Select an Efficient Cleaning System

For a shop to be as efficient as possible, management must take all aspects of the company into consideration, including its parts cleaning processes.


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For a shop to be as efficient as possible, management must take all aspects of the company into consideration, including its parts cleaning processes. It must ensure that the parts that are shipped comply with the cleanliness requirements of the customer, whether the parts are complete or moving to another process, such as coating or plating.

First, knowing what type of cleaning system best suits the parts manufactured is critical to success and efficiency. Parts cleaning methods include the use of water-based or solvent-based chemicals, and within those two categories are a number of variables. With water-based products, the degree of pH in the detergent should be matched appropriately with the metal involved. High alkaline solutions can etch or discolor soft materials, while hard metals may need a high pH to effectively remove coolant residue.

Using solvent-based chemicals might be the only way to thoroughly clean parts that have been machined in oil-based coolants, have complex geometry or are made from metals that don’t react well with aqueous solutions. Hydrocarbons and modified alcohol solvents are the chemicals of choice in many parts cleaning operations.

Mechanical action such as high-pressure sprays, agitating the chemical bath or rotating the basket within a cleansing chamber may be necessary for effectively cleansing certain parts. Ultrasound is another method of breaking away loose contaminants.

To get a deeper look into how to select a cleaning system, especially for small parts, read “Selecting a Cleaning System for Small Parts.” 

Read “Selecting Solvents for Precision Cleaning” to learn about stringent standards and solvent selection.

For more articles about cleaning, including cleaning products, suppliers, and more, visit PM’s Parts Cleaning Equipment Zone

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Selecting a Cleaning System for Small Parts

A multitude of different systems and cleaning technologies are available for getting dirty parts clean. To budget funds appropriately for the right system, it is important to carefully evaluate all variables surrounding getting the parts clean and dry.