High quality aqueous-based component cleaning is being delivered using two MecWash Midi component cleaning stations operated by one of the world’s leading manufacturers of automotive components. The two MecWash systems are installed at the Hungarian factory of Canadian manufacturer, Linamar, and are making a direct contribution to the processing efficiency and quality of production of alloyed steel diesel injector bodies. Importantly, the installations are delivering components in an optimum condition, precision cleaned, protected from corrosion and ready for subsequent heat treatment without the need for further washing.
“A key part of the manufacturing process – ahead of the cleaning stations – is centred on electrochemical machining,” says Program Manager Barna Fulop, “which involves the application of coolant and salts, as well as the inevitable creation of swarf material. It is vital that all of this is removed and the parts are completely clean for onward processing which, crucially, includes heat treatment.”
The MecWash Systems solution features both a tailored single chamber aqueous washing and drying system – including direct jetting of the individual components – and a pre-wash/dunk tank, with the close link between the two minimising the risk of corrosion occurring. John Pattison, Managing Director of MecWash Systems Ltd, explains:
“As parts arrive at the cleaning station, a critical feature is first scrubbed by the operator using rotating brushes, then the parts are loaded into fixtures submerged in inhibiting solution,” he says. “When the Midis are ready to accept their next load, the fixtures are raised automatically from the solution and are transferred into the wash chamber. This approach minimises the risk of corrosion occurring when the parts are most vulnerable, prior to the wash.
“Once located in the wash chamber of a Midi, the fixtures are then held in the rotating drum, which is central to all MecWash designs, where they are subjected to a range of washing and rinsing processes,” John Pattison continues. “These include direct jetting, designed to access all component orifices, and a vacuum drying stage that ensures all the wash solution is removed from every component hole or recess.”
The two Midis at the site in Hungary have been located specifically within the electrochemical parts machining area. This not only optimises the efficiency of the process but also, because this part of the factory is separate from other manufacturing processes on site, reduces the risk of corrosion.
“The results we are achieving are excellent which is important not only in terms of the quality that can be noted at the end of the manufacturing process, but also given the trans-European shipping to which components are then subjected,” continues Barna Fulop. “This can often see a temperature shift of some 20°C during the journey as well as significant variations in humidity. To date, we are delighted that our customers have been very satisfied with the quality of the products that are being delivered.”
Linamar’s decision to install the second MecWash Midi within this key manufacturing area reflects this success – the further investment being a response to increased manufacturing volumes.
“The Linamar name is well-respected throughout the automotive component sector so we are very pleased to be working closely with the company to deliver excellent results,” comments John Pattison. “We believe that the installations demonstrate the benefits of our aqueous cleaning technology – both in terms of processing and environmental performance. This is particularly significant given the focus on corrosion avoidance, which is at the heart of Linamar’s manufacturing excellence,” he concludes.