If debris or contaminants are not removed from parts, then measured values and physical dimensions can be affected, causing parts to behave unreliably and unpredictably, according to Cincinnati-based Cleaning Technologies Group LLC.
“A new generation of industrial manufacturing is characterized by highly accurate machining and finishing processes, as well as precision manufacturing methods,” the company writes in a new e-book available online. “Manufacturing tolerances and acceptable limits in part variation are tighter than ever.”
Small and midsize manufacturers often do not comprehend cleaning specifications, said Jeff Mills, national sales manager at Cleaning Technologies Group. Staying within the accepted range of specification is important and sometimes difficult. For example, he said most automotive plants consider the width of two human hairs, about 400 to 600mm, to be out of specification. As specifications change, companies must be able to adapt.
“Normally, they’re running not just one part but a family of parts or anything under the sun,” he said. “They need a solution that can be adapted to different parts and different cleaning specs, and they need to understand what it takes to achieve today’s tighter specs.”
A challenge for machine shops is that many types of cleaning systems exist, from agitating parts washers and rotary/drum parts washers to spray parts washers and immersion parts washers. There are also different kinds of cleaning methods, such as using solvents or aqueous solutions. All these options provide different ways of meeting various specifications.
Mills said the best advice for machinists is to comprehend the cleaning specifications for a particular project and how ISO 16232 is applied.
“Cleaning, most people say, is a nonvalue-added process, which drives costs due to the equipment, cleaners and disposal rates,” he said. “Companies must understand the cost to achieve the spec and to continue to validate the process.”
The e-book, A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing the Right Cleaning Equipment, is free to download.
Cleaning parts improves the quality of work, as does choosing the correct cleaning equipment.
Related Glossary Terms
- family of parts
family of parts
Parts grouped by shape and size for efficient manufacturing.