August 28, 2017
Ultrasonic cleaning systems can clean parts and components quickly, thoroughly and without chemicals or manual brushing. The systems work by placing items to be cleaned in a water bath and using ultrasonic sound waves in the liquid to dislodge contaminants. Properly selected and installed ultrasonic cleaners can reduce cleaning costs substantially and increase the efficiency of many production lines or manufacturing processes. Even shops needing a variety of parts cleaned on a regular basis can benefit from using these systems. Once installed and setup using the appropriate frequency and power levels for the specific application, cleaning is done rapidly and effectively.
Ultrasonic cleaning systems use cavitation bubbles generated in the cleaning liquid by the ultrasonic sound waves. These microscopic bubbles scrub contaminants from the surfaces of the parts to be cleaned. The bubbles attack the surface dirt everywhere, even in holes and other difficult-to-reach places. Some of the dirt dissolves and the rest can be rinsed away. This process is quick and cleans completely.
The time savings come from no longer having to soak parts in chemical baths to soften the dirt. Subsequent manual cleaning with pressure sprays and scrubbing is eliminated. Instead, operators can fill the ultrasonic baths, place the parts in a basket in the liquid and set a timer. For contaminants that dissolve or soften with heat, a mild detergent and heating the bath can speed cleaning. Typical cleaning times range from 10 to 20 minutes but can vary with the severity of the contamination and the nature of the dirt. For all but the simplest rinsing jobs, this represents a large saving over traditional cleaning methods.
Cost savings come from multiple sources. Water and power use are reduced and the use of harsh, expensive chemicals is eliminated. The whole cleaning process becomes safer and more environmentally friendly. Depending on the cleaning chemicals used previously, a variety of chemical handling equipment may no longer be needed.
High performance ultrasonic cleaning systems use less power because a typical ultrasonic generator is rated up to 1200 Watts. Very large baths may need several generators but the power used is much less than that used by the equipment of conventional cleaning systems. Water use is lower because only a single bath volume is needed for cleaning. Chemical baths need several bath volumes for soaking, cleaning and neutralizing. The reduced power and water use translate into cost savings.
Major reductions in cost are associated with the elimination of harsh chemicals. The chemicals themselves are expensive but such substances require equipment for storage handling and disposition. Dangerous chemicals have to be stored safely and need special chemical handling facilities. After they’re used in cleaning, they often have to be neutralized with other chemicals and disposed of in an approved fashion. Any spills or other accidents can be extremely costly.
Even if an ultrasonic cleaning solution needs detergents to clean more effectively, these are mild, environmentally safe and inexpensive. Depending on what chemical and mechanical cleaning method is being replaced, cost savings may vary but they almost always justify the purchase of an ultrasonic cleaning system.
Kaijo Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems
Kaijo can help plant managers explore the cleaning requirements of their operations and suggest ultrasonic cleaning solutions. The company offers free consultations and can advise on what is needed for a customer-specific installation. Kaijo has a wide range of state-of-the-art ultrasonic cleaning systems and consistently innovates to meet the needs of customers. From small, self-contained turnkey systems to large installations using existing cleaning tanks, Kaijo can evaluate customer requirements and propose a cost-effective ultrasonic cleaning system.