Cleaning parts to meet specifications is a critical step in the production process. There are well established methods – Spray washing and Immersion-Agitation Cleaning (also known as Dunk Tank Washing). The key question in cleaning is “what’s the best method of getting the solution to all surface areas that need must be cleaned?” Answering this question helps determine whether immersion-agitation or spray is most appropriate.
Immersion-agitation is very effective with complex geometries with open access to external and internal surfaces. For example a part with internal thru-ports (as opposed to blind holes) and threaded areas is a prime candidate for dunking.
The advantage of Immersion-Agitation over Spray:
Immersion effectively handles a wide range of chemistries — both aqueous based and volatile or solvent based. Immersion-Agitation utilizes a platform to hold either individual parts or a basket of parts. The platform submerges into the cleaning fluid and begins an up-and-down movement which introduces a mechanical scrubbing action to move debris and contaminants off the parts. The flow of the fluid flushes any loosened debris away from the parts surface.
Today’s immersion cleaning processes can be quite sophisticated, adding basket rotation or ultrasonic action to individual stages.
The advantage of Spray over Immersion:
In spray washing multiple operations (wash, rinse, dry) can be completed in a single, small cabinet saving substantial floor space. A basket holds the parts and rotates while spray nozzles directed from top, bottom and sides contact all exposed areas of the parts. In cabinets there are two available cleaning styles — flood washing which uses a high volume of fluid at a low pressure and impact washing which uses low volumes of fluid at high pressure. Spray washing is most effective on single layers of parts.
Spray Cabinet Washer
Cleaning is so advanced now. Choice of equipment, chemistry selection, parts configuration, material handling, available floor space and desired cleaning results are all factors to consider. The process can seem overwhelming. Eliciting help from a knowledgeable distributor and their partner manufacturers is an excellent course of action. Both are highly motivated to define the process goals and design & develop the proper system to make the cleaning process user friendly and deliver reliable, repeatable results.