Category Archives: Industrial Cleaning

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.

Mark Your Calendar for the Aerospace Industry’s MRO Americas Show 2019

The aerospace industry is buzzing about the MRO Americas 2019 show slated for April 9-11. 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 ultrasonic cleaning equipment in person to the MRO community.

The MRO show promises to be a highlight of Aviation week. We will be in Booth 3337, where we will demonstrate our new advanced 39 Gallon Cleaning System with Sonic Touch® II featuring our patented 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 MRO exhibition, we will also exhibit our BT 60H 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.

Ultrasonic Power proudly has 40 years of experience in the manufacturing of ultrasonic cleaning equipment. We regularly work with NASA, Space X, Boeing, and Virgin Galactic. We also design and manufacture custom large 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 the MRO show in April at The Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA! 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.

The Sonic Touch® II improves ROI with Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems

Ultrasonic cleaning technology already has a clear edge in ROI over other methods. The right controls can increase ROI even further. That’s why Ultrasonic Power Corporation has introduced the Sonic Touch® II console.

“Previously, UPC’s precision industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems had basic controls and digital components,” Manufacturing Engineer Felipe Benalcazar says. “Now you have, essentially, a computer. With the Sonic Touch® II, the most important benefits are increased function control, performance monitoring and data collection. Putting the three benefits together allows you to create more efficient processes in your cleaning facility, and to know the status of your system at all times.”

Electrical Engineer Will Pedroza also points to ease of use. “You’re able to display a lot more information more concisely, in a way that people are used to interacting with information,” he says. “It’s especially useful in work environments where people are wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves, because the Sonic Touch® II has a resistive screen, and does not require a person to remove their gloves to operate.”

Control from anywhere, and ahead of time

The Sonic Touch® II can be operated remotely from a telephone or tablet which improves the ROI by allowing staff to be more flexible with their time.

“You can access the system from anywhere in your facility,” says Benalcazar, “as 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 system directly.”

The Sonic Touch® II panel also allows users to set seven day timer schemes for the system, including the ultrasonics, heater, pumps, and oil skimmer. A cleaning unit can be up and ready at exactly the right work time, instead of requiring employees to spend time warming up the system; it’s a real time saver and adds to productivity.

Optimizing cleaning with better monitoring

“We’re very proud of our patented Liquid Condition Sensor, or LCS technology,” Benalcazar says. “Ultrasonics is half of the equation. You also have the fluid media.” LCS technology allows operators to monitor the condition of their cleaning liquid medium and how effective their settings are when cleaning various items.

“LCS can monitor what your cleaning status is and display how effectively you’re cleaning. For example, an aluminum part versus a stainless steel part,” Benalcazar says. “Or, say you’re cleaning pump impellers versus drive shafts, and you see better or worse cleaning results. The LCS provides data that may explain why the results are not the same.”

Since the Sonic Touch® II allows control of sweep, intensity, temperature, etc., users can adjust settings to deliver the best results for unique parts and contaminants. “If you’re seeing different results under the same settings,” he says, “the LCS data lets you set it right, and choose the best configurations for certain parts. Your ROI will grow because you’re spending less time cleaning as you have more efficient cleaning results. You spend less on detergents because you’re making your detergents last longer, and this is a real pay back because you avoid premature change out of detergent, changing only when necessary.”

Digital technology makes specialized cleaning easier and cheaper

Adapting the Sonic Touch® II to special situations is much easier than with earlier generations.

For example, a customer had purchased an automated system to move parts through the cleaning sequence. But they soon found they needed to add capabilities. In addition to the actuators it already controlled, they needed the ultrasonic system to be able to “re-home” the system to keep it in alignment, and they needed additional automated controls to ensure parts remained properly processed.

Instead of modifying physical hardware at the client site, Pedroza simply wrote new code. “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.”

Data collection allows you to find efficiencies and potential problems

With the Sonic Touch® II, the run times and performance of all subsystems is recorded. It also logs alarms, and the resulting data can be downloaded to a flash drive. It can also be set to provide email or text alerts.

This allows analysis of data to find inefficiencies. For example, if cleaning effectiveness, run time or the number of alarms varies between certain shifts or certain days this highlights an opportunity to improve your cleaning process, or possibly address user understanding of the ultrasonic cleaning process.

This data gathering function is even more helpful in identifying components that need to be replaced. In the past, if an ultrasonic generator was delivering reduced performance and needed to be replaced, it might remain undetected for weeks or months. It also may not be possible to determine when the problem occurred. “With the Sonic Touch® II,” Pedroza says, “the troubleshooting is done for you, including the precise time that the event occurred. You can immediately identify what needs attention and we can help you right away.”

Ultrasonic Power experts are ready to work with you and answer more questions about what we’ve covered. Contact us to learn what kind of precision industrial ultrasonic cleaning system will work best for your unique cleaning application. Get in touch with us today, and together we’ll happily answer other questions you have. Remember, “Our Technology, Your Solution”SM is just a telephone call away.

A Mini-Glossary of Jargon Associated With Precision Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems

Ultrasonic Cleaning Jargon

More often than we like, industry jargon gets in the way of understanding. Fortunately, the good people at Ultrasonic Power can relate and are here to clarify the jargon and better explain precision industrial ultrasonic cleaning technology and design.  It’s always a good idea to get rid of jargon when reasonable, but when dealing with an advanced technology—and one that’s used across many industries—technical terms can become a second language.

Let’s have a look at some industry jargon that may need some explanation:

 Cavitation— It’s what drives the process

Ultrasonic cleaning works because of the effect high frequency sound has in a liquid. As the sound waves move through the liquid medium and strike solid objects, they create bubbles filled with vapor. When these bubbles collapse, heated jets of water strike the surface of the solid object and dislodge contaminants.

Sparger— Assuring clean stays clean

Once those contaminants are cleaned off the target object, where do they go? If they hang around in the vicinity, they will simply end up back on the target object when it’s removed from the tank. For most contaminants, this can be solved by filtering the tank medium. But what if the contaminant being cleaned is oil or other lighter than water substances? Contaminants won’t arrive in the filter and will redeposit on the part when it’s raised out of the tank.


The answer is a sparger. This technology design pumps streams of liquid across the tank liquid surface, pushing light contaminants out of the way.

Weir— Parting the waters

But doesn’t the oily contaminant/residue just hit the “downstream” side of the tank opposite the Sparger and remain an obstacle to clean parts? This is where the handoff occurs, from the Sparger to the Weir. Contaminant are “pushed” by the Sparger across the cleaning liquid column and falls over the Weir into an awaiting tank collecting contaminants. The cleaning liquid is then put through some sort of filter and returned to the cleaning tank.

The word Weir is commonly used to describe a type of dam that changes the liquid volume flow characteristics and maintains a constant height (depth) of the liquid rather than stopping it up. In the case of ultrasonic cleaners, a Weir is a simple technology design for separating contaminants from the cleaning liquid and prevents recontamination of any parts being cleaned. (in other words, contaminated cleaning liquid gets cleaned too!)

Spargers and Weirs are essential cleaning technology designs in any situation where greases and oils are involved, and are available and appropriate for most ultrasonic cleaner models. Here’s how they look like in action:


Transducer— Making waves

A transducer is a mechanical and electrical technology for converting one form of energy into another. In the case of ultrasonic cleaning, transducers are like high frequency speakers that change electrical energy into acoustic energy.


PZT— Creating good vibrations

Most ultrasonic transducers use piezoelectric action. Piezoelectric substances change shape when they are subjected to an electric field. With the right application of current, they can be made to vibrate at high frequencies, so they form the heart of the ultrasonic transducer and create the high frequency vibrations that clean with cavitation.

So, what is PZT? Lead zirconate titanate is the most common piezoelectric substance used in ultrasonic transducers. Why is it called PZT instead of LZT? That’s because the symbol for Lead is Pb. Don’t roll your eyes, it was the chemists that designated lead as Pb.

PZT is a ceramic, so it is strong, chemically inert, and easily tailored to specific applications. For this technical reason and many more piezoelectric transducers have replaced other transducer designs across the precision industrial ultrasonic cleaning industry.


There you have it, explanations for industry jargon. So go ahead and put this with your important files, be a pack rat and save this mini-glossary. We hope it is useful. Ultrasonic Power experts are ready to work with you and answer more questions about what we’ve covered. Contact us to learn what kind of ultrasonic cleaning design will work best for your unique cleaning application. Get in touch with us today, and together we’ll happily answer other questions you have. Remember, “Our Technology, Your Solution”SM is just a telephone call away.

How to Validate Your Ultrasonic Cleaning Process While You’re Still Cleaning

There’s no point in cleaning something if you can’t be sure how clean it is when you’re done. That’s why every facility needs a cleaning validation program.

As you’ve followed our blog, you’ve seen blog posts on how to handle meeting a specific cleanliness standard. Almost every method we presented is employed after the cleaning process is finished, or at least, after the part is removed from the ultrasonic cleaner. That makes sense, of course; why try to measure cleanliness when the cleaning isn’t finished?

There are actually some good reasons to do so, and a method specifically designed to evaluate cleaning effectiveness during the process. It’s called In Situ Particle Monitoring (ISPM), and it might help you make your cleaning process better.

How It Works

To use ISPM, you’ll need to sample the liquid medium in your ultrasonic cleaner. This should be done by taking a sample from the filtration loop, upstream of the filter. Sampling should take place while components are being cleaned. You’ll usually want to take a single sample, but as we’ll see there can be benefits to sampling multiple times in the same cycle.

Once you have the sample of the cleaning medium, the size and amount of contaminant particles in the medium should be verified. If the usual particle size is easily visible to the naked eye, this can be done with simple visual inspection after passing the liquid through a filtration medium. It’s best to use a lightly-colored or white filtration medium for contrast, and to ensure that the contaminants are spread over a certain measured area (for the sake of consistency) each time you test.

Smaller particle sizes can be counted with low or high-power microscopy, or other validation methods.

What Can We Find Out?

ISPM is simple, and can help an operator evaluate cleaners and processes by allowing an apples to apples comparison.

IPSM can be used to perform A/B testing on the effectiveness of certain detergents or formulations. For example, one can evaluate how quickly and effectively a specific formulation is in relation to another that is cleaning the same objects. This is especially effective if the target objects are sample plates with identical contamination.

IPSM can also be used to evaluate cleaning processes. Samples can be compared in order to determine how well and how quickly ultrasonic cleaning is removing contaminants if a change in frequency, procedure or tank arrangement is being considered.

By evaluating several samples taken during the cycle, you can graph a profile of when the most cleaning is taking place and how effective it is. It may seem that the amount of particles in the medium would just continue to climb, but remember that the filtration system is removing some portion of the particles as the process continues. You’ll usually see a spike at the beginning of the cleaning process, with other particles coming off steadily over time. This can be used to optimize your cleaning time.

Lastly, ISPM can help you monitor the condition of cleaning baths and your filtration systems. Regular checks are simple, and sudden increases in particle count will let you know changes need to be made.


ISPM isn’t as precise as some post-cleaning validation methods and lacks the gee-whiz factor of methods like Surface Ultraviolet Fluorescence, but it provides ultrasonic operators with information they can’t obtain after the cleaning cycle is finished. That makes it a tool to consider as you seek to make the single best industrial cleaning method, ultrasonic cleaning, work even more efficiently for your particular operation.

Why High Frequencies May Not Solve Ultrasonic Cleaning Problems

We’re often asked about cleaning at higher frequencies, and often the assumption behind the question is a natural one: Higher is better. If high frequency sound waves are required in an ultrasonic cleaning process, shouldn’t moving to a higher range produce even better results? Not necessarily. High frequencies are not a silver bullet with ultrasonic cleaning. So let’s look at some reasons why they should or shouldn’t be used.


Ultrasonic cleaning uses a phenomenon called cavitation. Cavitation occurs when high frequency sound waves are introduced into a body of liquid causing millions of tiny bubbles to form. As these bubbles expand and contract they reach a threshold and collapse. This collapse creates high temperature, at a microscopic point with accompanying high velocity jet stream,   (upwards of 5000°C, 600 mph jet stream) to blast contaminants off the surface of the item being cleaned. No matter what frequency you’re using, the acoustic energy must be high enough to reach the threshold to create cavitation.

Therefore, especially for industrial applications, it’s crucial to ensure the ultrasonic generators and transducers are of top quality and deliver efficient acoustic energy for expected precision cleaning results. No matter how powerful the system or what frequency used, if a low percentage of the acoustic energy makes it to the liquid due to inefficient generators or transducers, the performance will be poor. Make sure you buy from a reputable company, one that focuses on designing, developing and manufacturing, and stands by its products with an excellent warranty on its generators and transducers.

You may need a lower frequency

As frequency increases, the cavitation bubble size decreases and becomes less aggressive. The result may be an inability to remove some soils. With 25kHz, the cavitation bubbles are much larger and very aggressive. This is better for more massive parts like engine blocks and dies with tenacious contaminants. But beware that it can damage the surface finish of the part if care is not taken. 25kHz should not be used for parts with a polished finish.

When are high frequencies needed?

Higher frequencies (68kHz to 170kHz) should be used on items that need especially gentle, sub-micron level cleaning. This includes delicate electronics and precision optics. These higher frequencies produce sub-micron sized cavitation bubbles that can navigate the tiniest cracks and crevasses. Higher frequencies are often used to clean pharmaceutical equipment, medical implants, titanium components, delicate electronics and precision optics.

The best all-around frequency

For most applications, 40kHz is the best choice because it has the best balance between power and cavitation bubble size. This is why it is used in over 90% of all industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems. 40kHz Cavitation bubbles are about one micron in size, small enough to get into tiny cracks and blind holes. It’s also powerful enough to remove stubborn contaminants yet gentle enough for all but the most fragile materials.

SIMULTANEOUS MULTI-FREQUENCY® delivers superior performance

Single stacked transducers produce a single frequency which produces a specifically sized cavitation bubble (one micron for 40kHz). Higher end cleaning applications, however, may require sub-micron level cleaning. Ultrasonic Power Corporation’s patented VIBRA-BAR® transducer technology produces SIMULTANEOUS MULTI-FREQUENCY®. With this design, two PZT (piezoelectric transducer) stacks are mounted in a specific pattern. The natural resonance is combined with the propagating energy from the two PZT stacks causing a complex resonance. The result is the base frequency (40kHz) and a range of frequencies from 40kHz to 90kHz. These higher frequencies are able to remove smaller particles than with just a single 40kHz frequency.

Ultrasonic Power Corporation’s SIMULTANEOUS MULTI-FREQUENCY® technology provides multiple frequencies from a single generator and transducer configuration. This is like having multiple frequency generators and transducers in a single package.

Challenges and solutions

No ultrasonic cleaner is worth investing in if it doesn’t deliver results. No matter what your unique cleaning situation, we’re ready to provide the ultrasonic cleaning results that fit your needs, so let’s begin finding a great solution to your cleaning challenges. We like to say “Our Technology, Your Solution”TM Talk with us soon.

How To Evaluate Your Ultrasonic Cleaning Operation For Further Automation

Increased automation is remaking the business landscape. Cleaning, especially ultrasonic cleaning, is an area where automation can provide significant ROI without drastically trimming your workforce.

Deciding how you should automate takes thought and planning. Here are a few questions to ask about your operation:

Are labor rates high?

Many companies depend on experienced—and expensive—technicians for daily production. But a suboptimal cleaning process can put you in a situation where you’re treating a highly competent and highly trained technician like a minimum wage worker.

For example, a jet mechanic working in an aerospace repair facility will be paid an average of $85,000 per year, plus benefits; any time he or she spends scrubbing or loading parts is essentially a loss for the company. Automating those processes therefore brings you high ROI.

Where in your process can labor time be saved?

Examine each step in your cleaning process. What parts are most labor intensive? For instance, are workers hand scrubbing or hand-spraying? Using ultrasonic cleaning will eliminate these steps, as ultrasonic cavitation cleans more completely than even the most careful human, and reaches places they can’t.

If you’re already using ultrasonic cleaning, are you moving items through a series of soaks, cleaning phases and rinses? A custom automated system can be used to move them through the process without a worker involved or even present.

Speaking of monitoring, are there parts of your cleaning process in which someone must monitor or control a machine’s operation? Keep track of how long the items have been in it? In many cases, this expense can be eliminated by using ultrasonic cleaning and/or automation. It’s a simple matter to determine how long your components need to be immersed in an ultrasonic cleaning tank in order to remove all contaminants. Then, a control system such as the Sonic Touch® II can use a countdown timer to end the process after that amount of time.  This saves saves employee time, and saves energy because the unit won’t run any longer than necessary.

Finally, consider what workers could be doing with the time they’re currently spending on monitoring, placing or hand cleaning.

Where in your process can other time be saved?

There may be places in your cleaning process where no worker is spending their time, but time is nonetheless wasted.

For example, you can save time and energy again by using automation to ensure an ultrasonic cleaner is ready in “just in time.” The Sonic Touch® II system features seven day timers for the heating system, pump and filtration system and oil skimmer. If you know components will need cleaning at certain times, you can set the Sonic Touch® II to activate the systems on the appropriate unit just before those times, making it ready right when the components are.

Will reducing handling increase quality?

Consider the nature of the items you’re cleaning. How vulnerable are they to damage from handling during the cleaning process? Some components, such as those that will receive a coating at a later stage, will need to be reworked if someone carelessly dings them or misses contamination or oils during cleaning.

While automation can’t eliminate mistakes, each time you reduce the amount of human handling in your process, you reduce the chance of costly human errors. Plus, you’ve probably freed the worker for another task.

Now that you’ve given the process due consideration, get in touch with us and we can review the best automation options for your firm.


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.”

How Ultrasonic Cleaning Eliminates Harmful Solvents in Aerospace Cleaning

Cleaning with solvents is something nearly every maintenance operation does, from using a spray-on cleaner for electronic components to soaking metal parts in degreasing compound. But as environmental concerns become a greater part of the business equation and the need to cut costs mounts, is there a better method?

There is. Ultrasonic cleaning not only delivers better quality results, it can make your shop greener, safer and less costly to run by eliminating harmful solvents. Let’s first examine the problems solvents cause, then look at how ultrasonic cleaning solves those issues.

Solvents usually require additional cleaning work

Only the most caustic solvents will remove all the grime on components. Additional work by employees or a machine, such as hand scrubbing or spray washing, will cost time and labor.

Many solvents present a danger to employees

At a minimum, most industrial solvents will present a danger to a worker’s skin and eyes, and there may be issues with fumes.

Solvents are often costly to purchase

The cost for the actual solvent may not rank among your greatest expenses, but it can be significant over time. This will be especially true if you use solvents designed to meet green targets.

Solvents may have a high disposal cost

Solvents are usually classified as hazardous waste unless they have a flashpoint above 140 degrees, and as such are expensive to dispose of. Those formulas which are less hazardous also tend to be less effective, which will drive up the costs from additional cleaning. Plus, your state may classify your solvent as “special waste” or some other category and require special handling anyway.

Efforts to preserve your solvent may backfire

The higher the base cost of the solvent and the disposal expense are, the greater the incentive to preserve each batch as long as possible. The problem? Each action to help preserve batches—whether it’s more hand cleaning, filtration, longer soaking, etc.—increases costs elsewhere. In the long run, this may end up costing more than you save. Additionally, if the effort to preserve it goes on too long, the medium may become ineffective, leaving you with a batch of components that needs to be re-cleaned.

So, how does ultrasonic cleaning eliminate these concerns?

Cavitation means you’ll need no additional cleaning work

Ultrasonic cleaning occurs when the sound waves cause microscopic bubbles to form on the surface of the item being cleaned. The wave action also causes the bubbles to collapse. As they do, the liquid rushing into the space blasts contaminants off the surface.

Because the bubbles are microscopic and reach everywhere liquid can reach, additional scrubbing or spraying will not be necessary. Every contaminant on every surface will be removed by ultrasonic cavitation, usually in about five to seven minutes.

Simple detergents are safe and have a much lower cost

Ultrasonic cleaning requires the use of a detergent to facilitate moving contaminants away from the surface being cleaned, but these detergents are quite mild and cost a fraction of what you will pay for organic or petroleum-based solvents. That means no danger to employees, no safety equipment and no safety compliance costs. In addition, since cavitation (not the detergent itself) is doing the heavy lifting, you’ll use much less detergent compared to solvent.

There are no major disposal costs with the typical ultrasonic cleaning bath

A water mix with a mild detergent won’t qualify as a hazardous waste or have any properties making it dangerous to the environment. That means you’ll save the cost of hazardous waste disposal fees.

Frequent changes have a lower cost, so they become a best practice

When both the cleaning medium and disposal of it come with a minimal cost, there’s no need to take actions intended to stretch out its effective life. This can save you labor costs, filtration maintenance and rework, just to name a few possible costs.

The ability of ultrasonic cleaning to remove grime of any type from even inaccessible surfaces makes it the go-to cleaning technology for any technical operation, and eliminating solvents from the equation will save you costs and headaches in the short and long runs. If you’d like to learn more about eliminating harsh chemicals with an ultrasonic cleaning setup, get in touch with us today.