Ultrasonic Systems for Precise Cleaning Applications
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How to Select an Ultrasonic Tank for Your Industrial Cleaning Application

October 16, 2018

Ultrasonic cleaning systems are made up of an ultrasonic generator, one or more transducers and a tank to hold the cleaning solution. The generators and transducers produce the ultrasonic waves responsible for cleaning action, but the ultrasonic tank has to be suitable for the cleaning application as well. In a well-designed system, the ultrasonic frequency, system power and tank characteristics all contribute to optimum performance.

Size of Tank and System Flexibility

If the ultrasonic cleaning system is a single use installation, the cleaning tank can be sized to exactly contain the parts normally cleaned. For parts that are long and narrow or odd shapes, custom tanks are the most efficient. For ultrasonic cleaning systems that are used for many different cleaning applications, the choice of tank is critical so as to not limit cleaning system flexibility.

If the size of the largest part to be cleaned is known, the tank can be a standard size that will accommodate this part. For delicate parts or for many small parts, a part basket can be used to hold the parts and prevent them from coming into contact with vibrating tank sides and bottom. The tank then has to be slightly larger to hold the parts inside the part basket. If the tank chosen is very large, more than one transducer may be required to make sure cleaning bubbles are generated evenly throughout the cleaning solution.

Types of Transducer

The type of transducer used impacts the design of the ultrasonic cleaning tank. Transducers can be mounted on the tank, bolted onto the tank or be immersible, independent units. Turnkey installations often have mounted transducers and the system can be plugged in, ready to go. Bolt-on transducers are bolted onto the walls or the bottom of the cleaning tank. They are suitable for clearly defined industrial application and several can be bolted onto a tank to ensure complete and rapid cleaning.

Immersible transducers are the most flexible. The transducer is attached to a cable that plugs into the ultrasonic generator and the immersible transducer can be placed in any tank. Possible configurations include vertical or horizontal immersion, the immersion of several transducers and using immersible transducers in existing cleaning tanks.

Special Requirements

While standard ultrasonic cleaning works to remove contaminants and surface dirt quickly and completely, additional measures such as the use of solvents or heat will improve cleaning performance for some applications. Sometimes hard-to-clean deposits of a specific type or hardened grease or rubbery matter can be cleaned more quickly as long as the tanks have a heater and can support a heated cleaning solution

When a contaminant doesn’t easily dissolve in water and is therefore hard to clean in an ultrasonic water bath, the addition of a mild solvent to remove the dirt can speed up the cleaning process. Often a general purpose solvent such as a mild detergent can be used, but for some applications, a solvent specific to the contaminant is best.

Kaijo Ultrasonic Tanks Meet All the Requirements

Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaning tanks are made from top quality materials and manufactured to the highest standards. They are built to withstand the action of ultrasonic cavitation cleaning bubbles without pitting, are impervious to the solvents that might be used and can hold hot cleaning solutions if required. The tanks are suitable for use with immersible transducers and are available with mounted or bolt-on units.

The company has a complete line of standard ultrasonic cleaning tanks that can be ordered with accessories such as baskets and heaters. For special applications, Kaijo can design and build large or specially shaped tanks and can propose optimum transducer placement, especially if more than one transducer is required. No matter what the cleaning application, Kaijo can propose an ultrasonic cleaning system and make sure it delivers the cleaning performance their customer needs.


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How Do Ultrasonic Cleaning Transducers Work?

September 27, 2018

Ultrasonic cleaning transducershow-do-ultrasonic-cleaning-transducers-work convert the high-frequency electric signal of an ultrasonic cleaning system to sound waves in the cleaning solution. These systems are made up of an ultrasonic generator, a transducer and a tank to hold the cleaning solution. Low frequencies from 20 kHz to about 160 kHz are used for cleaning heavy, hard to clean contamination from robust parts while higher frequencies up to 2MHz are used for gentle cleaning of delicate parts.

The ultrasonic generator produces an electric signal whose voltage varies at the selected ultrasonic frequency. When the voltage is applied to piezoelectric crystals within Kaijo’s transducers, the crystals change shape slightly. As the voltage rises and falls, the crystals lengthen and shorten. As a result, the metal plate attached to the crystals vibrates in tune with the ultrasonic frequency. When the transducer is immersed in the cleaning solution, the vibration of the metal plate produces the ultrasonic waves.

Ultrasonic Cleaning Transducer Features

Ultrasonic transducers have to generate an equal and consistent distribution of sound waves in the cleaning solution while withstanding the vibrations, temperature and cleaning action of the ultrasonic cleaning system. The ultrasonic sound waves create high-energy cavitation bubbles in the cleaning solution, and while these bubbles are responsible for the cleaning action, they can also eat away at materials that are not properly selected. The cleaning solution may contain mild solvents and can be heated for faster cleaning. The ultrasonic transducers have to operate reliably in this environment.

The housing of Kaijo ultrasonic cleaning transducers is made of 316L polished stainless steel so the transducers are not affected by the cleaning solution and can withstand the potential pitting action of the cavitation bubbles. They are hermetically sealed and can operate in cleaning solutions at up to 100 degrees Centigrade. The lower frequency range transducers are available at 600 W and 1200 W while the higher frequency units can handle up to 1200 W. The relatively high power ratings ensure that all parts of the cleaning solution tank receive an even level of ultrasonic waves.

Types of Ultrasonic Cleaning Transducers

Depending on the cleaning application and the different kinds of cleaning required, either immersible, bolt-on or mounted types of transducers can be used. The immersible ultrasonic transducers are independent units and are the most flexible in their application. The bolt-on units are for semi-permanent placement on a cleaning tank and the mounted units are integrated in the tank. Each type is functionally the same but the mounting method is determined by how the ultrasonic cleaning system will be used.

For cleaning applications using existing tanks, the immersible or bolt-on types of transducer are the most appropriate. The immersible type is more flexible and can be placed into different tanks or different transducers can be used for the same tank. These immersible transducers simply attach to the ultrasonic generator with a cable and they can then be moved around and placed into the cleaning solution without any installation procedure. The bolt-on type of transducer is more appropriate for cleaning applications of one particular kind. If the same kinds of parts are cleaned regularly, the frequency, power and cleaning tanks remain unchanged. In this case, the transducers can be bolted onto the tanks and left there. Transducers can be mounted along the walls of the tanks or on the bottom.

Mounted transducers are often integrated into a turnkey system that customers can buy for a specific application. These systems are less flexible but everything needed is functionally matched and included in the turnkey package and offers a cost effective solution.

No matter what the cleaning application requirements are, Kaijo can help customers select ultrasonic products such as generators and transducers or recommend complete systems that will satisfy their needs. Contact Kaijo for a free consultation and quote at 408 675-5575.


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Can Kaijo Create a Custom-Built Ultrasonic Cleaner for My Application?

September 19, 2018

can-kaijo-create-a-custom-built-ultrasonic-cleaner-for-my-applicationWhile standard ultrasonic cleaning solutions are often adequate for many applications, some cleaning tasks can be completed more quickly or more effectively by using custom-built industrial ultrasonic cleaners. Kaijo’s extensive experience with ultrasonic cleaning technology allows the company to analyze cleaning requirements and make the adjustments needed to standard equipment for superior cleaning performance. With Kaijo’s advice, customers can make sure that they get the ultrasonic cleaning system they need and that the system will clean rapidly and completely.

Basic Components and the Customization Process

Ultrasonic cleaning systems are made up of an ultrasonic generator, a cleaning tank and a transducer. Each can be selected from a line of standard components, but custom features can be added, and a custom system can be assembled to respond to unusual cleaning conditions or requirements.

Kaijo’s first step is to look at the cleaning application. Typical factors affecting the cleaning system are the characteristics of the parts to be cleaned, the nature of the dirt or contamination to be removed and whether the system is mainly used for a single cleaning task or whether many different types of cleaning have to be carried out.

Based on these factors, Kaijo decides on the ideal frequencies or frequency ranges as well as the system power. Sometimes one low frequency is ideal for removing tough dirt from rugged parts in a single-use application. For other systems, several higher frequencies or a frequency range may be appropriate for light contaminant removal from delicate parts. At the same time, the system power has to be high enough to evenly fill the tank with ultrasonic waves. Kaijo has the experience necessary to make these selections.

Once Kaijo has chosen the frequencies and the power, the company looks at the physical installation. Here the type of transducer and the kind of tank are important. Transducers can be immersible, bolt-on or mounted on the tank. The tanks could be existing tanks in a cleaning facility or new tanks to be supplied. Sizes of the tanks and materials used can influence the cleaning process. Before selecting any cleaning system components or deciding on customization requirements, Kaijo sets out these characteristics for the system.

Building Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaners from the Components Up

Once the system characteristics are set, Kaijo chooses the components from its complete line of ultrasonic cleaning equipment. The company decides whether standard off-the-shelf components can satisfy the cleaning requirements or whether custom components are required. Generators are selected based on the frequency and power and the degree of automation planned for the system. Transducer choice is based on how they will be mounted in the tank: immersible, bolt-on or mounted units placed on the sides or bottom of the tank. The tanks are selected based on size and material. The system can then be assembled in a standard or custom way.

Customizable Options Include:

  • Top or side mounting of the transducers
  • Holders for objects to be cleaned.
  • Cleaning solution heater
  • Automatic loading and unloading
  • Water Resonance System

Other Ultrasonic Cleaning System Options Include:

  • Multistage cleaning
  • Size of the unit
  • Frame construction
  • Custom color
  • And more…

An Example of a Custom-Built Ultrasonic Cleaning System

One of Kaijo’s customers required the cleaning of a complex object. Kaijo determined that a simultaneous dual frequency system would be the most effective. The company assembled a custom ultrasonic cleaning system with transducers set for sweep-frequency operation side-mounted in a tank fitted with a Water Resonance System. The custom configuration met the cleaning needs for this customer’s application.

Kaijo’s team of specialists can evaluate specific cleaning challenges and create a solution to meet the needs of customers. Contact Kaijo for a free consultation and quote on a custom ultrasonic system designed for your specific cleaning requirements.


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Why Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaners Are Used by Plastic Manufacturers

August 28, 2018

Why Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaners are used by plastic manufacturersManufacturers of plastic products have to clean their equipment between production runs and often have to clean the plastic products they manufacture as well. Also depending on the end use of the products, different standards of cleanliness for the equipment as well as the materials used may apply. Products provided for food or medicine will require high levels of cleanliness while other, less critical applications may not have the same stringent requirements.

Traditional cleaning methods use mechanical scrubbing for rough cleaning, harsh chemicals for dissolving stubborn dirt and other chemicals for sanitary cleaning. These cleaning methods are expensive, not environmentally friendly and may require additional handling and labor. High performance industrial ultrasonic cleaners can deliver different levels of cleaning action by varying the frequencies and the power. They work without harsh chemicals and clean quickly and effectively. Ultrasonic cleaning bubbles responsible for the cleaning action penetrate wherever there is cleaning liquid and cleaning completely removes contaminants down to the plastic base or tool material.

Advantages of Ultrasonic Systems for Cleaning Plastic Products and Manufacturing Equipment

Industrial ultrasonic cleaners consist of a high power ultrasonic generator, a cleaning tank filled with water and an ultrasonic transducer mounted in the tank. A mild solvent may be added to the water to help dissolve some contaminants and the cleaning solution may be heated to soften grease and rubbery deposits. No strong chemicals are used and there is no requirement for mechanical scrubbing. The benefits of using such a system include the following:

  • Reduced costs due to absence of chemicals. No costs for purchase of expensive chemicals or their storage, handling and disposal.
  • Reduced labor costs because no manual scrubbing, scraping or pressure washing is required.
  • Increased worker safety because the ultrasonic cleaning process is completely safe and does not need supervision or monitoring.
  • Less time spent on cleaning because the one-step ultrasonic process is quick.
  • Better cleaning performance because ultrasonic cleaning penetrates into holes and crevices and cleans everywhere, completely.
  • Longer tool and mold life because ultrasonic cleaning does not scratch or otherwise damage the surfaces of tools and molds.
  • Better output quality because the ultrasonic cleaning parameters can be chosen to match specific cleaning requirements by using proper frequencies and power levels.

Once an industrial ultrasonic system has been matched to the requirements of an application by a competent ultrasonic equipment manufacturer, the above benefits automatically flow from the use of the new system. If cleaning applications are varied, such as having to clean a wide variety of products or working with a number of different plastic materials, ultrasonic systems with different power levels and multiple frequencies are available.

Ultrasonic Cleaning Benefits

Plastic manufacturing plants that switch from traditional cleaning methods using chemical baths and mechanical dirt removal to ultrasonic cleaning achieve better facility performance and acquire several competitive advantages. The cost savings from labor and chemicals are substantial but there are additional savings from reduced cleaning times. When the ultrasonic system is adjusted to give the desired cleaning intensity, cleaning performance is better and therefore output quality is improved in general.

Additional improvements are achieved from the ability of ultrasonic systems to clean interior surfaces and hard-to-access areas. With traditional cleaning, such areas were either not cleaned or were cleaned with special tools and measures. Such efforts are no longer required with the new systems.

The key to effectively using an ultrasonic cleaner is to use a system that matches the requirements of the cleaning application. Kaijo has the experience and the complete line of ultrasonic cleaning products to deliver the system that is needed. Using the new system will deliver benefits that come from the advantages of the ultrasonic cleaning technology.


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How to Buy the Right Ultrasonic Cleaner for Your Application -Part 2

August 13, 2018

Ultrasonic cleaning systemsThe most important considerations in choosing an ultrasonic cleaning system are the size of the tank, the frequency of the system and the power it can handle. Accessories such as a cleaning tank temperature heater and a basket to hold the parts must also be considered. Once these basic characteristics are fixed and the type of system required for the cleaning application is clear, additional options are available that may improve cleaning performance and speed up the cleaning process, depending on the parts to be cleaned and the contaminants to be removed.

Cleaning Tank Heater

Ultrasonic cleaners work by generating microscopic bubbles that scrub surfaces clean and remove surface contamination. When contaminants are hard deposits, the bubbles work more slowly because the deposits either absorb some of their energy or are too hard to immediately be broken up and washed away. Typical deposits and contaminants of this type include grease, engine deposits and burnt oil or carbon.

Such contamination is difficult to remove by any cleaning method but heat usually helps soften the deposits or loosen them from the underlying surface. When the cleaning solution of an ultrasonic cleaning system tank is heated, the bubbles act much faster and the cleaning process is completed in less time.

Tank heaters are a useful option for ultrasonic cleaning systems but they have to be designed for the application. The cleaning solution may contain a mild solvent but it is mostly water that boils at 100 degrees centigrade. As a result, the heat settings should be controlled to make sure the cleaning solution does not start boiling.

The cleaning tank also contains ultrasonic transducers that work with electronic parts sensitive to high temperatures. If the cleaning solution is going to be heated to a point just under boiling temperatures, the transducers must be able to withstand 100 degree centigrade heat. For applications that require the tank heater option, making sure that the system is designed to support it is critical.

Using Sweep Frequencies

An ultrasonic cleaning system is designed to operate at a certain frequency at which optimum cleaning results are achieved due to the size of the microscopic bubbles and the cleaning action intensity. At a given frequency, a system may experience a number of unpredictable negative effects. There may be dead spots in the cleaning tank where ultrasonic waves cancel each other out and no cleaning occurs. Resonance vibrations may appear and threaten to damage equipment or the parts to be cleaned. Sweep frequency modes reduce these effects.

When using sweep frequencies, the ultrasonic cleaner frequency varies around a central value. If ultrasonic waves are cancelling out somewhere in the tank, changing the frequency slightly will stop this effect or displace it temporarily to another tank location. Overall, cleaning is more even. Changing the frequency also stops resonance vibrations because they occur at one particular frequency. Using sweep frequencies to continuously vary the operating frequency helps to achieve better cleaning performance.

Water Resonance System

A water resonance system treats water destined for the cleaning tank to promote the formation of cavitation bubbles and help ensure even cleaning action throughout the tank. The water treatment of a water resonance system provides an even distribution of nuclei essential to bubble formation. With the nuclei distributed evenly, bubbles form everywhere in the cleaning solution rather than mainly above the ultrasonic transducer. A water resonance system helps ensure even cleaning action on everything placed in the cleaning tank.

Kaijo Can Provide Ultrasonic Systems as well as Key Options

Kaijo works with many different manufacturers to supply of the right ultrasonic system to meet for their application requirements. The company can supply complete systems from its comprehensive line of ultrasonic products and it has optional features that include tank heaters, use of sweep frequency and water resonance. Specialists at Kaijo also help analyze a customer’s cleaning requirements and propose the most effective ultrasonic cleaning solution based on their specific cleaning requirements.


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How to Buy the Right Ultrasonic Cleaner for Your Application – Part I

July 30, 2018


Ultrasonic Cleaner SystemsIndustrial ultrasonic cleaners can clean parts quickly and completely if they have the right characteristics for the application. Ultrasonic cleaning systems are made up of a generator, one or more transducers, and a cleaning tank. Each component has to be selected correctly and they have to work together for the system to live up to its cleaning potential. Systems can be designed to clean one kind of part or they can be flexible and clean many different kinds. The key to selecting the right system is to be clear about what cleaning has to be done and what the required result should be.

The Cleaning Application

Cleaning parts effectively depends on the kind of part that has to be cleaned and the type of contaminants that are on the parts. When the right industrial ultrasonic cleaner is used, the surfaces of the parts to be cleaned are unaffected while the substances that have to be removed are washed away quickly. Ultrasonic cleaners remove light contamination such as dust, films and residue quickly and completely, even when the parts are odd shapes or have holes, cracks and crevices. The ultrasonic cleaners act wherever the cleaning solution can penetrate so interior cavities are also cleaned as long as the cleaning solution can enter.

When contamination is heavy, additional measures may be appropriate. For thick deposits of oil or grease, heating the cleaning solution helps speed cleaning because the oil and grease become softer and easier to remove. For some difficult deposits, mild solvents that act on the contaminant may also help clean the parts. If a cleaning application falls into these categories, the ultrasonic cleaning system should be able to handle solvents and heat the cleaning solution.

Size and Power

The size of the parts to be cleaned determines the cleaning tank size and influences the power required for the industrial ultrasonic cleaner. For unusually shaped parts, such as long thin parts or large flat ones, a custom tank may be appropriate to avoid having to power a large amount of cleaning solution, most of which is empty. In any case, the tank has to be slightly larger than the longest dimension of the parts to be cleaned.

Larger tanks will need more power but the most important factor is that the ultrasonic waves have to be evenly distributed and reach all sections of the cleaning tank. Too much power may cause pitting on the surfaces of the parts so buying a system with the right power is important. A competent manufacturer can help select the required power levels or recommend a system for which the power level is adjustable, depending on the cleaning application.

How to Immerse the Parts to be Cleaned

Since ultrasonic cleaning is carried out by means of high-frequency sound waves in the cleaning solution, both the tank walls and the parts to be cleaned may vibrate slightly as cleaning takes place. This means parts must be suspended in the cleaning solution to avoid contact between the parts and the tank walls or bottom because the vibrations can cause damage.

A basket that fits inside the tank can hold the parts safely suspended in the cleaning solution but the cleaning tank will have to be slightly larger to accommodate the basket. Baskets are usually stainless steel but they can be coated to hold delicate parts without scratching.

Kaijo’s Experts can Provide Help

With extensive experience in industrial ultrasonic cleaning systems, Kaijo can help customers select the ultrasonic cleaner best suited to their needs. Kaijo will provide free consultation on size, power, baskets as well as the appropriate frequency to use for a given cleaning application. They offer an extensive product line of ultrasonic cleaning equipment to address the needs of many different kinds of industrial cleaning applications.


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Selecting an Ultrasonic Transducer for Your Cleaning Application

July 17, 2018

Ultrasonic cleaning systems are composed of a signal generator, an ultrasonic transducer and a cleaning tank. The transducer changes the electrical high-frequency signal from the generator into ultrasonic sound waves in the cleaning solution. Due to this key role, it is important to choose a transducer that will work well with the generator and cleaning tank but also perform as expected for the cleaning application.

Ultrasonic Cleaning transducers have to deliver ultrasonic power in the liquid of the cleaning tank and withstand difficult operating environments without failure or reduced performance. Different types are available and some may be more suitable for specific cleaning tasks. Getting the best transducer means selecting the right type, designed by an experienced manufacturer and built with high-quality materials.

How an Ultrasonic Transducer Works

Kaijo’s ultrasonic cleaning transducers are made up of an electrical section that receives the electric signal from the ultrasonic generator and a mechanical section that vibrates at high frequency to generate the sound waves in the cleaning solution. Once received, the electric signal is applied across piezoelectric crystals that change the signal into vibrations. A heavy metal sheet is attached to the crystals and amplifies the vibration over a larger area. The whole construction is enclosed in a stainless-steel housing with the vibrations transmitted through the steel to the outside. When the transducer is immersed in the cleaning solution, the vibrations result in corresponding ultrasonic waves in the liquid.

Sound waves are compression waves that travel through the liquid as compression peaks and troughs. In the troughs, cavitation bubbles form due to the low pressure, and the bubbles collapse again in the high-pressure peaks. The collapsing bubbles release an energetic jet of cleaning solution that dislodges dirt and contaminants from the surface of the parts. The scrubbing action of these jets results in effective and rapid cleaning of the parts without damaging the underlying surface. Cleaning is thorough and takes place even in places that are inaccessible for conventional cleaning methods.

Type of Transducers

Different types of ultrasonic cleaning transducers are suitable for different cleaning applications. Kaijo offers immersible transducers, bolt-on transducers or mounted units depending on the cleaning system configuration. The transducers can be purchased separately, as individual units, or as part of a turnkey system.

Immersible transducers are the most flexible. They can be placed in any tank in the cleaning solution and will work whether they are horizontal or vertical, as long as they are completely immersed. These transducers are ideal for installing in an existing tank or an existing cleaning system for which ultrasonic cleaning is being added.

Bolt-on or mounted transducers are more permanently installed and can be part of a new system. The transducers are mounted or bolted onto the walls or bottom of the cleaning tank. For large tanks, several transducers may be needed to evenly fill the tank with ultrasonic waves.

Ultrasonic Transducer Characteristics

Ultrasonic transducers have to withstand the conditions present in the cleaning solution without damage. This means their surfaces have to be immune to pitting from exposure to ultrasonic waves and the housing must be waterproof. Ultrasonic cleaning solutions are sometimes heated and they may contain mild solvents. Transducers should continue to deliver rated performance under such operating conditions.

Kaijo has a complete line of ultrasonic transducers to meet the most demanding industrial cleaning requirements. Typical is the 40 kHz ultrasonic transducer, which will deliver 600 W or 1200 W of power, operate in up to 100 degrees centigrade liquids and which comes in a rugged hermetically sealed 316L stainless steel housing. Kaijo can help customers with their selection of ultrasonic transducers based on the company’s long-standing expertise in the ultrasonic cleaning field and can follow up recommendations with offers from their full line of transducers.

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How Ultrasonic Generators Work to Provide Optimum Cleaning Results

June 27, 2018

Ultrasonic generators produce the high-frequency electric signal that is required for an ultrasonic cleaning system to operate effectively. The devices are powered by normal 60 KHz electric circuits and use electronics to generate ultrasonic frequencies between about 20 kHz and 1 MHz. Piezoelectric or magnetorestrictive transducers convert the electric signal to ultrasonic waves in the cleaning solution. Ultrasonic generators are an important part of the ultrasonic cleaning system as they control the frequency, and also insure that the selected frequency and power output are maintained.

The Role of Ultrasonic Generators in an Ultrasonic Cleaning System

Ultrasonic cleaning systems work by using high-frequency sound waves in a cleaning solution to remove dirt and surface contaminants from a variety of parts and products. When the systems are selected with the right characteristics for an application, they work quickly and efficiently to completely clean items submerged in the cleaning tank. Even irregular parts and components with holes or crevices are cleaned wherever the cleaning solution can penetrate. The systems remove the need for corrosive chemicals, soaking and mechanical scrubbing.

The cleaning performance of ultrasonic cleaning systems depends on the action of cavitation bubbles created by the ultrasonic waves in the cleaning solution. These bubbles form in sound wave pressure troughs and collapse in the pressure peaks, delivering intense scrubbing action on the surfaces of the immersed parts. The transducers placed in the cleaning liquid create the sound waves by vibrating at the selected ultrasonic frequency produced by the ultrasonic generators. The whole system has to have matching characteristics with the frequencies, power, tank size and controls forming an integrated system that works together in a specific cleaning application.

In such a system, the ultrasonic generator plays a key role. Depending on the size of the parts to be cleaned, the nature of the parts, the type of contaminant and the projected use of the system, the generator voltage, power, frequency and other characteristics can be determined. Choosing the right generator affects the performance of the entire system.

How to Choose the Ultrasonic Generator

The ultrasonic frequency generator has to fit into the production environment while at the same time match the cleaning application requirements. Factors making it suitable for a facility include the operating voltage, the size and the type of use. For a particular cleaning application, the selected frequency, power and controls are important. Once the specific cleaning application requirements are defined, selecting the right frequency and corresponding transducers and cleaning tanks is clear.

If a cleaning system is always used the same way, to clean one kind of part made of the same material, a single-frequency generator is the most cost effective option. In manufacturing operations machined parts made from softer metals (i.e. aluminum) will require gentler cleaning from using a higher frequency generator at 78 kHz, while the same part made from a harder metal (i.e. steel) can be cleaned best using of a low frequency generator at 26 kHz. Generally, low frequencies produce intense cleaning action for parts or components made from harder materials while high frequencies provide gentle cleaning of parts or components made from softer materials. In all cases, the ultrasonic generator power must be high enough to fill the cleaning tank with ultrasonic waves, and the system design must ensure that the wave pattern is uniform for the most effective cleaning action.

Kaijo can Help Select the Best Generator

Kaijo’s generators are available as part of a complete ultrasonic cleaning system or as individual components. The complete line of generators ranges from small, desktop units to 1200 W industrial cleaners. Their advanced control systems ensure consistent and quick cleaning action even for difficult cleaning tasks. Kaijo can advise what generators and systems are best suited for a customer’s specific cleaning application and can recommend the corresponding equipment. For a free consultation or quote on using any of Kaijo’s products call 408 675-5575 or email [email protected].

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How to Select the Right Type of Ultrasonic Cleaner

June 19, 2018

Industrial ultrasonic cleaners come in several different types with various configurations and characteristics that are determined by the cleaning application. The size of the cleaning system, its power, its frequency and its controls all influence the system’s cleaning capabilities. Selecting the right type of industrial ultrasonic cleaner is critical to obtaining the best cleaning performance possible.

Type of System

While ultrasonic cleaners all work basically the same way, the different types of cleaning system include desktop or bench top systems, turnkey systems and large industrial systems. For cleaning small parts of one type with the same contaminants, a turnkey desktop unit is often the most suitable. These compact systems are integrated for placing on a small surface and they operate at 120 V and at one frequency. The frequency selected matches the parts to be cleaned and the dirt to be removed while the small tank can clean effectively at comparatively low power.

A bench top system is larger and can be an integrated turnkey system or assembled from individual components. Selecting separate ultrasonic generators and transducers adds flexibility to the cleaning operation and allows the cleaning of many different kinds of parts and the removal of different contaminants. Generators and transducer can be switched to obtain the different frequencies needed or they can operate a several frequencies.

Large industrial systems are characterized by tanks that can accommodate long or bulky products. The ultrasonic generators are mounted separately and several transducers may be required to fill the tank with ultrasonic sound waves. The design of these systems is critical to ensure that ultrasonic cleaning takes place evenly throughout the tank.

Selecting System Characteristics

In order to insure that the selected industrial ultrasonic cleaner works as expected, it has to use the right frequency and provide the required power for the application. Transducers can be mounted in the tank or can be loose, immersible units. The cleaning tank can hold pure water or the cleaning solution can contain mild detergents or solvents. For certain applications, a heated cleaning solution improves cleaning performance.

The cleaning frequency selection is vital for removing dirt quickly and completely while avoiding damage to the objects to be cleaned. Frequencies of around 20 to 40 kHz deliver intense cleaning action that cleans quickly but may erode the surfaces of delicate components. Higher frequencies deliver progressively gentler cleaning but take longer to remove dirt. An ideal selection is the lowest frequency that the part to be cleaned can withstand. Once the frequency is selected, the system power has to be high enough to evenly fill the tank with sound waves. For example, a 1200 W system can handle tanks of several cubic feet.

When existing cleaning tanks are to be used, a separate immersible transducer is often the easiest solution. For systems with new tanks, selecting a tank with the transducer built in avoids problems with transducer placement and vibrations. When a heated cleaning solution is to be used, tanks with heating will be needed and tanks suitable for holding solvents should be used if the cleaning solution will contain solvents.

Special measures such as heating or using mild chemicals can help with difficult cleaning tasks. Heat is useful when cleaning heavy contamination with grease and oil because the higher temperature softens surface contaminants and makes them easier to remove. Specific solvents or detergents aimed at dissolving a particular contaminating material can also speed up cleaning and ensure complete removal of the substance.

No matter which type of ultrasonic cleaner is needed for an application, Kaijo can help with the selection and offers consulting free of charge. Once it is clear what cleaner is needed, Kaijo can offer equipment from its complete line of ultrasonic cleaners and will back up its products with outstanding customer service.

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How Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems Are Used to Clean Industrial Lenses

May 29, 2018

Ultrasonic cleaning systems can clean hard surfaces such as glass lenses quickly and effectively, but if there are any special characteristics of the lenses, choosing the correct ultrasonic frequency, power and bath can be important. Low frequencies may wear away or pit surfaces and hot baths or baths with detergents may dissolve or etch even hard materials. Glass itself is usually not affected by ultrasonic cleaning but special coatings, surface treatments or plastic lenses may be damaged. When there is any doubt, it’s important to get the right ultrasonic cleaning system and use the appropriate frequency and power settings for your specific application.

How Ultrasonic Frequencies Can Clean Lenses

Industrial lenses made only of pure glass are ideal candidates for ultrasonic cleaning. An ultrasonic generator produces the high-frequency electronic signal and a transducer immersed in the ultrasonic bath converts the signal to ultrasonic waves in the liquid. The waves create cavitation bubbles in the pressure troughs of the ultrasonic waves and the bubbles collapse again in the wave pressure peaks. This creation and collapse of microscopic bubbles in time with the ultrasonic frequency produces a powerful scrubbing action against the hard surfaces of the lenses. Anything adhering to the glass is removed.

Lower frequencies produce larger bubbles and a robust cleaning action while high frequencies produce smaller bubbles for more delicate cleaning. The power of the ultrasonic cleaning system impacts the amount of time required for cleaning as well. For some contaminants, such as grease and oily residue, a mild detergent helps the cleaning action as does heating the bath to soften such deposits.

Robust cleaning with the addition of detergents and heat cleans pure glass quickly and completely but when the lens has a treated surface or surface film, these measures may cause damage. A more careful, customized approach is required.

Gentle Cleaning of Delicate Lenses

Measures to safely use ultrasonic cleaning systems on all kinds of industrial lenses start with choosing a system that will clean gently while minimizing the time the lens stays immersed in the cleaning solution. The required ultrasonic frequency has to be high enough to avoid damaging coatings that are softer than pure glass. At the same time, many lens coatings are sensitive to lengthy immersion in water, possibly absorbing water, changing color or detaching from the lens surface. The frequency therefore has to be low enough to clean effectively, rapidly removing the particular kind of contaminant that is present.

While the chosen ultrasonic frequency determines the intensity of the cleaning action, the power of the system influences how quickly cleaning takes place. If the power is too low, too few bubbles are generated and the cleaning process takes longer. Exactly the right power level produces the maximum number of bubbles and the fastest cleaning. Even higher levels of power are wasted and don’t influence the cleaning speed.

Heat and detergents are sometimes incompatible with delicate surface treatments of lenses. If the ultrasonic cleaning system is properly configured for maximum cleaning speed, it is often not necessary to add detergents to the cleaning bath or apply heat. The trade-off between duration of the cleaning process and the addition of detergents or heat can be based on the specific lens treatment that has to undergo cleaning. If the coating is very sensitive to exposure in water, heat and a specially formulated solvent may speed up the process and reduce water exposure. In general, cleaning at room temperature using deionized water is the least aggressive and default solution.

Kaijo Offers Ultrasonic Cleaning System Consulting

Custom ultrasonic cleaning solutions are often the most effective and least damaging when delicate surfaces such as those of non-reflective industrial lenses have to be cleaned. Kaijo can suggest the best ultrasonic systems for specific industrial lens cleaning applications based on the company’s extensive experience in the ultrasonic cleaner field. In addition to finding effective solutions for such cleaning tasks, Kaijo can supply components or systems from its complete line of ultrasonic equipment.

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