BLOCKS AND HEADS
MecWash systems are used extensively for cleaning components such as engine blocks, cylinder heads and crank housings, at various stages in the production process - both intermediate and final wash.
Each system is tailored to meet the complexity of the washing challenge from simple rotational immersion and spray washing to ultrasonics or direct jetting systems for complex components with blind holes, oil ways or water jackets.
Given the nature of these components direct jetting is a common approach. A fixture is designed around the component such that a nozzle is positioned over each critical feature - blind hole, oilway etc - and these nozzles rotate with the component, jetting the feature continuously. This delivers a very high cleanliness standard in a very swift cycle time.
V8 BLOCKS AND HEADS
MAHLE Powertrain Ltd in Wellingborough commissioned a MecWash system dedicated to clean aluminium V8 engine blocks and heads for a prestige automotive OEM. Each set, which comprises two cylinder heads and a block, features a wide range of complex machined elements, all of which have to be cleaned of machining oil and metal swarf to meet the customer’s specifications. Great importance is placed on the capability of the cleaning station, which includes a very complex jetting system to flush hundreds of key features.
Perkins are a long standing customer of MecWash, both in the UK and India. Perkins Engines in Peterborough installed two MecWash units interfacing directly with a robotic handling system. Cylinder heads for the Perkins Type 400D engines – in both turbo and naturally-aspirated formats – are processed in the new facility where the MecWash Midi units are used for both intermediate and final wash processes. The specification includes a dedicated jetting facility which sees the wash solution fed directly through the fixture to be directed at key areas of each component.
Triumph Motorcycles’ commitment to production quality and manufacturing processes of the highest standards is central to their reputation. On the Hinckley cylinder head line, following three machining and one deburring operations, the crank housings are cleaned in the first MecWash Midi system. Further stages follow until final machining and deburring preceding the second Midi installation before leaving the line for final assembly.
MecWash systems are used to clean a wide variety of transmission components, gear boxes, clutch housings and transmission manifolds.
Depending on the process stage, these components may simply need a fast interstage wash, perhaps in a Solo or a Duo, or a final precision clean using an MWX400.
For the final wash these components can demand high quality cleaning and drying. This is achieved with the MWX400 cleaning systems, perhaps by combining ultrasonics with high flow washing, or using a dedicated jetting system. The dedicated jetting functionality enables the cleaning solution to get to the most inaccessible internal galleries and blind holes.
Mid-Wales-based CastAlum supplies parts to the UK, Germany, Poland, Canada, Mexico and the Far-East for the automotive industry. The parts are used in vehicles manufactured by VW group, Aston Martin, BMW, Ford and General Motors.
CastAlum needed a system able to clean a variety of parts, mostly clutch housings, and to offer flexibility so that any combination of different sized parts could be washed. The MecWash Duo 600 answered this requirement as it is able to clean both large and small sized components in any combination of stacked fixtures.
LINK SHAFT BRACKETS
JVM Castings, one of the UK’s leading aluminium die casting specialists, manufactures parts for the automotive sector from its factories in Worcester and Tamworth and already benefits from having installed several MecWash machines. These systems ensure the firm’s cleaning processes are as robust as possible as well as being able to cope with an output which can be up to 15 tonnes per hour. The existing systems did not have sufficient capacity to cope with cleaning and drying the link shaft brackets currently being manufactured for Jaguar Land Rover, so additional capacity was required.
FUEL SYSTEM COMPONENTS
Fuel system components, such as injector bodies, fuel pumps and turbo bearing housings typically demand the highest quality of component cleaning and drying as contamination can cause critical failures. This can be achieved by combining ultrasonics with high flow washing or perhaps dedicated jetting and vacuum drying. The dedicated jetting functionality enables the cleaning solution to get to the most inaccessible internal galleries and blind holes.
Other components, such as turbo charger compressor housings may not carry such a tight cleanliness specification. For these, customers may also use the Duo system, when immersion washing is sufficient to provide an acceptable finish.
TURBO COMPRESSOR HOUSINGS
Le Bélier’s China factory manufactures turbo charger compressor housings for use by big name automotive suppliers in the Asian automotive market. It is essential that any coolant and aluminium particles are totally removed before the parts can be supplied to their customers.
The MecWash installations are delivering steel diesel injector bodies in an optimum condition, precision cleaned, protected from corrosion and ready for subsequent heat treatment without the need for further washing. It is vital that all coolant, salts and swarf are removed and the parts are completely clean for subsequent processing.
TURBO BEARING HOUSINGS
Stewart manufacture large cast iron turbo bearing housings. Stewart needed precision cleaning, but on a large scale to cope with the volume. They also need a heavy duty system to cope with the component weight. The MecWash Maxi was ideal, it retains all of the high performance of the Midi / MWX400 range (ultrasonic flood wash and rinse, immersion wash and rinse, spray wash and rinse, hot air dry and vacuum drying) but is constructed with a much larger cleaning chamber.