September 24, 2019
Incomplete cleaning of tools and parts used in manufacturing production lines can lead to down times and slow operation. When parts such as injection molds are not cleaned completely, products may be defective, and the molds might be damaged. Finding and solving such cleaning problems reduces manufacturing line productivity and results in production delays. The use of ultrasonic cleaning systems can ensure injection molds and similar parts are completely and effectively cleaned. The routine use of ultrasonic cleaners provides a proactive process to eliminating delays due to the presence of contaminants on manufacturing line components.
The Advantages of Cleaning Parts with Ultrasonic Systems
Ultrasonic cleaning systems clean quickly and completely without the use of harsh or toxic chemicals. Parts such as injection molds are immersed in a cleaning solution in the ultrasonic cleaning system tank. Cleaning time can range from ten minutes to about an hour, depending on the material of the part to be cleaned as well as the amount and type of contaminant.
The cleaning solution can be pure water, but the addition of a mild detergent or solvent can speed up the cleaning process. Ultrasonic cleaning relies on the mechanical action of cavitation bubbles that form and burst in the cleaning solution. The bubble cleaning action does not need aggressive chemicals. Operator safety is increased and costs from chemical storage, handling and disposal are eliminated.
The cleaning bubbles are generated wherever cleaning solution is present. This means ultrasonic cleaning systems can remove contamination in difficult to reach places such as dead end holes, narrow cracks and small interior crevices. Even hard-to-clean surfaces such as textures or threaded holes are cleaned completely using ultrasonic cleaning technology.
How Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems Work
Items to be cleaned are immersed in the cleaning solution in the ultrasonic cleaning system tank. Parts should be placed on a rack or in a basket to avoid being damaged through vibration against the tank floor or walls. The cleaning process can run unsupervised until a timer switches it off.
Tank size and system power are critical for ensuring flexible use of the system. If cleaning is limited to specific items, tanks can be selected to accommodate them. If many different parts are to be cleaned, tanks have to be large enough to fit the longest dimension of the largest part. In either case, the system power has to be able to fill the tank liquid with ultrasonic waves.
For general-purpose cleaning, a mild water-based detergent can speed up the cleaning process. For specific contaminants, specialty detergents can remove them in a targeted fashion. Particle contamination can usually be removed with pure water while heavy, encrusted dirt may require a mild solvent.
The removal of grease and oily deposits is made easier when the cleaning solution is heated. Heat softens the grease and oil contamination and speeds up removal via the ultrasonic system cavitation bubbles. Such systems must have tank heaters installed and a heater control system keeping the cleaning solution temperature at around 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the cleaning process is complete, the cleaned parts can be placed in a rinsing bath to remove any remaining loose dirt. Depending on the part, it can then be placed in a dryer as needed. The ultrasonic cleaning process is quick, safe and inexpensive.
Kaijo Can Help
Kaijo can help manufacturers switch to ultrasonic cleaning for injection molds and other manufacturing line tools. The company has an extensive line of ultrasonic cleaning systems and components as well as the in house expertise to propose suitable solutions for specific applications. Choosing the right ultrasonic cleaning system for a manufacturing line can help eliminate down time and production delays. For a free consultation or quote contact Kaijo at 408 675-5575 or email [email protected].