Halfway between Detroit and Kalamazoo, on I-94 in Jackson, is the Eaton Aerospace facility.
Founded in 1940, the onset of WWII helped establish Eaton’s preeminence in fluid power technology, as its Aeroquip brand components went into America’s military aircraft.
The Airbus 380, the world’s largest passenger jet, uses assemblies made at the Jackson facility in its landing gear. America’s new fighters, the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 JSF, have wings plumbed with Aeroquip brand fluid conveying products.
At Eaton, Bud Greener is a Manufacturing Engineer who oversees the process that bends straight tubing into complex shapes that go into the world’s most sophisticated aircraft. Stainless steel, carbon steel and titanium tubes arrive from mills in diameters ranging from 3/4 inch to 3 inches.
Tube sections are cut to length and bent with a mandrel, a lubricated tool inserted within the tube to prevent kinking. Prior to the mandrel’s use, dust and particles must often be cleaned out of the tubes. Post-bending cleaning is mandatory to remove oils and tube bending lubricants. Air is forced through the tubes for final cleaning and drying. “People are fussy about how their tubes look,” said Bud, indicating the need for a clean, well-machined final product that meets internal quality standards.
For many years, Bud and his team cleaned tubing with mineral spirits and Stoddard solvent. The runoff went into a filtered tank, which a contractor would rotate. Stoddard solvent is a petroleum mixture with special storage, usage and disposal considerations. Eaton Aerospace decided to pursue an environmentally-friendly solution to their cleaning needs.
Bud and his manufacturing manager attended the WESTEC show, and were impressed with two models of ultrasonic cleaners: the Omegasonics Super Pro and the Omegasonics Pro Plus, floor machines equipped with wheels for maximum flexibility in placement and shop layout. “Omegasonics wasn’t the cheapest or the most expensive,” said Bud. “They had an excellent product for the money and a commitment to customer service. Omegasonics is very easy to work with, even from 2000 miles away,” Bud said. “The retrofit and all other support needs have been handled in a very responsive manner.”
Omegasonics reduces the hand labor required to make a tube ready for shipment. “Before we went ultrasonic, we cleaned tubes manually,” said Bud. “Now we just put them in the Omegasonics unit, adjust the settings, and walk away to do something else while they’re being cleaned.” Bud calculates that ultrasonic cleaning eliminates 5 to 10 minutes of hand labor per tube. Multiplied by the facility’s output, this turns into a conservative 20 hours of saved labor per week. “Our plant can’t afford to be slowed down or stopped. Omegasonics’ dependability and service is part of our operational success,” Bud confirmed. “As far as our employees and management are concerned, our Omegasonics units are here to stay. For any future needs, Omegasonics is our #1 choice.”
For more information on how ultrasonic cleaning can help your company save time and money with industrial parts cleaning, please call our team at (800) 669-8227, or email us at Omegasonics@Omegasonics.com.