MecWash Midi brings benefits of aqueous cleaning to internationally renowned precision component manufacturer

One of the world's leading manufacturers of defence electronic systems has enhanced its UK operational and environmental performance with the installation of an aqueous-based component cleaning station from specialist manufacturer, MecWash Systems Ltd. The MecWash Midi, installed at SELEX Galileo's Basildon premises (a Finmeccanica company), acts as a key centre for cleaning procedures - critical for SELEX's high precision systems. The installation has also helped the company minimise its solvent usage.

The facility in Essex acts as a focus for precision components used at four locations around the UK - Luton, Edinburgh and Portsmouth as well as Basildon - together with Finmeccanica sites in Italy. It is a key element of the company's commitment to operating a 'machining centre of excellence' and now acts as the final cleaning stage for the vast majority of manufactured components. Following production and machining, components are processed by the MecWash Midi facility before being despatched for assembly or further manufacturing processes, some 20% of which are centred on 'clean room' activity.

"The wide range of components - mostly aluminium - that we manufacture in the UK call for the cleaning facility to be highly versatile," comments Mel South, Manufacturing Manager at SELEX Galileo. "A range of stainless steel baskets with nylon dividers, nylon baskets or dedicated fixtures measuring up to half a metre in length can all be accommodated by the MecWash cleaning system. Importantly, the single unit is able to provide high quality cleaning on both standard components and also highly complex, thin wall, investment castings."

Mel South also points out that the introduction of the MecWash Midi has underpinned the company's commitment to improving its shop floor cleanliness procedures and, significantly, has made a direct contribution to the company's reduction in solvent usage. The recommendation of a MecWash system was also the conclusion of specialist consultant Darren Markham of Markham Anti-Contamination Specialists Ltd., who was commissioned to assess product cleaning procedures at site. He also highlights the environmental benefits now being achieved at the Basildon premises -

"The significant volume of solvents, which were being used across the manufacturing processes in the UK, have been reduced now in line with statutory requirements, whilst the quality of the cleaning process is still of the highest order as a result of the MecWash technology," he says.

The MecWash design sees cleaning processes centred on a rotating drum in which baskets or fixtures are loaded from an adjacent roller conveyor and then subjected to spray and flood washes and drying processes to achieve high quality results. The installation thus fulfils not only the environmental goals at SELEX Galileo, but also its production objectives.

"The MecWash Midi clearly reflects SELEX's commitment to high quality production at a company that has an enviable international reputation in its field," comments John Pattison, Managing Director at MecWash Systems. "The MecWash Midi not only meets the most exacting cleanliness requirements, but also provides the high degree of versatility that the customer requires. This means the wide range of components processed can be addressed simply by the selection of appropriate baskets or fixtures, and activating one of a range of cleaning programmes built in to the system.

"We are delighted to have worked with Darren Markham to meet the requirements of SELEX Galileo and are proud to have been able to contribute to the company's production capability in such a high precision sector," he concludes.