Spray washers are a type of parts cleaning system that moves medium-to-large-sized parts through a water-spraying industrial washer. It is one of the most common types of washers, and it employs high pressure nozzles that shoot warm water and aqueous cleaning solution. The nozzles are able to clean away heavy or difficult to remove soils, grease, oil, coolants, buffing compounds, abrasive dust, blast debris, paint, chips, and other contaminants that do not come off easily.
Quick links to Spray Washers Information
Applications of Spray Washers
These cleaning systems are designed to wash newly machined products in medium to large volumes, such as industrial drums, appliances, and automotive parts.
Spray Washer Design and Customization
Spray washers are composed of a conveyor system that flows through a cabinet. The cabinet houses a cleaning tank and several nozzles angled at different positions to clean the whole surface of every part. They are batch or inline systems, often integrated with other industrial processes like metal stamping and CNC machining. They are powered by gas or electricity, and the nozzle sprays water at the parts by high pressure water pumps. Spray washers are almost always fully automated and operated by a CNC system (computer numeric controlled) or PC software. Loading is often done by pick-and-place robotic arms or a conveyor that transfers the parts from a manufacturing operation to the spray washer, which is usually one of the last steps in inline processing.
How Spray Washers Work
After the parts have been loaded, they are taken through a wash, rinse, blow, and dry cycle. The nozzles spray warm water and water-based solutions, never flammable mineral spirits, which may start a fire or explosion if shot out of a nozzle. The solution is usually set at a temperature of 130º to 190º F, and the spray pressure reaches anywhere from 40 to 60 PSI to ensure all grime and contaminants are cleaned from the part surface. The drying system can consist of either heated air or a simple air blower gun or process dryer, which doesn't use heat.
There are many specifications and options when it comes to spray washers, including:
- Spray Pressure
- Flow Rate
- Heater Power
- Wash Tank Capacity
- Power Source Type
- Loading Method
Loading methods include front, top, or continuous (conveyor belt); spray washers can be built to allow any of the three loading configurations.
Deciding Between Fixed Turntable or Retractable Washers
The most popular metal parts washers these days are cabinet-style washers. This is due to the smooth operation of cabinet-style washers, as compared to other options, such as rotary drum parts washers, immersion parts washers, and agitating parts washers. Their cleaning action involves heated, aqueous spray from high-speed jets that disburse and remove metals parts within an enclosed cabinet; primarily they are aqueous parts washers.
Cabinet-style washers’ unique design allows users to handle and clean heavy and large contaminated objects easily. An operator can access the cabinet interiors through a hinged door, and then load the parts onto the turntable directly and efficiently. The turntable grips the metal pieces at one place, while rotating during the cleaning process. Cabinet-style industrial parts washers are commonly installed with fixed or retractable turntables. It is this further division that confuses buyers.
Here are some factors to consider when selecting a fixed turntable or retractable design:
- Fixed Turntable Design Features
- In fixed turntable designs, a stationary (hence the name ‘fixed’) turntable is installed at the center of the wash cabinet. A specially-designed V-Notched door, also known as clamshell style, expedites the placement of metal parts on the table and is fixed with overhead cranes and jib booms to facilitate smoother loading.
- Retracting Turntable Design Features
- In retracting turntable parts washers, also called swing-out turntables, a turntable is installed into the door. When you open the cabinet or door, the turntable swings outwards with the door, making it easy for the operator to load and unload.
- Weight Capacity of Each Design
- The retractable turntable design can manage loads up to 20,000 pounds, starting from 10,000 pounds. Whereas, the fixed turntable designs can wash loads up to 65,000 pounds, giving it the upper hand over retractable designs.
- Other Design Features
- In the retractable turntable washers, the retractable door supports the entire weight of the table and the hinges manage all loads, which is why it cannot wash heavier loads. Moreover, operators must be cautious, as heavy parts move with the opening and closing of the door.
- The fixed turntable design provides better operational safety. The turntable holds all the weight of the metal parts, promoting safety and precision while loading and unloading. The door moves freely, without the extra weight and resistance, which prevents possible injury to the operator.