How to Improve Manufacturing Maintenance with Ultrasonic Cleaning

Maintenance on equipment and machinery can become a major issue when trying to keep your manufacturing plant running at peak efficiency, especially if equipment is breaking down often. It may be an easy enough fix most of the time, but what if there was a way to nearly eliminate the time maintaining the machines that run your facility?

You can keep your equipment running longer and more efficiently after cleaning components ultrasonically. Ultrasonic cleaning can eliminate foreign contaminates from equipment surfaces, and thus reducing many issues with maintenance regarding problems with ill-maintained machinery. Ultrasonic cleaning can reduce maintenance, which leads to more uninterrupted time for your production line. As well, parts a facility needs to clean before packing and delivering can be cleaned at an accelerated rate. And because those parts are being cleaned via ultrasonic technology, you can ensure that your clients are getting parts that are in top condition, reducing the chances that they may run into any problems with the product.  Ultrasonic cleanings’ fast and efficient work can move production lines along quicker than before, and ensure your products are of the highest quality.

With ultrasonic cleaning, not only is it precise, but it is fast and efficient, as well as easy to operate. After filling an ultrasonic tank with the proper cleaning solution and placing the parts safely in the tank via a basket, the ultrasonic transducers will do the rest of the work. The quick scrubbing action through “cavitation” allows any dirt and grime to be cleaned off  of the parts in mere minutes. Not only does this reduce cleaning time, but it allows you more time to take care of other tasks while the ultrasonic cleaner does its job. Ultrasonic cleaners don’t require you to stand over a bath and hand-scrub every inch of surface on a given part or piece of equipment.

So now that you have ultrasonic cleaning working at your facility, what are the results? The hands free nature of the technology allows you to accomplish other tasks in the time it takes to clean a part. However, that time won’t take you very long, and you’ll be cleaning your equipment and products faster than ever. You’ll also not need to worry about cleaning them nearly as often. With the thoroughness of ultrasonic cleaning, you will see an immediate improvement in your equipment. No longer will it require maintenance as often, and you won’t find yourself having to buy replacement parts or equipment as frequently. The same can be said with your clients, as any part they purchase from you will have the guaranteed clean of an ultrasonic cleaner. Cleaning parts faster means they are in the hands of your customers faster. Products coming from your facility will give you a reputation of having the highest quality and most reliable parts, blowing your competitors out of the water.

Wait for it…Ultrasonic power blasts contaminants off this copper part

When you click play on this clip, you won’t see anything at first.

Can you tell when they turned the ultrasonic generator on?

This component is being cleaned in our 6 gallon BT 60H benchtop, which has 500 watt Vibra-bar® transducers with Simultaneous Multi-Frequency® technology. Notice how contaminants are blasted off the surface immediately. Take a look at the dramatic change in the first few seconds on the surface to the right of the wire hanger, as patina is ejected from the area and it becomes spotless in less than a minute.

If cleaning this thorough can be achieved in moments without any solvents or any labor costs from someone scrubbing the part, what could a system like this do for the efficiency of your operation?

Ultrasonic Cleaning Rescues Componex and Makes Everything Groovy

In manufacturing, problems sometimes seem to gang up. You may be dealing with a process in your plant that’s not delivering the results you need, but on top of that, it’s also labor intensive and time-consuming, affecting your ability to move product out in a timely manner. Componex found themselves in just such a difficulty, and found the perfect solution was ultrasonic cleaning. Componex is an Edgerton, Wisconsin manufacturer that produces high performance aluminum idler rollers. They needed to remove oil, dirt and metal chips from their dead shaft idler rollers, but the geometry of the parts made this a real challenge. The rollers had deep, narrow grooves that were difficult to completely clean. Power washing and hand cleaning were both ineffective, and they were searching for a process that would produce a perfectly clean part every time.

After contacting Ultrasonic Power Corporation (UPCORP) in Freeport, Illinois, Componex took advantage of a complementary service UPCORP offers: A free test cleaning. The tests showed that the entire surface of the sample idler could be made spotless. Because microscopic bubbles do the cleaning, there was no surface that couldn’t be reached. Helpful technical personnel at UPCORP were able to fill in further details and design a total solution to Componex’s cleaning problem.

Based on this experience, Componex purchased a custom built 2000 watt, 40 kHz, heated ultrasonic cleaning system and employed a water-based, biodegradable alkaline detergent. The cleaning system uses Vibra-bar® transducers, which use Simultaneous Multi-Frequency® technology to produce a wider range of ultrasonic frequencies and clean more effectively.

The end result? Componex went from using a method that was “extremely limiting” and producing “very poor” results to being able to deliver rollers to their customers that are “completely free of contamination, even in the deepest grooves.” And they were able to do so while saving on labor and  processing time. It’s easy to see why they soon came back to UPCORP to inquire about 15 foot long units to clean their line of larger rollers.

To read the full details of Componex’s experience with ultrasonic cleaning, click here to download the full case study.

The proof is in the “before and after”

One of the top advantages of ultrasonic cleaning is its versatility. Virtually any object that can be immersed can be cleaned with ultrasonic cavitation, and narrow recesses are no problem for the microscopic bubbles that act as the cleaning agent.

In this video, we present a series of before and after photos of a number of items cleaned with our systems, including a transmission part, a paint sprayer, brass parts, an electronic printer head, tooled steel and molds. Notice how even the most complex geometries are no problem and every component comes out spotless.

If you’d like to know more about how our Vibra-bar® system coupled with our Simutaneous Multi-Frequency® technology works in the field, click here to download our full case study, Ultrasonics to the Rescue.