Automotive Ultrasonic Cleaners
Kaijo’s automotive ultrasonic cleaning systems provide a highly efficient and effective method for thoroughly cleaning automotive parts and components.
Parts used in automotive manufacturing, re-building and repairs have to be cleaned before use. New parts used in manufacturing are seldom heavily contaminated but even these parts may have traces of machining compounds, metallic contamination or shop dirt. Parts used in re-building and repair often have heavy deposits of carbon or grease and they may be coated with oil, gasoline remnants or metallic contamination.
Cleaning these parts with traditional methods involves extended soaking in harsh chemicals, pressure washing to remove heavy contamination and manual scrubbing and scraping to clean hard-to-reach places. This method of automotive parts cleaning is expensive and time-consuming.
Ultrasonic cleaning systems work more quickly and clean more effectively than traditional methods. Automotive ultrasonic cleaners use microscopic cavitation bubbles generated by the ultrasonic sound waves in the cleaning solution. These bubbles burst and produce tiny but powerful jets that clean part surfaces. Cleaning is fast and the bubbles act wherever the cleaning solution is present. This means that cleaning takes place inside cavities, in threaded holes, around complex shapes and in similar hard-to-clean places.
After a part is cleaned in an ultrasonic bath, manual scrubbing or other follow-up cleaning action is not necessary. When the right frequency, power and cleaning time are used, ultrasonic cleaning is an ideal solution to automotive parts cleaning applications.
Examples of Using Ultrasonic Cleaners for Automotive Parts Cleaning
Almost all automotive parts can be cleaned with ultrasonic systems, especially some that are difficult to clean well using traditional methods. Automotive shops and restoration facilities can derive the most benefits from the ultrasonic cleaning of parts that include the following:
- Brake cylinders have delicate machined surfaces that could be damaged by mechanical scrubbing, leading to possible reduced brake performance or brake failure. Ultrasonic cleaning removes dirt without damaging the underlying surface. Phenix+, 26kHz
- Fuel injector nozzles can be soaked to remove deposits but the nozzles still have to be cleaned manually. Ultrasonic cleaning saves time by acting inside the nozzles to clean completely. Phenix+, 38kHz
- Cylinder heads need carbon deposits and fuel varnish removed before re-assembly. Cleaning cylinder heads is usually time consuming but ultrasonic cleaners can complete the job in about 40 minutes. Phenix+, 26kHz
- Carburetor components are hard to clean and easy to damage because of the tiny holes, orifices and complex shapes. Ultrasonic cleaners remove fuel deposits, oil and sludge without damaging the delicate parts. Phenix Hyper, 78kHz
- Differential casings and gears can be cleaned ultrasonically without using dangerous solvents to remove gear oil. Inserting new seals and bearings is easier when the parts are completely clean. Phenix+, 26kHz
By cleaning parts quickly and completely without chemicals, automotive ultrasonic cleaners improve output quality, save time, reduce costs, make the work place safer and reduce environmental damage.
How Ultrasonic Cleaners Are Designed for Specific Automotive Applications
Ultrasonic cleaning system performance depends on selecting the right frequency and power for the automotive cleaning application. The systems work by generating microscopic bubbles in the cleaning solution. The bubbles are created when ultrasonic waves pass through water and they deliver a scrubbing action that cleans part surfaces. Low ultrasonic frequencies produce comparatively large bubbles and powerful cleaning. The bubbles from high frequencies are smaller and cleaning is gentler.
As a result, large, robust parts with hard surfaces can be cleaned quickly at low ultrasonic frequencies. More fragile parts or parts with soft surfaces require higher frequencies to clean without part damage. Typical damage includes part surface pitting and breakage of delicate connectors or tiny structures.
Depending on the application, an ultrasonic cleaner can be designed with a single frequency if used consistently for one part, or with multiple frequencies that can be selected depending on the part to be cleaned. In each case, the system power has to be enough to fill the cleaning tank with ultrasonic sound waves.
Additional custom features are also available if needed. For example, a heated tank is useful if hardened grease or deposits have to be removed. The heated cleaning solution softens the deposits and speeds up removal by the ultrasonic cleaner. If parts are contaminated by oily residues, adding a mild detergent to the cleaning solution improves ultrasonic cleaning. An experienced manufacturer can analyze the automotive applications and recommend the appropriate ultrasonic frequencies, system power and additional features.
Automotive Ultrasonic Cleaners Deliver Substantial Cost Savings
Traditional cleaning methods are expensive because of the extensive use of chemicals and manpower. Because ultrasonic cleaners don’t use chemicals, the operating costs are low. Manual cleaning is not required, resulting in savings in time and employee costs. When the total cost of ownership is calculated, ultrasonic cleaners usually come out ahead.
The cost of chemicals includes purchasing the materials but other costs may be even higher. Because many of the chemicals used are hazardous or toxic, special storage and handling facilities are required to guard against spills and accidents. Once the chemical has been used, it has to be disposed of in an environmentally safe manner. These latter costs are constantly increasing as jurisdictions add restrictions and specify new procedures to safeguard the environment. Ultrasonic cleaners don’t have such expenses, resulting in lower total costs.
Soaking and manual cleaning of automotive parts is very time-consuming. Some parts must be scraped and scrubbed by hand while others can be soaked and rinsed or pressure washed. The manpower required to carry out and monitor this work is expensive. Ultrasonic cleaning does not need monitoring and no manual cleaning is required. An operator can place the parts to be cleaned into the cleaning tank, set a timer and leave to do other work. Manpower costs are greatly reduced.
Output Quality is Improved with Ultrasonic Cleaners
Soaking, scrubbing, scraping and pressure washing automotive parts often do not clean off all the contaminants. This is especially true of hard-to-reach and hard-to-clean places such as inside nozzles, inside threaded holes, along grooves or in dead-end holes. When parts are not completely clean, they may cause failures or poor performance once the final assembly is finished and placed into service.
In an effort to get parts completely clean, strong manual scrubbing and scraping may damage parts used for repair or re-building. Surfaces may suffer scratches and tolerances may no longer be accurate. When such damaged parts are used in a finished assembly such as an engine, a differential or a brake assembly, useful life and performance may suffer.
When automotive ultrasonic cleaners are used, parts come out of the cleaning process free from contaminants. An experienced manufacturer can advise on the correct frequency, power and the time it will take to complete the cleaning process. With the right ultrasonic system and timing, even difficult-to-clean places are cleaned completely, down to the original surface. Parts are ready to be used in a final assembly and output quality is higher.
The Use of Automotive Ultrasonic Cleaners Makes the Workplace Safer
Facilities that use harsh chemicals, pressurized cleaning jets and wire brushes have to put in place expensive safety measures to deal with possible accidents. Even then, the workplace is not completely safe. Human error can result in chemical spills and equipment can malfunction. Manual cleaning with wire brushes and the repeated handling of heavy parts can result in accidents and injury. Adhering to safety procedures is time consuming and employees constantly have to be alert for potential problems.
Ultrasonic systems do not have any safety issues. Ultrasonic sound waves are not dangerous and cleaning takes place in plain water or with a mild detergent. Voltage and power are supplied through normal electrical circuits and there are no hazardous materials in the equipment. Operators don’t have to remain to monitor the cleaning process because there are no dangerous conditions that can occur. A facility that uses only ultrasonic systems for parts cleaning is clean and safe.
Kaijo Works With Automotive Industry Customers to Meet Specific Needs
Kaijo has extensive experience in ultrasonic cleaning technology and has broad in-house expertise since the company designs and builds all of its own equipment. Kaijo works closely with customers in industries that can benefit from the use of ultrasonic cleaners and the company can deliver customized equipment that meet the specialized needs of their customers.
For automotive cleaning applications, Kaijo can analyze the application and can make specific recommendations based on the part, material, and nature of the contamination. They can determine the best frequency and power to use and the special features that will optimize cleaning performance. Customers using Kaijo ultrasonic cleaning equipment receive the system that they need and they can be sure that it will meet the cleaning requirements for their application.