An industrial washer is a machine that removes contaminants from the surfaces of a part or component before we send it on to the next step in the manufacturing process.
Depending on how we made the part, these foreign materials can be machine oil, casting sand, metal shavings, parting compound, and even human skin oil.
To expedite the process and manage labor costs effectively, we often use an industrial washer to clean the parts rather than spend the time and money to clean each one by hand.
Industrial washers come in a variety of designs, and each has a different use depending on what contaminants we’re trying to remove and the degree to which the final part must be cleaned.
Spray washers operate much like a dishwasher, with revolving high-pressure water jets that spray the parts to remove foreign materials. This type of unit is used for general cleaning and removing large particles from smooth surfaces.
Immersion cleaners soak the parts in cleaning solutions to dissolve the contamination from the surface.
Solvent cleaners, a specific type of immersion industrial washer, bathe the parts in organic solvents like acetone, naphtha, or mineral spirits. This type of cleaner is very effective at removing oil and grease, but requires special enclosures to control the dangerous vapors and hazardous waste materials it generates.
Ultrasonic cleaners are used when a part is very complex, need to be super clean, or we want to save on energy costs.
Ultrasonic cleaners are effective because they decontaminate at a near-microscopic level and can clean hidden passageways and blind corners not reachable with other types of industrial washers. They work by sending ultra-high frequency sound waves (on the order of 40,000 pulses per second) through the cleaning detergent that impacts the part’s surfaces, dislodging and removing contaminants down to hundreds-of-thousandths of an inch in size.
Because these washers clean gently, they can be used in situations where other types of parts washers might damage the product, like the computer chip manufacturing industry. Ultrasonic cleaners also remove bacteria and molds effectively, which is why they are often used for cleaning parts that will be installed in food processing or medical equipment.
Industrial washers are an essential and cost-effective part of the manufacturing process. We find them in almost every business where parts are made, repaired, rebuilt, or cleaned for restoration.
Ultrasonic cleaners provide the best of all worlds because of their flexibility, gentle cleaning action, low energy usage, rapid cleaning time, and use of safe cleaning detergents. By knowing how each type of industrial washer works, and what it can and can’t do, we can be smart about getting the best parts cleaner available for the lowest cost of ownership.