Cleaning Exhibits Emphasize Precision, Automation and Environmental Safety
Some parts cleaning exhibitors say the biggest trends they are experiencing include more automated equipment, the need for precision cleaning for smaller particle counts than in the past and growing demands for using more green and neutral-based cleaners.
Like other technologies found at IMTS, parts cleaning technologies are constantly evolving. This year, some parts cleaning exhibitors say the biggest trends they are experiencing include more automated equipment, the need for precision cleaning for smaller particle counts than in the past, and growing demands for using more green and neutral-based cleaners.
Dave Melton, marketing manager with Cleaning Technologies Group, says he has seen cleaning equipment change drastically over the past few years. “Cleaning machines have adapted automation, combined technologies and include more sophisticated filtration systems to help address more critical areas.” Cleaning Technologies Group’s Aquarius Series multi-tank ultrasonic cleaning systems, for example, combine into one unit ultrasonic cleaning with rinsing, drying and other processing steps. The system also has an automated robotic transfer, an environmental enclosure and a deionized water system.
Kyzen’s chemistry for vacuum degreasers meet customers’ needs as well as a safe and environmentally acceptable alternative to available solvents. New vacuum degreasers in the market provide parts cleaning in an enclosed vessel that reduces fugitive emissions from the system while isolating the operator from the process. “The preferred solvents are modified alcohols or hydrocarbon products that are environmentally preferred over traditional solvents,” says Joe McChesney, global product line manager, solvents at KYZEN (booth 121033). Kyzen also offers a range of aqueous solutions as well as an extensive line of corrosion preventatives.
Also, vacuum degreasers offer rotation, ultrasonics, multi-stage immersion flood cycles, spray-in-air, vapor-only, and drying all in one chamber.
Not only are parts cleaning machines and chemistries expected to be environmentally-friendly, but parts assembly areas are as well, according to Peter Feamster, product management director with Jomesa North America Inc. Jomesa’s microscopic filter analysis systems look for particles on critical parts. “Fibers present on the filters cause problems with the results; fibers are not considered critical particles and therefore are disregarded from the specification,” Feamster says. “However, they overlap critical particles and cause measurement errors and longer processing time. So, the more control over the airborne particles that you have, the less noise you will have to sift through on your filter analysis.” He says fibers come from a number of sources, but mostly they come from the cleanliness testing personnel’s clothing or the analysis environment in general. The company’s new PSE (precision scan for elements) is one of the systems on display in Jomesa’s booth, designed to share a database with the company’s optical HFD system in order to quickly locate and analyze particles identified with the HFD system. “The PSE communicates the interesting particle coordinates to the system and performs a detailed analysis only on these particles,” Feamster says. “This saves hours of wait time and achieves the desired analysis.”
Frank Pedeflous, president of Omegasonics, believes that the biggest trend currently in the parts cleaning sector is the demand for more thorough cleaning. “Components throughout most industries are getting smaller and requiring precision cleaning to a smaller particle count,” he says. Omegasonics is displaying its Viking line of multi-stage ultrasonic cleaning stations in its booth that are designed for manufacturers that require components to undergo rigorous cleaning. These cleaning stations are especially useful for precision parts since they use multiple washes and rinses and high-efficiency parts drying.