Mecwash and Aqua-Save aqueous cleaning help give cycle part production a smooth ride

The commitment to quality that has underpinned the success of one of the UK’s leading bicycle parts manufacturers has now been further enhanced with the installation of a component cleaning system from MecWash Systems Ltd. A MecWash Duo and an Aqua-Save wash water recycling unit are now operational at the Lancashire premises of Hope Technology Ltd., whose name is widely respected within the UK cycle manufacturing industry.

“We operate some 50 machining stations, the majority of which inevitably produce material that needs to be cleaned from each part – typically, metal swarf and cleaning oils,” comments Lindley Pate, Works Manager at Hope Technology. “Up to 90% of the fittings that we produce now pass through the MecWash installation, which is positioned ahead of polishing and anodising operations – with the quality of both processes notably enhanced since our move towards the aqueous-based designs.”

Lindley Pate points out that hundreds of different products in a wide range of sizes are manufactured at the site, mostly in aluminium, but with a significant amount in brass and stainless steel. These are located in stainless steel baskets, which often house nylon dividers that have also been supplied by MecWash Systems, before being inserted into the rotating drum that is at the heart of the cleaning system design.

“The MecWash Duo is a highly compact, energy efficient unit and features twin wash and rinse tanks, allowing it to deliver both a high volume, flood/immersion wash cycle and a powerful spray rinse stage,” comments MecWash Systems Managing Director John Pattison. “The single chamber design houses no less than 100 jetting nozzles that operate in conjunction with drum oscillation or rotation before a high volume, heated drying cycle completes the process. The result is completely clean and dry parts within, typically, a ten minute cycle – making it ideal for an application such as that at Hope Technology,” he adds.

The MecWash Duo has been installed at the site with a waste water recycling system from the company’s specialist Aqua-Save Technologies division. The unit – an Aqua-Save Junior – uses a process of evaporation to recycle the wash water and thus minimise water consumption. At the same time, wash solution quality is maintained while the amount of waste for disposal off site is reduced by a dramatic 95%. “This is collected in a 25 litre container alongside the installation, which we then periodically empty into an IBC for simple removal,” adds Lindley Pate.

Apart from enhancing the product quality and environmental credentials, the MecWash and Aqua-Save installations have also simplified operational procedures at the Barnoldswick factory. “Previously, we used a combination of wash machines including an orbit wash and ultrasonic installations located in different parts of the site,” continues Lindley Pate. “Now with one highly effective focus for virtually all our component cleaning via the MecWash installation, manufacturing processes have been simplified, which clearly has a direct bearing on our operational efficiency.”

Hope Technology is rightly proud of the standing its products have gained in the field over more than 20 years and it is widely acknowledged for their quality and reliability. The company’s commitment now to high quality aqueous component cleaning is set to build on this reputation – both in production and environmental terms.