Production Machining

DEC 2014

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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?????? Cleaning Ultrasonic Cleaning :: 45 history on it for future clients as well. Often, it will fnd a successful process; sometimes it won't. Sometimes ultra- sound and water is not the right ft and solvents must be used. Sometimes ultrasound is not the right ft at all. Mr. Pedefous provides one example of a customer who badly wanted to use soap and water to avoid the expense of solvent disposal. "It was a carbon steel part, and with water-based chemistries, we couldn't keep rust from forming," he says. "Te appli- cation wasn't a good ft, so the customer had to go with a vapor degreasing system." With the selection and purchase of any capital equip- ment, certain tools are better than others for each specifc application. Ultrasonic cleaning systems are no diferent. Many systems are available on the market from a variety of manufacturers. Beyond knowing the application requirements, here are the main considerations for choosing an ultrasonic system that best fts a shop's needs. Tank Size: Larger tanks cost more money, so usually, the smaller the better as long as there is enough space around the parts for the ultrasonic waves to properly penetrate and clean. Tank Wall Tickness: Reducing the thickness of the stain- less steel holding tank walls can reduce system costs, but thinner walls are more vulnerable to stress— and potential leaks—from the high frequency vibration of the transducers. Number of Transducers: A system with fewer transducers can be initially less expensive, but more transducers provide a more complete and faster cleaning process. A system should have enough transducers to generate sound waves to reach the parts from all angles. Temperature Control: Ultrasonic cleaning is generally most efective between 110°F and 150°F. A system that can maintain constant temperature levels in that range can provide predictable, efective results. Circulating Filtration System: As contaminants are removed from parts, they fall to the bottom of the tank, foat around in the cleaning solution, or foat on top (oils and greases). If they are not removed, they will eventually build up and inhibit A shop may purchase a cleaning system today that meets its current needs, but requirements may change through time. Often the situation can be remedied with a change in the software, or chemistry. "One day you're writing papers with Microsoft Word, but later, you need to do some accounting or spreadsheets," Mr. Pedefous says. "You don't buy a new computer. You add QuickBooks or Excel. Generally, a shop's machining operations don't change all that much. It's not likely to suddenly need a cleaning system with a lot more power. If anything needs to be changed, it's likely the chemistry." Cleaning System Selection When shopping for an ultrasonics system, communication with an experienced supplier can make a big diference. If the supplier has previously worked with a customer on a similar application, they should have a good understanding of what type of cleaning system, process and chemistry would be most efective. If not, the supplier should be able to help fgure it out through testing. Mr. Pedefous explains, "We have a testing lab, so even if we have never cleaned a particular type of part, customers can send us parts to experiment with and fnd the right mix of chemistry, time and temperature. We can clean the parts in diferent batches to try diferent process combinations, then give them back to the customer for analysis so they can decide which parameters worked best for their needs." Once a supplier has tested a particular item, it has some :: When purchasing an ultrasonic system, variables such as tank size and wall thickness, number of transducers, fltering system, temperature control, and available accessories should be considered. "A shop is not likely to suddenly need a cleaning system with a lot more power. If anything needs to be changed, it's likely the chemistry."

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