MecWash: Technology Meets Chemistry

Technology Meets Chemistry – Why Having the Right Balance is Critical for Component Cleaning

When it comes to the cleaning of engineered components it’s often considered that the physical washing machine is the only important part of the process. Cleaning additives and detergents are merely a supporting element.

For MecWash, one of the leading innovators and manufacturers of aqueous parts cleaning systems, the approach has to be about three crucial elements: the technology, the chemistry and the product that is being cleaned.

“It’s quite easy for a company to go out and acquire a washing system without understanding the importance not only of the chemicals required, but the impact they can have on the substrate of the component being cleaned,” according to John Pattison, Managing Director of MecWash based in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

“It’s not just about knowing what contaminants have to be removed. The combination of an intense washing system with an inappropriate mix of chemicals and detergents could damage the substrate and lead to the cleaned component’s failure.”

MecWash has invested heavily in its own laboratory at its headquarters to develop, design and formulating chemicals for common and bespoke component cleaning applications.

So how does the process work?

MecWash works with a customer to understand the type of components being cleaned and what results are required. Analysis and trials then allows the correct wash process and chemistry to be defined.

The process begins with an audit of the customer’s cleaning requirements. This is thorough and covers key areas including:

  • The substrate of the components being cleaned
  • Are the components metallic, non-metallic or hybrid?
  • What is the type of contamination?
  • Do the components need to be brightened as well as cleaned?
  • Are the components as cast, machined, polished or a combination?
  • The geometry of the components and critical features
  • What is the cleanliness specification?
  • What is the process directly before the wash process?
  • What is the process directly after the wash process?
  • Does the component need to have any long-term corrosion protection after the wash process?
  • What is the size and weight of the components?

 Physical analysis is also undertaken. This includes:

  • Chemical compatibility with substrate
  • Removal of contamination from the component’s surface
  • Removal of the contamination from the process solutions
  • Millipore testing
  • Gravimetric analysis
  • Surface energy tests (eg water break)
  • Visual inspection or bespoke tests.

“The process is intense and thorough. It has to be to ensure the complete system and process will remove the contaminants to the highest levels possible without damaging the components during or after the washing process,” said Mr Pattison.

“It could take days or months, depending on the type of product or process and the end results required by our client and their customers. Manufacturers in the aerospace, automotive, fluid power and medical sectors are ever more demanding.”

Adapting to a client’s needs

MecWash continues to work with a client long after a chemical solution has been identified.

“We have to work hand-in-hand with a client as their products can change, or the manufactured make-up of the product could alter,” added Mr Pattison.

“Our customers are dynamic in their approach to manufacturing and we have a flexible approach in order to continuously optimize their processes, even if the machine has been on site for several years.”

New processes and technology

Changing processes and new technology has seen the washing process change over the years. The design of the washing systems and the evolution of chemicals has increased the ability of such systems to remove contaminants to a fraction of what they were capable of 10 or 20 years ago.

Hellerman Tyton is one of MecWash’s customers who have benefited from the skilled work of the laboratory team.

The cable management solutions specialist now achieves high quality component cleaning, within strict temperature constraints.

The company uses a MecWash Midi wash system with an integrated Aqua-Save waste water recycling system at its production centre in Devon. The cleaning system has been configured to wash a temperature sensitive plastic component, while avoiding the risk of product shrinkage.

Lina Ficken, Engineer Team Leader, at Hellerman Tyton, said: “It’s important that, following the expansion process, mouldings are comprehensively cleaned before further handling and assembly processes, not least to remove a silicone coating used during the manufacturing process.

“Our customers apply the cable protection systems on site via the application of heat which shrinks them into position – temperature is clearly a factor that needs to be tightly controlled during manufacturing,” she adds.

“MecWash have been able to configure the cleaning system so that wash temperatures are held at no more than 40°C, which in conjunction with the tailored AC33 chemical solution that the company was able to develop for us, ensures that all material leaves the cleaning process in the optimum condition.”

John Pattison of MecWash added: “MecWash worked closely with the Hellerman Tyton team for many months, developing the AC33 chemical, which is formulated to clean the plastic components effectively at low temperatures.

“MecWash’s expertise in wash chemistry is based on years of designing tailored chemicals for the most testing wash challenges for individual customers, as well as manufacturing our own range of general wash chemicals and inhibitors.”

For more details about MecWash’s range of aqueous washing systems visit http://www.mecwash.com

 

 

Vektek Pneumatic Confirmation Valve

Confirm Clamp Stroke Position Pneumatically

With the increasing use of automation it is becoming important to get positive confirmation of part status in your hydraulic fixture design.  The Vektek Pneumatic Confirmation Valve allows designers to build in a simple check for proper part loading before or after clamping.

The Vektek Pneumatic Confirmation Valve confirms the stage of loading before or after clamping. It is adaptable to multiple devices including: swing clamps, link clamps, cylinders and supports. Avoid machine crashes by confirming specific actions before you cycle your machine. It is designed to be used in both coolant and dry environments, and is easily mounted either vertically or horizontally. Confirmation at its finest!

  • Easily fine tune to your fixture giving you a choice of set and differential pressure.
  • Confirm signal is based on restricting air flow when tested function is present.
  • Over-travel sensing will reopen if a device depresses plunger too far on over travel models.
  • Pneumatic Confirmation Valve can be used with almost any clamping device.
  • Can help you detect missing or misloaded parts.
  • Remote venting recommended in coolant applications.

Please contact us for more information on innovative products from Vektek for your workholding requirements.

Link:  Vektek Pneumatic Confirmation Valve (PDF)

HORN: Form Boring System 117

Custom Form Boring Tools with System 117

Horn offers customised form inserts based on the 117 tool system for use on turning and mill-turn centres.  This offers the possibility of shortening machining times and improved process efficiency.

 

 

Horn offers custom profile inserts on request to suit your application requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helical Lap & Manufacturing Co.

Engis Corporation subsidiary the Helical Lap and Manufacturing Company (HLC) specialises in the manufacture of manual internal and external laps and abrasives.  Solutions from Helical Lap are ideal for low volume high precision work that requires finishes down to the micron level.

Aerospace Applications

aerospace-1HLC provides tools for precision I.D. and O.D. finishing for major commercial aircraft and defence industry part suppliers. Their extensive industry knowledge also supports the demanding requirements for overhaul and repair of components for helicopter and fixed wing aircraft. Helical Lap tools are in use worldwide by commercial airlines, military, OEMs, major MRO repair facilities and sub-contract vendors for lapping a number of high technology components. The following is a list of typical aircraft components which utilise Helical Lap tools:

  • Landing Gearaerospace-2
  • Fuel Supply Controls
  • Turbine Shafts
  • Servo Controls
  • Helicopter Rotor Components

Ultra Precision Machining

Applications requiring ultra-precise roundness, concentricity, and cylindricity are well suited for Helical Expanding Cast Iron Laps. Holding tolerances on diameter size and cylindricity to the sub-micron level is routinely achieved. Tools can be made as small as .043 up to 6 inches in diameter and as long as 14 inches. Tools can be used for a wide range of materials including nonmetallic, non-ferrous, and ceramics. We can help you choose the right products and provide guidance on the best techniques for your application.

Hydraulic Components

hydraulic-1Helical Lap tools can generate dimensional stability and precise bore geometry meeting the requirements needed for exceptional accuracy and control in the most demanding servo control systems. We provide the tools that enable our customers to meet the stringent requirements for tight tolerance and matched set componentry.

Diesel Remanufacturing

Helical Laps are designed to increase the efficiency of your lapping process combined with process repeatability and quality. We can provide a cost effective solution to help you stay competitive when alternative machining methods are too expensive or incapable of achieving the required tolerances.

Please contact us for any information you require on Helical Lap solutions for your manufacturing needs.

OMG BAH Series: Big Angle Head Series for Big Industry

The BAH Series of Angle Heads from OMG srl, Italy are designed and built to satisfy the tooling requirements of very large machines used in a variety of industries: Heavy goods vehicles, Aeronautics, Shipping, Military, Railroad, Energy, Moulds and Automotive.

To build these types of products, one needs design expertise, thorough knowledge of the product itself and related problems, investment strength, specific machine tools and equipment as well as highly qualified personnel. The applied technology, the materials, the parts and assembly all ensure top levels; the certified static and dynamic
tests guarantee the best possible performance over time.

They are usually special products, tailor-made for the specific requirements of the manufacturer of machine tools or for retrofitting machines already at work in the specific industries. The main features of these products may be summarised as follows:

  • Body made of cast iron or obtained from the full piece to ensure maximum precision and stability
  • Motion transmitted by means of Gleason ground involute gears. The transmission ratio is normally 1:1, but it may be in both multiplication and in reduction based on torque transmission requirements
  • Standard tool-holder couplings: DIN69871 – DIN 2080 – BT – HSK – Coromant Capto or others on request
  • Tool holder can be locked on the spindle in two ways: manually or automatically. If automatic, it is locked mechanically and released hydraulically
  • Coolant may be supplied in the centre of the tool holder. The pressure currently reached is 70 Bar and the tool holder is cleaned with air. Whatever the case, there are always some turning nozzles around the spindle

Furthermore, the spindle is always pressurised to avoid intrusions

  • Spindle oblique contact precision bearings lubricated with long life grease
  • Gears normally lubricated with grease separated from the grease of the bearings. For high speeds, the lubrication system is oil circulation
  • The axes of the heads with automatic rotation are locked by means of Hirth crowns, with standard division of 2.5° and 1° on request
  • All the electrical control devices on the axes and the spindles are inside the head and are easily accessed.

These products are tested statically on 3D measuring machines and dynamically, at the agreed rates, on our BP05 test bench that fully simulates the conditions of use in compliance with the product standards.