Ultrasonic Systems for Precise Cleaning Applications
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Ultrasonic Cleaners for Pharmaceutical Equipment

April 28, 2017

Ultrasonic Cleaners for Pharmaceutical EquipmentPharmaceutics manufacturers have challenging cleaning requirements when equipment such as pill punches and filling machine valves are used with different materials or when they become contaminated with mold or bacteria. Traditional cleaning methods with toxic chemicals bring their own contamination issues, and cleaning by shaking and agitation may not penetrate into inaccessible spaces or hard-to-reach crevices. Industrial ultrasonic cleaners offer an environmentally friendly cleaning solution that removes contaminants thoroughly and quickly at a low operational cost.

Issues With Traditional Cleaning

Exposed pharmaceutical parts such as pill punch dies or containers are usually cleaned with small bristle or wire brushes and solvents. While such cleaning can be effective, it is labor-intensive and slow. When the shapes to be cleaned are more complex and include internal surfaces, such cleaning is often not complete.

For cleaning inaccessible internal surfaces such as the inside of valves or nozzles, strong chemicals acting together with agitation or shaking as well as high impact spray cleaning may be used. The use of these aggressive cleaners required to sterilize the equipment often means technicians have to wear extensive protective gear and even then contaminants may remain in small crevices.

The main issues with this type of traditional cleaning are that it is time-consuming, potentially hazardous, expensive and not completely effective. As a result, costs are high and product quality can suffer. Ultrasonic cleaning can address both these issues.

How Ultrasonic Cleaning Works

Pharmaceutical devices and parts to be cleaned have to be detached and placed in the ultrasonic bath. Pill dies, valves, nozzles and hoses are placed in a stainless steel basket and immersed in a tank containing a water-based solution of a mild detergent. When the ultrasonic cleaning system is switched on, there can be a buzzing depending on the frequency used and a slight agitation of the tank liquid can often be observed.

In the liquid bath, the ultrasonic transducer is converting an electrical signal of perhaps 40 kHz into ultrasonic waves that travel through the liquid. Higher frequencies are used for delicate components while lower frequencies, down to about 20 kHz, are used for the powerful cleaning of rugged parts.

As the sound waves travel through the liquid, they produce microscopic cavitation bubbles whose formation and collapse produce the cleaning action. The bubbles loosen any material, down to the original machined or manufactured surface. The loose material floats away and is filtered out.

The sound waves travel through the parts and create bubbles wherever there is liquid. As a result, even threads, cracks and crevices and internal surfaces are cleaned thoroughly via the bubble action. Depending on the frequency and the power of the ultrasonic system, cleaning can take as little time as ten minutes and for even for challenging applications, the ultrasonic cleaning method works more quickly than traditional cleaning.

Kaijo Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaners

Industrial ultrasonic cleaners from Kaijo can clean pharmaceutical equipment quickly and completely with a low total cost of ownership. Managers and decision makers at pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities can choose turnkey solutions such as the Phenix III system or individual components such as the Quava ultrasonic generator, ultrasonic transducers and cleaning solution tanks.

Buying ultrasonic generators and transducers separately is especially useful when customers want to use existing cleaning tanks in the manufacturing facility. Immersible or bolt-on transducers can be placed in the tanks or bolted on to the sides or bottom. Large tanks can have multiple transducers installed and Kaijo can help configure the appropriate generator and transducer installation.

Whether customers can satisfy their requirements with standard equipment or whether they have custom applications, Kaijo can supply an ultrasonic cleaning solution. The company has over 65 years experience in the field of ultrasonics and supplies pharmaceutical companies with cost effective ultrasonic cleaners to address their specific requirements.

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Using Ultrasonic Cleaners to Clean Carburetors and Engine Parts of Motorcycles and Autos

April 21, 2017

Using Ultrasonic Cleaners to Clean Carburetors and Engine Parts of Motorcycles and AutosThe carburetors and other related engine parts on older or vintage motorcycles and autos are mostly mechanical devices designed to achieve precise fuel-air mixtures for their internal combustion engines. They are built of valves, chambers, floats, jets and other intricately designed components placed together in fine balance.

When a carburetor and other engine parts become greasy and coated with soot from extended use, it can result in difficult starts, poor power delivery and fuel inefficiency, soot-filled exhaust, timing sneezes and overheating. Visible fuel leaks from the carburetor are not uncommon, either. Cleaning carburetors and other engine parts requires the ability to thoroughly clean all surfaces of the component. This can be a tough challenging endeavor.

The conventional way to clean carburetors is to painstakingly disassemble the component to separate every intricate part, and to manually scrub every nook with powerful, hazardous chemicals. The entire process can be very time-consuming. Not only is it very hard taking these intricate components apart, it can be challenging putting them back together, as well. This is where the use of ultrasonic cleaning technology enters the picture.

What is ultrasonic cleaning?

Ultrasonic cleaning technology was first developed by RCA way back in the 30s. In 1957, Kaijo Corporation developed their first ultrasonic cleaner that was the beginning of their product line of industrial ultrasonic cleaners. The use of the Ultrasonics has continually evolved over the years. Many advances in the past decade alone have made the technology particularly accessible and affordable to businesses that would have previously deemed it out of reach.

Ultrasonic cleaning is a powerful, but gentle cleaning method that makes practical use of a natural phenomenon called cavitation. The term refers to the behavior of bubbles in liquid, when they are subjected to intense levels of pressure variation.

When rapid changes of pressure pass through a liquid, the condition creates tiny bubbles that periodically implode to intense shockwaves. The forces generated by such implosions can be great enough to dislodge grease, rust or other stubborn deposits.

While the cavitation phenomenon is one that designers strive to prevent in certain applications such as marine propeller design, it is a useful one when correctly applied to various industrial processes that involve tough cleaning applications.

How does ultrasonic cleaning technology help clean motorcycle and auto carburetors?

Motorcycle and auto carburetors use complex, intricate constructions, and cleaning layers of heavy, burned-on grease can present a challenge to mechanics. It requires the use of ultrasonic cleaning technology to address the cleaning action needed.

Industrial ultrasonic cleaners come with a cleaning tank or bath that includes either a built-in or removable ultrasonic cleaning transducer. The cleaning tank is filled with ordinary water or a mild cleaning solvent, and the carburetor and other engine parts to be cleaned are placed in the tank. The unit generates sound waves of ultrahigh-frequency to rapidly cycle pressure waves in the tank which create a powerful cavitation effect. Millions of tiny, microscopic bubbles form over the surface of the carburetor and other parts implode with strong force, each implosion generating enough power to dislodge the grease, rust or baked-on dirt on the surface.

Since the liquid of the tank and the sound waves passing through it reach every crevice on the surface of and inside the carburetor, there is no area left untouched. In no more than a few minutes, the carburetor and other engine parts emerge clean, completely stripped of grease, rust and other contaminants that were on the surface.

No part is too complex for ultrasonic cleaning. The process can save hours upon hours of human labor.

The benefits of Industrial ultrasonic cleaners

One might imagine that forces of cavitation strong enough to eat grease and rust away would be powerful enough to cause damage to metal, as well. While such an effect is technically possible, it is prevented in practice, by using the right ultrasonic equipment to apply the appropriate frequency and power for the specific cleaning application needed.

Megasonic (frequencies of 200kHz-1.2 MHz) and Ultrasonic (frequencies of 20khz-200kHz) cleaning is one of the most advanced cleaning approaches in existence; such technology is used to clean everything from semiconductor wafers to computer parts, to large rugged industrial parts safely and effectively.

Kaijo’s Industrial ultrasonic cleaners can be used to address a wide variety of motorcycle and automotive cleaning applications. The environmental and monetary benefits of ultrasonic cleaners are also quite significant. The method requires no use of harsh chemicals or solvents, and is therefore healthy both for the environment and for workers. Contact Kaijo for a free consultation or quote on using the right ultrasonic cleaning equipment for your cleaning application.

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