cleaning system, you should check if it could maintain and work under a temperature of more than 170 degrees. The tank size is also an important factor that should be considered during the machine selection process.