Advances in cleaning technology ensure demand for finer tolerances in engineered components can be met

Manufacturers of engineered components are under constant pressure to increase the levels of cleanliness in their products.

The demand in some cases can mean the difference between winning or even retaining a contract such are the expectations of customers in industries including aerospace, automotive and medical industries.

John Pattison, managing director of MecWash Systems Ltd in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, believes the majority of manufacturers want to increase cleanliness levels but are not necessarily investing in the technology to support this.

“We know from our customers that demand for ever finer tolerances in engineered components is continual from many of their clients. It’s something that will never cease. Manufacturers have to realise that in this ever-competitive world their cleaning capabilities can mean make or break when securing or even renewing a contract,” he said.

“Investment in good parts cleaning systems is imperative,” he added.

MecWash is one of the leading designers and manufacturers of aqueous parts cleaning and degreasing systems. Its range of systems are used globally by companies with exacting standards.

One of these is Nottinghamshire-based Swiftool Precision Engineering Ltd, an award-winning sub-contract manufacturing business boasting a range of blue-chip customers in the aerospace, nuclear, marine and petrochemical sectors, among others.

The company realised that its existing basic spray wash and a small ultrasonic bench washing system was not capable of the standards needed.

“Quality is what Swiftool is all about. The existing washing system was not cleaning well enough. We needed to surpass the standards that not only we expected, but what our clients demanded,” said Andy Carnell, Project Manager Manager at Swiftool.

“The system was dated and, more importantly, unable to clean to the much smaller micron levels expected nowadays within the sectors we work in. Manufacturing high volumes of precision machined components in a range of materials also meant we needed to increase production time without losing quality.”

A MecWash MWX400 system was tested and configured, along with trials involving MecWash’s in-house laboratory and chemist to ensure the right wash chemicals were designed and matched before the system was commissioned.

The MecWash MWX400 system provides ultrasonic wash and rinse, flood wash and rinse, mist rinse, spray wash and rinse, hot air dry and vacuum dry. All are providing exacting washing and cleaning results.

Contaminants needing to be removed from the manufactured components included neat oil, coolant and metal swarf.

The MWX400 system was commissioned into the manufacturing process, and in addition to significantly increased levels in cleanliness, production was also raised as a direct result.

“The MecWash system is far superior to what we had. It has saved so much time. It’s a lot quicker, more thorough and the results are so much higher,” added Mr Carnell.

Alan Atkinson of MecWash said: “Swiftool works with companies that have the highest level of cleanliness requirements. We are talking about the particles having to be no larger than 500 microns for some applications and far smaller for others. It’s vital there are no unacceptable contaminants leaving the production process.

“Our systems provide the levels of cleanliness for such exacting results. They are designed to clean at much higher speeds with the same results, which means production processes can also increase without compromise. This saves time and increases productivity for our clients.

This comes from our team working with each customer to ensure the final commissioned system is optimised for their needs.”

More details about MecWash and its range of systems can be found at