November 5, 2020
The automotive industry has varied cleaning requirements for automotive parts and re-built components. Cleaning applications may range from rugged engine parts with hard steel surfaces to more delicate parts with special finishes or coatings. Automotive ultrasonic cleaners can be custom-designed to handle such special applications, and customized systems can often deliver improved cleaning performance. Kaijo has extensive experience with custom-built ultrasonic cleaners and can make sure that the ultrasonic system will perform as needed.
Basic System Configuration
Customized automotive ultrasonic cleaners can be designed with basic parameters that ideally match the cleaning application. A low frequency of 26 kHz and 38kHz cleans robust, heavily contaminated parts while higher frequencies such as 78 kHz sweep frequency is best cleaning more delicate components such as aluminum parts. The size of the tank has to accommodate the largest parts to be cleaned, and if a holder or basket is used to contain the parts, the tank has to be big enough for the holder or basket. Finally, system power has to be high enough to completely fill the tank with ultrasonic waves.
The parts to be cleaned are immersed in the cleaning solution contained in the cleaning tank. Standard tanks are gloss polished 12 gauge stainless steel but other materials can be used if the cleaning application calls for it. Tanks can be ambient temperature or heated and they can include circulating pumps with filtration. Depending on the type of contamination, heating the cleaning solution can soften it and speed up cleaning. Filtration can remove dirt as it is loosened from the automotive parts.
Transducers convert the electrical signal from the ultrasonic generator into sound waves that travel throughout the cleaning solution. Transducers can be permanently installed, bolt-on or immersible. Installed and bolt-on transducers can be placed at the bottom or on the sides of the tanks while immersible transducers are placed directly into the cleaning solution.
Immersible transducers are the most flexible because they are easily exchanged and can be placed into existing tanks. If several frequencies are to be used, transducers that can handle many frequencies or a range of frequencies are the best choice.
Some automotive production lines require cleaning of a specific part while others may have large volumes of several parts to be cleaned regularly. Small shops may have to clean a wide variety of parts, some heavily contaminated and others only requiring the removal of a greasy film. Contaminants may be predictable or they may vary, depending on the job. These factors influence how the parts are handled and extensive customization is usually required.
High volume productions lines dealing with one or several parts can load the parts to be cleaned into the cleaning bath and unload them automatically. The parts volume and level of contamination remain the same with a predictable loading process and cleaning time. For unique parts or small volumes of varied parts, manual loading is more appropriate and the cleaning times will vary as well.
Other Custom Options
Other possibilities for customization of automotive ultrasonic cleaners include physical characteristics and special processing options. The physical arrangement can be adapted to existing available space and components such as transducers can be customized to be placed in existing tanks. The equipment can be a customized frame construction and custom colors are available.
Process options include the Kaijo Water Resonance System that improves cleaning performance, agitation of the cleaning solution, rinsing of the cleaned parts and multistage cleaning for heavy contamination or cleaning of several different contaminants. Kaijo has the in house capabilities to evaluate customization requirements and to build the required special automotive cleaning equipment. The company can adapt its equipment as necessary and ensure that the custom solutions deliver the expected performance.