Category Archives: American Manufacturing

Bringing the Heat in Ultrasonic Cleaning

Bringing the Heat in Ultrasonic Cleaningheat in ultrasoinc cleaning

If you’ve used ultrasonic cleaning before, you’ve probably noticed that it’s hot stuff. We don’t mean results-wise (though ultrasonic cleaning is the best industrial cleaning technology available), we mean in terms of actual temperature. Most ultrasonic cleaners come with a heating system onboard and tank temperatures of 180°F are seen in some applications.

So what is the role of heat in ultrasonic cleaning, exactly? And how can you use it to your best advantage? Let’s take a look.

How does it work?

In most ultrasonic systems, one or more heating plates are mounted to the side of the cleaning tank. These plates transfer the output of simple electrically powered heating elements through the steel wall of the tank into the cleaning medium.

What is the usual temperature range?

Most ultrasonic cleaning units operate between 130° and 180°F, though some processes operate at as little as 90°F.

What’s the best temperature for cleaning?

This will depend on three factors: Your cleaning solution, the item being cleaned and the contaminants being removed.

  • Cleaning solution—Some products carry a manufacturer’s recommendation for operating temperature, so be sure to account for this.
  • Item being cleaned—Most ultrasonic cleaning targets can easily handle temperatures throughout the usual cleaning range, but others (such as circuit boards) can warp or suffer other damage in high temperatures.
  • Contaminants—Some contaminants need to subjected to high temperatures to be removed in an efficient manner. More importantly, some contaminants become more stubborn when heated beyond a certain point. For example, proteins in blood will harden significantly above about 100°F. In cases like this, there should be little or no heating applied to the solution.

What factors need to be taken into account?

Obviously, the heat delivered into solution by the heating unit on the cleaner is predictable and easily controlled. But we also need to consider the heat created by the cleaning process itself.

The transducers also produce a small amount of heat. A 500 Watt group of transducers will produce around 90 Watts of heat at full intensity. So let’s say a 6 gallon tank configured with 500 Watts of ultrasonics has the heating system set to 140°F and is maintaining that temperature. If the ultrasonics is left on for 4 straight hours beyond that time, the tank’s temperature could increase to over 160°F.

For this reason, it’s important to monitor the cleaning process and ensure that the temperature in the medium doesn’t stray outside the envelope dictated by your cleaning medium, pieces and contaminants.

How does heat affect the process?

Heat has three main roles in the cleaning process.

  1. Increasing the effectiveness of soaking—In general, warmer liquids are more effective at removing a wide variety of contaminants.
  2. Gas removal—Dissolved air and other gasses inhibit cavitation; a warmer solution helps these gasses escape, increasing cleaning effectiveness.
  3. Reduced viscosity—Warmer liquids are less viscous, and lower viscosity means more effective cavitation.

Can we save energy or time when heating?

With the new Sonic Touch® II control system, it’s a simple matter to set up a weekly schedule that automatically heats solutions prior to the cleaning session. This saves time and labor. Plus, the advanced data collection capabilities of the Sonic Touch® II allow operators to analyze the performance of all cleaner subsystems. This makes it possible to determine how to achieve the best heat profile for optimal cleaning.

Contact our knowledgeable staff today and let us guide you through your ultrasonic cleaning questions.

Customize Your Ultrasonic Cleaning Process

 

Whoever said “Change is the only true constant,” was probably talking about business. And the growing pace of change means any equipment investment you make must deliver the ability to adapt to changing customer demands.

In a previous blog, we discussed how the Sonic Touch® II console delivers better control, performance, and data collection, as well as ease of use. In addition, a major benefit of this new console is that operators have the ability to adapt it to changes in or additions to their cleaning operation.

Control anywhere…

Even without any customization, the updated control capability of the Sonic Touch® II allows users to adapt to changes in workflows and schedules.

“You can access the system from anywhere in your facility,” Manufacturing Engineer Felipe Benalcazar says, so long as the facility has a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This allows employees to either use their phone to set timers according to an optimal schedule, or control the cleaning unit directly.

The panel also allows users to set seven day timer schemes for the system, including the sonics, heater, pumps, and oil skimmer. A cleaning unit can be up and ready at exactly the right time, instead of requiring employees to spend time warming up the system.

Choose how you control…

Because the Sonic Touch® II console has a screen-based interface, operators can decide what controls are included and how their interface is arranged. This makes it simple to create an arrangement that is best for the user and the cleaning procedures being used each day.

Easy to reconfigure, with no need for long periods of downtime…

Previous generations of control technology made adding or changing controls a difficult proposition. In the past adding additional controls to an existing machine would have required making physical alterations to the sheet metal. Then, the switch would have to be wired to the new equipment, and other parts of the ultrasonic cleaner might have to be disassembled before the connection was made. In any case, the cleaning unit would be offline for some time. This might have a ripple effect, creating other costs or losses as other processes in a facility were put on hold waiting for the cleaning unit to be back online; it would definitely reduce the ROI gained from adding new equipment to a cleaner.

With the Sonic Touch® II, components can be added with a simple standard connection, and the tablet-style panel allows new controls to be added to a graphic user interface instead of being mounted in a physical panel. This drastically reduces the cost of making such a change, and the downtime required to make it.

Coding changes instead of physical changes…

A similar advantage of the Sonic Touch® II is the ability to change the interface with new code, uploaded to the unit via a USB. This makes specialized cleaning easier and less expensive, but it also reduces the cost and risk of refining your cleaning process.

With previous generations, adding a new piece of equipment or control carried the risk that if it delivered suboptimal results, changing it would require another investment and more downtime as the changes were accomplished. With the Sonic Touch® II, alterations to the code make it a simple matter to adapt the control panel to new equipment and change the interface to match.

As we mentioned in a previous blog, when a UPCORP customer needed a “rehoming” sequence and additional sensors to their automated system, Electrical Engineer Will Pedroza was able to help them develop code that integrated the new technology without major inconveniences, costs or even a site visit. “I never had to step in front of the machine,” he says. “It was just email correspondence followed by sending them a USB stick, and their system was updated with new functionality.”

Conclusion

By integrating advanced digital technology, the Sonic Touch® II provides ultrasonic cleaning operators remote access, improved ROI and simple customization.
Contact Ultrasonic Power Corporation today and let our Sonic Touch® II technology provide your facility with transformative cleaning capabilities.

 

 

 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY SHOW 2018

The manufacturing industry is buzzing about the IMTS 2018 slated for September 10-15. The International Manufacturing Technology Show is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, featuring more than 2,400 exhibiting companies and 115,612 registrants. Will you be there? If so, we look forward to connecting with you! Ultrasonic Power is delighted to have an exhibit there and the opportunity to showcase our top-quality equipment in person to the IMTS community.

Ultrasonic Power Corporation will be in Booth 121431, where we will demonstrate our new advanced 90 Gallon Cleaning System with a programmable lift and Sonic Touch® II featuring our patented integrated cavitation meter and wireless control, part of our Console Series of ultrasonic cleaning systems. The reliability, precision and impressive power of this system makes it a great choice for parts cleaning (titanium, aluminum and steel parts).

At the IMTS, we will also exhibit our BT 60SE Bench Top Cleaning System, which has a digital temperature control. It is an industrial-grade system made to clean a range of parts easily within its large 11” deep body.

In addition, our knowledgeable team will exhibit the Ultrasonic Power immersible transducer generator package. If you already have a tank and want to convert it to an ultrasonic cleaning tank, these immersible transducers provide an effective solution. Our transducer packages are great for OEM’s looking for the best ultrasonics backed by the strongest warranty in the industry, made right here in The USA!

Ultrasonic Power proudly has over 40 years of experience designing and manufacturing ultrasonic cleaning equipment. We regularly work with NASA, Space X, Boeing, and Virgin Galactic. We also design and manufacture large custom system tanks; Space X has a few of these huge systems. The tanks are used to clean their engine parts, landing gear, and other vital components.

Mark your calendar for IMTS in September at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL! If you are unable to attend, phone us instead at 1-800-575-0168 to discuss how our ultrasonic technology can be the solution for your business needs.

How to Lower Costs and Increase Uptime with Updated Filtration System- Ultrasonic Cleaning

 

 

 

 

Anyone managing a service or technical operation hopes to reduce costs wherever possible. These days, people are turning to ultrasonic cleaning systems to save on labor expenses, rework, disposals, and many others. But to maximize savings, you need to achieve maximum uptime, prolong the life of the medium, and lengthen the time between maintenance services.

Fortunately, new improvements to our cleaning units can achieve all of these and more. We spoke with Felipe Benalcazar, a manufacturing engineer who designed the improved system.

Easier access, leading to increased uptime

Based on customer feedback, our engineers saw an opportunity to make the filtration system more accessible and easier to configure, and have rolled out the change in 39 to 204 gallon cleaners equipped with both a main tank (where cleaning takes place) and a reservoir tank. Prior to this redesign, changing the direction of flow was a hassle.

“You could configure the system to choose the source you were filtering, or pump from one tank to another,” Benalcazar said, “but to be able to change [the flow] you would have to render your system down, open the panels, reconfigure manually through a series of valves, and then go back into operation.”

Operators will now easily select where the liquid is moving to and from by changing a single ball valve’s position or with a solenoid activated from the control panel. “Minimizing the time spent making changes was a huge priority; we wanted to be able to say ‘This is as easy as pushing a button,’” Benalcazar said.

“All the items that need to be accessed for maintenance will be internal and any that operate the system will now be external. We’re very excited about that.”

New valve configuration preserves cleaning medium

One of the main benefits of being able to control the pattern of flow in the unit is keeping a cleaner—and thus longer-lasting—medium in the immersion tank.

As oil and light contaminants are skimmed out through the overflow fittings to the reservoir tank, the reservoir’s contents are then filtered. With the new external valve control, operators can create a bypass, pumping and filtering the contents of the main tank directly. “With our pump feed being located at the bottom of the main tank, the heavier contaminants will be pulled out through a pre-strainer, then through a pump and filtration system, and then clean fluid is returned back into the tank,” Benalcazar said. Removing surface and bottom debris allows the medium to have a longer life.

In the near future, customers ordering custom systems will be able to automate the process using sensors or timers.

Better pumps for lower operating cost

Another improvement is pumps that last longer. While cavitation is the driver behind ultrasonic cleaning, cavitation in pumps can drastically reduce their operating life. With the new filtration setup, Benalcazar said, “We are now standardized to eliminate cavitation in any scenario you can think of. Our new configuration allows the customer to prime the pump without any difficulty.” This minimizes differences in temperature, makeup or vapor pressure in the medium that might cause the pump to cavitate.

In addition, he said, the pumps themselves are greatly improved. “We’ve used robust magnetic drive pumps in our system to account for all the different uses a customer might have. The beauty of magnetic pumps, unlike a traditional centrifugal pump, is that the pump works without a drive shaft.” This eliminates a number of parts that wear down relatively quickly in centrifugal pumps. “This gives the customer a very efficient pump that lasts longer and can handle everything you put through the system,” he said.

“With the protections we have with the strainer, eliminating cavitation, the robustness of the pump itself, and the appropriate plumbing configuration, the pump is reaching the longest lifespan it can possibly have,” Benalcazar said.

All of this leads to less maintenance and a greater time between filter changes and medium refills, leading to increased uptime and lower operating cost.

Pump-drain option makes life easier for customers

By moving the valve to a purge position and activating the pump, operators can pump-drain the main tank. Benalcazar notes that this will be very convenient for smaller operations such as music shops and schools, which use ultrasonic cleaning on musical instruments.

“These non-industrial customers aren’t usually equipped with a floor drain,” he said. Now, instead of using gravity draining, customers can pump the tank out into a sink or other convenient drain. Since the system uses a ball valve, it’s also possible to carefully control how quickly the liquid flows out.

The new design also allows the customer to bypass the filtration system as they drain the tank, which preserves filter cartridge life.

Taken together, these changes increase uptime, reduce operating costs and make ultrasonic cleaning even easier to use. “We try to do anything we can so the customer has the best product for their application,” Benalcazar said. “With this new plumbing, they’ll have an extremely efficient system that is going to have a longer life, less downtime altogether, lower operating cost and flexibility. The consumer will have more options, as to what they want to do with it.”

3 Reasons Why an Ultrasonic Cleaner Gets Better Results than Industrial Spray Washers

Spray washers are a common sight on facility floors, but have they been surpassed by ultrasonic cleaners? As customers raise the bar on the cleanliness level they require from suppliers, that’s a question you’ll need to consider.

 

The answer? An ultrasonic cleaner will let you deliver a better product – by delivering a cleaner product – than a spray washer. There are three reasons why: Cavitation, cavitation and cavitation.

 

Are we making a quip? No, our point is that the phenomenon of ultrasonic cavitation is a radical departure from – and improvement over – other cleaning methods. First, let’s look at what ultrasonic cavitation is and how it delivers superb results in an industrial environment:

 

What is ultrasonic cavitation?

As ultrasonic waves move through a liquid medium, they compress and release the molecules in the liquid. This results in millions of microscopic bubbles forming on the surface of the item being cleaned, and these bubbles are constantly forming and imploding. When they implode, the liquid rushing in to fill the space creates a powerful jet that slams into the surface of the part, dislodging contaminants. This creates a gentle and absolutely thorough scrubbing action that drives the ultrasonic cleaning process.

 

So why is an ultrasonic cleaner so much better than a spray washer?

 

Cavitation reaches everywhere

The bubbles created by this cavitation will reach anywhere that the liquid medium does. No matter how complex the geometry of a part or how deep any crevices are, the microscopic bubbles will create cleaning jets on every spot on every surface.

 

Since cavitation is created by acoustic energy and acoustic energy propagates through metals, shadowing is not an issue. In other words, parts positioned next to each other are not a problem like with spray washers. Every surface that is immersed will be cleaned.

 

All of this means that you’ll not only know you’re hitting every surface, your employees won’t have to disassemble most parts in order to get them clean. You’ll also know that as long as the part was in the ultrasonic cleaner’s tank for the necessary amount of time—usually around three to five minutes—it will be completely clean. There’s virtually no room for human error in loading or inspection.

 

Cavitation cleans everything

Eliminating solvents from your cleaning process can result in significant savings (LINK TO BLOG: 3 Cost Saving Benefits of Ultrasonic Cleaners vs. Spray Washers). The problem is that some contaminants can’t be easily sprayed or scrubbed off without a healthy dose of solvent.

 

An ultrasonic cleaner has the clear advantage here because the contaminant is blasted off the surface by the mechanical and heat action when the cavitation bubbles implode. Because this action is mainly mechanical, the chemical makeup of the substance being removed isn’t a factor. Only a mild detergent is added to the water in the cleaner.

 

Cavitation is versatile

Ultrasonic cleaners are equipped with transducers producing a specific range of frequencies geared to the material you need to clean. This can range from 25kHz systems for highly durable and tenaciously grimy items such as engine blocks, to 170kHz systems used for pharmaceutical products, medical implants and the most delicate electronics.

 

Most units use 40kHz, which produces bubbles about a micron wide and delivers the best balance of scrubbing power and penetration. Our 40kHz units use our own patented Vibra-bar® Simultaneous Multi-Frequency® system, which provides a 40kHz -90kHz frequency range to deliver even more effective cleaning.

 

The adaptable nature of ultrasonic cleaning is why this technology is used to clean everything from hard drives and glass vials to engine blocks and nuclear decontamination equipment. It’s a versatility spray washing simply can’t deliver.

3 Cost Saving Benefits of Ultrasonic Cleaners vs. Spray Washers

There’s no denying the right equipment can have a major effect on your facility’s bottom line. As more customers raise the bar when it comes to cleanliness requirements, the cleaning processes you use provide an opportunity to realize those kinds of savings.

Using ultrasonic cleaners vs. spray washers can save money by delivering increased efficiency, lowered costs, a better product and safer employees. Here’s how.

Saving on chemicals

Setups vary, but cleaning with sprayers requires detergents and possibly other specialized cleaning chemicals. Depending on the grime you’re removing, you may need some very aggressive additives. You may also have green concerns at the top of your priority list. In that case, you’ll be using substances specifically designed for low environmental impact.

The more caustic brews bring safety concerns and therefore greater training costs. In addition, there will either be the added headache of disposal or added maintenance hassle from a purification system. The green mixes are often more expensive and are less effective for some applications. In both cases, you may find that maximum effectiveness requires meeting an exact mix ratio and temperature range.

So, is there a sweet spot? Yes, but it’s not a substance, it’s a process: Ultrasonic cavitation.

When ultrasonic waves pass through a liquid, they form and then compress miniscule bubbles of gas. As these bubbles constantly form and implode, they create a powerful jet which strikes the surface of the part and dislodges contaminants. These implosions can create temperatures of 5,000 degrees Celsius, but because all this takes place on an extremely small scale, it ends up being more gentle and more thorough than any other method.

In fact, when Cagnazzi Racing was experiencing massive engine damage from tiny impurities on their components, they switched from spray washing to ultrasonic cleaning and eliminated the problem. “Having a system like this allows us to use the latest technology to make sure our engine components are as clean as possible before final assembly,” Joe Hornick, Cagnazzi’s Director of Engine Development said. “Now we can do that better, cheaper, and in an environmentally friendly way.”

Ultrasonic cleaners do use a detergent in their liquid medium. However, it’s extremely mild and is there to grab dirt particles the cavitation has blasted away. That means lower expense for the detergent itself, no regulatory compliance costs and no disposal problems. It also means no costs for safety training and no need to pay workers to don, doff, handle or maintain safety equipment.

Saving on labor

There’s more to labor savings with ultrasonic cleaning than the cost reduction from making your workers safer. First, you’ll save on disassembling and reassembling parts. Because ultrasonic cleaners scrub wherever liquid reaches, you won’t have to disassemble a component to make sure spray hits a hidden recess.

Second, you’ll save by avoiding rework and recoating. Because ultrasonic cleaning is gentler and requires less handling, there are fewer opportunities for dings, drops and other errors that can cause a part to be sent back through the line. And because ultrasonic cavitation hits every spot on every surface, you won’t risk having oils or other contaminants remain on parts that are receiving a coating.

Third, you may be able to automate part of the process. We now offer customized automation options, using smart sensors to control a system that moves each basket of parts through a pre-programmed cycle. This can include multiple rinse and cleaning baths as you require.

Saving on maintenance

Spray washers can be a maintenance nightmare, with an abundance of moving parts and potential problems from leaks – whether the leaking liquid is water or a toxic additive.

An ultrasonic cleaner will have no moving parts except for a filtration pump. That frees your maintenance crew to concentrate on other tasks and saves on parts replacement as well.

By allowing you to get rid of solvent, use your workers’ time more effectively and cut down on unnecessary maintenance, it’s clear that ultrasonic cleaners can help you make a clean break from needless expense.

Ultrasonic Cleaning is Mild-Mannered, But Still Super

Like a certain “mild-mannered reporter at a major metropolitan daily,” ultrasonic cavitation provides powerful results by working smarter rather than harder, unlike other methods of conventional cleaning. If you’re using solvents to clean parts or tools in your facility, you’ll find that ultrasonic cleaning is the mild-mannered, environmentally safe technology you’re looking for to reduce costs and deliver a cleaner product.

Let’s look at some of the expenses that can mount up if you use a solvent to clean your parts. If you’re a manager at a manufacturing plant, at least some of these will apply whether you’re using part washer stations or spraying solvent on parts, then scrubbing.

Solvent won’t take contaminants off the parts itself, so it goes without saying that you’ll have to pay someone to clean the items. That leaves you on the hook not only for the time they spend, but for the gear and training they’ll need to do it safely. We recently covered labor savings with ultrasonic cleaning in a previous blog.

Then there’s the cost of the solvent itself. Not a major expense, but one that, as we’ll see, is unnecessary. You may be using a solvent or cleaning chemical with a flash point above 140° F in order to avoid a hazardous waste classification, but such chemicals are sometimes not as effective in removing the worst grime. That means you trade off greater disposal fees for greater effort (and therefore greater cost) to achieve the same cleaning result. Even if you move your waste out of the hazardous category, it will probably classify as a “special waste” or other type of material your state has special handling laws for.

Speaking of tradeoffs, the next thing to consider is the tension between more frequent disposal and working to lengthen the time between disposals. If you don’t take action to preserve the solvent, you won’t have additional expenses, but you will need to dispose of it more often. If you use methods that keep it fresh and effective longer—workers spending more time and effort cleaning the parts, filtering the solvent, etc.—you’ll use it longer, but rack up additional expense. For example, not only will a filtration system be an expense in itself, but the filters themselves will count as a hazardous waste.

And aqueous solutions? They bring different versions of the same problems. You may need workers to pre-clean parts for even the best aqueous machines, the chemicals can be pricey and the highly corrosive nature of many aqueous cleaners makes disposal as problematic and costly as petroleum-based or organic solvents.

To put it simply, ultrasonic cleaning can eliminate all these problems.

With ultrasonic cleaning, there are no expensive chemicals to purchase. The medium for most applications is water and a mild detergent. These detergents cost a fraction as much as petroleum-based or organic solvents, and unlike those solvents, only a small amount is used in the medium.

Employees scrubbing parts? Not with ultrasonic cleaning. As ultrasound waves strike the surface of the parts being cleaned, millions of microscopic bubbles are formed by cavitation. As these form and collapse, they impact the surface of the part and scrub contaminants off it. This not only saves labor, but eliminates the inevitable consequences of human error, such as damaged parts. That means fewer reworked and scrapped parts. Your employees will be safer, too, because you’ve eliminated dangerous chemicals.

Disposal fees? Those won’t be a problem when the medium is no more hazardous than domestic dishwater.

Saving money and delivering a cleaner product? Sounds like ultrasonic cleaning is a super solution.

How Ultrasonic Cleaning Protects Your Components From Rust

Rust never sleeps. Fortunately, we have stainless steel.

However, if you work with stainless steel components, you know that these alloys are not completely corrosion-proof. Handling damage, contamination and even the act of machining or cutting the steel can compromise the amazingly thin layer that protects the part from rust.

How thin? Try one-ten millionth of an inch thick (0.0000001) which is around 1/100,000th as thick as a human hair. This layer is composed of chromium oxide, and is so thin it literally can’t be seen. The chromium oxide isolates the steel from atmospheric oxygen, preventing it from causing rust. Because the layer forms automatically, in theory it will cover every surface of the component exposed to air.

So, how does the layer become compromised? Mainly through contamination. Any contaminants that contain iron are especially troublesome, because the iron inevitably brings rust with it, and places it in contact with the steel below the layer. Common dirt or shop dust can not only interrupt the layer, but are almost certain to contain some tiny amount of iron. Cutting tools used to machine the steel can leave microscopic bits of their blade surfaces on the part. All these contaminants tend to be invisible to the naked eye.

A sort of contamination can even come from within the steel itself. Some stainless steel contains sulfur added to make the metal easier to machine, and spots where sulfides are exposed at the surface can corrode.

The best way to deliver a part to your customer that will remain corrosion-free is to reestablish the chromium oxide layer with a passivation bath of nitric or citric acid. But prior to that, it’s essential that the part be perfectly clean. For that task there’s no substitute for ultrasonic cleaning. Let’s look at three reasons why:

Hand cleaning is expensive and may not remove all contamination

Instead of paying an employee (possibly a highly paid specialist, such as a machinist) to clean the part, you can place batches of parts in an ultrasonic cleaner and know they’ll be spotless in a few minutes. And since the bubbles from ultrasonic cavitation will reach anyplace liquid will reach, there won’t be any missed spots (or scratches, dings, etc.) due to human error.

Ultrasonic cleaning is excellent for eliminating greases and oils

A common problem in passivation is the presence of cutting oils or other grease on the parts. These will react with the chemical bath, creating bubbles that keep the acid away from the surface and prevent passivation. This can lead to pitting or rusting later on. But an ultrasonic cleaner will remove these oily materials without error.

You can’t afford a contaminated passivation bath

Some contaminants can cause what’s called a “flash attack.” This change in the chemical makeup of the passivation bath causes the surface of the part to be darkened and may also cause etching. The parts will require rework at least, and may be ruined.

To give your customer a corrosion-resistant component they can depend on, you need a cleaning process you can depend on, and ultrasonic cleaning delivers unsurpassed results.

Need more information on the results ultrasonic cleaning can produce in an industrial environment? Click here to learn how Ushers Machine and Tool used ultrasonic cleaning to increase production by 20% while reducing costs. Or see Ultrasonics to the Rescue, a case study of the results Componex saw when they used ultrasonic cleaning to reach grime they couldn’t otherwise clean.

Versatile Controls, Greater Efficiency: How Improved Ultrasonic Cleaning Controls Can Make Your Processes More Efficient

In our previous post, we examined how the Sonic Touch® II control system for ultrasonic cleaners not only works with tablets, smartphones and facility networks through Virtual Network Computing (VNC), but provides better data. Having broader and more complete data sets can make your cleaning more effective, make maintenance easier and help protect your investment.

Access to better information is only one side of the coin. The other side of incorporating advanced digital technology into this new control system is, well, better control. To put it simply, the Sonic Touch® II allows you to do more with your system, and make it more dependable. Let’s take a look at some of the system’s features and the benefits they can bring to your facility:

A countdown timer for perfected cleaning sessions

We aren’t saying this feature is new or unique, but it definitely saves time and money. This digital timer  ensures the cleaner will run only for the amount of time it needs to in order to clean the items in the tank. Over the long run, this will save power, reduce errors and allow your unit to last longer. It may also save labor costs, because you won’t need to have a worker stand by to monitor the unit.

Seven day timers that adapt to your operation’s schedule

It saves time and energy if your ultrasonic cleaner is ready to go “just in time.” In other words, it’s not running idly before it’s needed, but the cleaning medium is already properly heated the moment items are ready to go in the tank and be cleaned.

The Sonic Touch® II features seven day timers for the heating system, pump and filtration system and oil skimmer. If, for example, your operation will need to clean cutting oil off new parts at approximately 10am every Tuesday and at 6am on Wednesdays, you can set the Sonic Touch® II to activate the systems on the appropriate unit just before those times on those days.

VNC app lets you control or monitor from anywhere

Using a Virtual Network Computing app, you can perform all of the monitoring and control functions of the Sonic Touch® II remotely, using a tablet or smartphone. As we mentioned in our previous post, you’ll also be able to receive important alerts and scheduled maintenance reminders on your device via email or text, and/or designate any account you wish as the recipient. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

More features that protect your investment

In our previous blog we explored how better information flow, alarms and alerts could help you protect your investment in an ultrasonic cleaner. The Sonic Touch® II also includes built-in protections against generator overheat, liquid overheat and low liquid level. On top of that, it incorporates security features such as a panel lock and password protection, preventing unauthorized use.

Year after year, each piece of equipment employed by the workforce becomes smarter and the mobile revolution changes more and more about how we work. Choosing ultrasonic cleaners that integrate that technology is the smartest kind of change you can make.

What Can you Clean with an Ultrasonic Cleaner

If you’re considering using ultrasonic cleaning to make your facility more efficient, you need to know if this technology can even do the job you have in mind. So you may be asking, what can an ultrasonic cleaner clean?

The short answer is “just about anything,” but you probably want a bit more detail than that. To answer the question, we’ll need to talk about the items you can clean with ultrasonics and about the substances you can clean off them.

Items—The stuff we can clean

The number of items that can benefit from ultrasonic cleaning is vast. The reason? There are just two basic “eligibility requirements” before something can be cleaned in this manner.

The cavitation that powers ultrasonic cleaning and scrubs contaminants off parts will only occur in a liquid environment. Ergo, the item must be one that won’t be damaged by immersion. Some of the things on that list might surprise you. For instance, most of us would react with horror at the idea of combining electronics and water, but as long as proper drying techniques are used, an ultrasonic cleaner will not only clean electronic devices, but clean them more quickly and completely than any other method.

The second requirement is that the part can be dried relatively easily. This eliminates items that are absorbent, but most others can simply be air dried with a blower.

For this reason, ultrasonic cleaning is used to remove unwanted materials from everything from jewelry to long rifles, from super-delicate lenses to massive engine parts, from surgical instruments to motherboards.

You may be wondering if ultrasonic waves will damage relatively brittle materials, such as glass or ceramics. Ultrasonic cleaning is perfectly safe for these materials.

Enemies—the grime we can eliminate

In general, as long as a contaminant can be removed from the surface it’s on, it can be removed with an ultrasonic cleaner. Contaminants that might require time-consuming applications of elbow grease can be lifted free in a few minutes. That’s why, to cite one application, disaster restoration firms will use ultrasonic cleaning to remove soot from smoke-damaged items.

For an example of the dramatic results users can see, watch this short video of filth being blasted off the surface of a copper part.

Ultrasonic cleaning will remove anything from common dirt and engine sludge to the sort of oily chemicals that can prevent paints and other coatings from adhering to finished products. This includes lubricants, grease, buffing and polishing compounds, cutting oils, etc.

One of the few things ultrasonic cleaning won’t remove is spores and viruses. If you’re cleaning medical instruments, they will need sterilization after other contaminants are removed in your ultrasonic cleaner.

How to be sure

In the cases where there’s doubt about whether ultrasonic cleaning is the right fit, we offer free testing. You can arrange to submit a typical item from your facility and our staff will test clean it, providing you with detailed results.

In short, our customers have blasted grime off everything from golf clubs to oil refinery equipment, from Venetian blinds to nuclear waste cleaning robots. But if you’d like more information on how some of our customers used these highly reliable machines in an industrial environment to reduce costs and deliver a cleaner product, click here to learn about Ushers Machine and Tool or here to download Ultrasonics to the Rescue, a case study of the results seen by Componex.