An industrial parts washer removes contaminants such as oil, grease and lubricants from the surface of industrial parts. Parts cleaning and degreasing is a critical step in industrial manufacturing prior to many other surface finishing processes, such as electropolishing, passivation, anodizing or powder coating.
Best Technology offers the industry’s leading parts cleaning equipment and parts washing systems. Types of industrial parts washers include: single-tank agitated immersion, multi-tank agitated immersion, and automated agitated immersion equipment and systems. All of our part cleaner systems utilize top-performing chemistries.
Which industrial parts washer is right for you?
Best Technology is a parts washer manufacturer of both parts cleaning tanks and entire systems. The ideal parts cleaner machine you need for your application will depend on the quantity and size of automotive, heavy manufacturing or industrial parts that need to be washed, as well as the soils to be removed.
With parts washer solution capacities varying from 20 gallons to 1000+ gallons that can handle aqueous or solvent-based solutions, we can easily help you find a parts washer machine with the right features you need. Get great quality industrial parts washers at great prices from Best Technology.
Parts cleaning equipment is available in a variety of configurations, with one or more industrial wash tanks depending on the application. Click on images below to learn more about each type of industrial part washer machine.
Removing oils and greases with a parts cleaning machine
A popular option for industrial parts washers is an oil removal system. For parts that are heavily soiled with oils and grease, an oil removal system such as a disc / belt skimmer or oil coalescer keeps the wash chemistries clean for longer use. An oil coalescer allows for extraction of heavy oils and return of the aqueous wash chemistry back into the wash tank.
Applicable Parts Washing Case Studies
- Pipe and Tube Cleaning Equipment
- Machine Shop Parts Washer for True Oil and Water Soluble Precision Parts
- Automotive Parts Washer Cleaning System for Turbocharger & Engine Rebuild
- Fully Automated Indexing Agitated Immersion Wash, Rinse, Dry Parts Washer
Parts Cleaning Equipment & Process FAQs
What is ultrasonic degassing? How to degas ultrasonic cleaning tanks
What is degassing? For ultrasonic cleaning equipment, degassing is the process of removing gases such as air dissolved in a liquid cleaning solution.
Air and other gases dissolved in a cleaning solution will impact performance of ultrasonic cleaning tanks. Gases in the cleaning solution absorb some of the cavitation energy that would otherwise go toward cleaning, and thus reduce effectiveness. Removal of these gases from the cleaning solution will result in maximum ultrasonic cleaning performance.
Any water that comes from a pressurized water supply will naturally contain dissolved gases, and therefore the water will need to be degassed when first dispensed.
Options to degas ultrasonic cleaning tanks
- Let it sit – Degassing solution is easily achieved by letting the solution sit out for a number of hours. This is why a glass of water tastes “different” when first out of the faucet vs. drinking it hours later.
- Let it run – Run the ultrasonics just as you would ordinarily, but without the parts to be cleaned. Running the ultrasonics will expedite the degas process significantly, typically down to 5-10 minutes. Keep in mind that the cleaning solution only needs to be degassed when first dispensed from a pressurized supply.
- Fast degas ultrasonic cleaning system – Although 5-10 minutes is much shorter than hours, it’s still too long to wait for our parts cleaner machines to degas each time the solution is pumped from the storage tank to the process tank of the ultrasonic cleaning system. Our system features a fast-degas feature at the start of the ultrasonic cycle which allows the solution to degas in a matter of seconds vs. minutes.
The fast degas feature can be heard in the video below. Note high pitch of ultrasonic degassing and tuning amplified for video demonstration.
How to tell if a solution is degassed or not?
The cleaning solution de-gases simply by releasing the dissolved and entrapped air in the solution. During a degas process with ultrasonics, fine bubbles will suddenly appear and begin to rise to the surface of the solution (similar to that seen after first pouring a glass of beer). This implosion or cavitation of the solution with dissolved gases can result in a high-pitched audible sound from the ultrasonic tank until the solution is degassed as heard in the video above.
Once a solution or fluid is degassed either by letting it sit, ultrasonic cavitation energy, or heating, it does not need to be degassed again unless the solution replaced with new fluid.
Why are automated systems easier to process validate than manual equipment?
Process control and stability are critical aspects to regulated medical device and aerospace processes. It is important to ensure that a process has input and output variable limits which are defined and fully tested during process design, Equipment Qualification (IQ), Operational Qualification (OQ) and Process Qualification (PQ) validation testing. Setting up a proper DOE (Design of experiments) to test these limits is also important as the results of the DOE will give statistical confidence intervals of the limits.
Being that operators and employees perform various process operations different no matter how instructed in work instructions, the variation of operators must also be captured during process qualification (PQ) validation. An automated system typically eliminates many of the operator variability in the manufacturing process and this process “input” elimination also allows for tighter process output controls.
For example, in our automated passivation system, the elimination of relying on an operator to move the parts basket from stage to stage ensures that the parts remain in the appropriate (wash, rinse, acid passivation, etc) solutions for the process defined times and in accordance with the proper ASTM A967, AMS2700, etc specification. If a parts basket is immersed in the acid passivation solution too short or long duration, the passivation can likely fail and be outside specification limits.
Why does spotting occur on parts after washing and DI rinse?
There are three ways that spotting can occur:
- If there is soil introduced with the rinse (ie: contaminants in the DI bath),
- If soil is introduced in the air stream (ie: either present in the atmosphere and blown onto the parts or circulated from the air supply into the heater and blown onto the parts), or
- If soil is left as residue from the wash process (this could either be soil that was originally on the parts and not completely washed off or it could be residue from the cleaning chemistry that is not completely rinsed off).
Why are two rinses often recommended after wash cycles?
When parts are washed the parts themselves, as well as the basket they are in, carry some of the wash with them into the rinse tank. This “drag out” means that the rinse solution has to be constantly replaced or will simply become less and less clean over time. The biggest issue is not that the parts will be rinsed off, but that when the parts are withdrawn from the rinse tank, they may have soil redeposited on them. Once the parts are dried this soil can cause spotting on the surface of the otherwise clean parts. A second rinse bath produces a much cleaner final product by rinsing off the soil that is redeposited during the first rinse.
Often times, the second rinse tank includes a heated facility water inlet which constantly overflows the second rinse tank with small amounts of water to ensure water cleanliness. The second rinse tank overflow is sent to rinse tank 1 and then rinse tank 1 overflows to drain. This cascade overflow process ensures constant water quality over time no matter the amount of drag out on the parts and baskets.
What’s the difference between solvent-based cleaning and aqueous cleaning?
There is an old saying when it comes to parts cleaning: “Like dissolves like”.
This comes from the world of chemistry, and is really quite a simple and useful phrase to remember. In chemistry molecules are described as being polar or non-polar. (Think north and south pole on the Earth) Polar molecules have a polarity that causes them to attract other molecules that have polarity, while non-polar molecules do not.
Water is a polar molecule. Oil is not. At the molecular level this is why “oil and water don’t mix”. Chemically they are dissimilar and cannot absorb each others molecules. By contrast salt IS polar; this is why you can dissolve salt in water.
So when should you use aqueous cleaning and when should you try cleaning with solvents? Solvent based cleaning systems (like Vapor Degreasers) are used when you need to clean true oils from your manufactured parts. Aqueous Cleaning Systems are used to clean water based materials from your parts.
How does a vapor degreaser work?
If you’ve ever been wearing glasses as you walked into an air-conditioned building on a hot summer day, you already have a good understanding of part of how the vapor degreaser process works. (For those in colder climates, walking outside while wearing glasses on a cold winter day is an even better example.)
So, how does a vapor degreaser work? The vapor degreasing process is a cleaning process that uses solvent vapors (boiled solvent) rather than water to clean parts.
A vapor degreaser has two tanks (sumps) of solvent inside. One vapor degreasing tank boils the solvent (boil sump) which creates a vapor or mist of the solvent. The second sump (ultrasonic sump) is heated but not to the boiling point and is used as the second cleaning stage. The vapor degreaser also has bands of cooling coils inside just above the level of the sumps. These coils cause the vapor to return to a liquid state and fall back into the sump. The effect is like small “clouds” of the solvent are formed between the top of the sumps and the cooling tubes.
As parts at room temperature are lowered through the cooling area into the vapor, the vapor from the boil sump condenses on the parts just like moisture in the air does on your glasses in the examples above. This condensation contains the solvent that dissolves the oils on your parts, and the beading action creates droplets which run across the surfaces of the parts and fall back into the boil sump. The parts are then moved to the ultrasonic sump which contains heated but non-boiling solvent. This allows the parts to be lowered into the sump so that any blind holes or internal features are also thoroughly exposed to the solvent.
Finally parts are raised into the cooling coil area to allow the solvent to quickly dry and and then raised through a second layer of freeboard coils near the very top of the vapor degreaser that insure complete drying and the recapture of the solvent from the parts.
Is desiccant required in a vapor degreaser?
Desiccants are used to absorb the water found in humid conditions to reduce or eliminate condensation. It can also be added directly to liquids to absorb the water content from the fluid. We are used to seeing the small white bags of desiccant found in packaging for everything from shoes to electronic equipment. Most of this desiccant is silica – typically in gel form. Other common substances used as desiccants are activated charcoal and calcium chloride.
The desiccant used in vapor degreasers is 3 Angstrom Molecular Sieve, small pellets of zeolite clay. Like all desiccants, the zeolite clay adsorbs water from the solvent, and may be reused by baking it dry. Desiccants are most often used in a vapor degreaser if the solvent contains an alcohol. This is often the case with solvents used for defluxing processes on soldered boards and leads. Water found in the separator extracts the alcohol from the solvent and in turn the water and alcohol are absorbed by the zeolite clay. If a degreaser is operated in a very humid environment, a desiccant may be needed to effectively remove the water from the solvent.
Excellence in industrial parts washers
We provide industrial parts washing equipment and cleaning application solutions ranging from aerospace to medical device to industrial manufacturing and everything in between. And we provide automatic parts washers, heated parts washer systems and other customized industrial cleaning systems to meet your highly specialized needs. Clean aerospace, medical device, automotive, heavy manufacturing or industrial parts quickly and efficiently with parts cleaning machines from Best Technology.
From initial contact to our continued support and service, Best Technology offers over 30 years of industrial parts cleaner manufacturing service. We specialize in industrial part washers crafted with our cleaning and finishing industry expertise, which can be leveraged to determine the best solution for your part washing applications. When you’re looking for an industrial parts washer for sale, look to Best Technology.
Contact a parts washer expert today to learn more about how you can bring a high-quality parts washing station to your manufacturing workflow.