December 28, 2016
Manufacturers of plastic products need effective cleaning solutions to keep their fabrication processes running efficiently. Molds used for creating the plastic shapes and tools used in finishing the plastic products require cleaning before the next production run. Harsh chemicals combined with manual or machine scrubbing can clean molds and tools but such cleaning is time-consuming and can damage tools and mold surfaces. Ultrasonic cleaning systems offer a solution that combines effective cleaning performance with ease of use. These systems can clean more completely, more rapidly and with a lower operating cost than traditional cleaning systems. Factors such as these make ultrasonic cleaning the preferred solution for the plastic manufacturing industry.
How Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems Work
When choosing a system, plastic manufacturers first have to select a tank big enough to hold their largest molds and tools. Ultrasonic transducers are then placed into or bolted onto the tank. An ultrasonic generator delivers high frequency electrical signals to the transducers, which convert them into sound waves that travel through the cleaning solution in the tank. These sound waves create tiny bubbles that act on the surfaces to be cleaned and remove contaminants and dirt. The scrubbing action of the bubbles is powerful enough to clean parts down to the original surface within ten or fifteen minutes. The process is safe, environmentally friendly and doesn’t damage molds and tools.
Choosing the Ultrasonic Frequency and Power
Ultrasonic cleaning systems typically operate at frequencies as low as 20 kHz and as high as 1.6 MHz. The highest frequencies deliver smaller bubbles and a gentle cleaning action suitable for delicate items such as microelectronics. The lower frequencies produce larger bubbles that clean with a strong and robust action. Because molds and tool parts are not delicate, the ultrasonic cleaners appropriate for plastic manufacturing operate between 20 kHz and 40 kHz. These systems deliver powerful cleaning without affecting the surfaces of the molds and tools to be cleaned. If a manufacturer has to clean delicate parts, multi-frequency systems with optional higher frequencies are available.
While the ultrasonic frequency determines the strength of the cleaning action of the bubbles, the number of bubbles is determined by the power of the ultrasonic system. Large tanks may need several transducers for optimal cleaning power that can reach several thousand watts. Suppliers of ultrasonic cleaning systems can suggest configurations for existing tanks or turnkey systems including the cleaning tanks for use in plastic manufacturing applications.
Advantages and Benefits
Ultrasonic cleaning systems have a number of advantages over traditional methods of cleaning molds and tools and they deliver several benefits:
- Completely non-abrasive when the frequency is matched to the cleaning application.
- Quiet operation at frequencies over 30 kHz.
- Leaves no contamination or residue.
- Uses no hazardous chemicals.
- Does not need continuous monitoring or supervision.
- Cleans well inside holes and crevices.
- Completely safe and environmentally friendly.
Plastic manufacturers can use ultrasonic cleaning systems to reduce manpower via a higher degree of automatic control and monitoring and they can reduce operating costs by reducing the use of cleaning chemicals.
Kaijo’s Ultrasonic Cleaning System Solution
Kaijo ultrasonic cleaning systems combine advanced technology with ease of use and low cost of ownership. Kaijo offers a complete range of both turnkey ultrasonic systems and ultrasonic system components as well as advice on how to install such systems in a plastic manufacturing environment. The company can make sure that their systems improve mold and tool cleaning efficiency and help reduce costs while increasing productivity. If you would like a free quote or consultation or want to learn how ultrasonic cleaning technology can be used for your cleaning applications call Kaijo or email [email protected].