Standards of cleaning will soon be based solely on Ultrasonic cleaners. Whether using ultrasonics for manufacturing or in a re-work application, nothing has a more effective cleaning range. When using an ultrasonic cleaner matched with the appropriate aqueous cleaner, customers can see unheard of cleanliness and with faster cleaning times.
When choosing the correct ultrasonic cleaner for your needs, it is very important to look at the entire package in order to get the best cleaner for your money. This will include looking into what the specifications are, and drawing a thorough conclusion as to which one is best. It is very easy to get caught up in a sales pitch; in most cases, it is just confusing, and they will try to make you purchase before all of the information has been given.
There are many terms that will float around during your conversations, such as “watts, watts per gallon, frequency, cavitation, recipe, precision process, dilution rates,” and more. Making sure that each and every company tells you exactly what you need to and want to know is important to your buying experience. Once you choose which cleaner will best suit your needs and applications, it is very important to run some background checks to make sure that the company that was chosen will be there for you when future cleaning questions and or problems arise.
If ultrasonics is the direction that your company would like to take, look into as many ultrasonic companies as you can to see what they manufacture. Find information on each of these companies and file it away for future reference. If a company is unable to provide answers to your questions, file them at the back of the list. If they do not want to answer questions, then do you really want to give them your money? If a question is important to you, it should be important to the manufacturer. Although you may not have discussed your application for ultrasonic cleaning at this point, this is where the precedent is set.
When a part has to be cleaned, there are some very important pieces of information that will be required before the cleaning can take place:
- What is the part made of?
- How much contamination are you looking to have removed from the part?
- What type of contamination are you looking to have removed from the part?
- Do you have an example of a clean part? (This helps draw the baseline for the ultrasonic manufacturer.)
- What is the size of the part?
- How many parts are you looking to clean at one time?
Once these questions are answered, an ultrasonic manufacturer will be able to recommend a tank size. Even if a manufacturer has a specific tank in stock, it may not be the exact one to fit your needs; one tank does not fit all applications.
If possible, this is when a demonstration of the part should be completed. If the company will not perform a real-time demonstration, move on to another company. For those high quantity part runs, this is when you will be able to see how fast each piece can be cleaned. Following the demonstration, an ultrasonic manufacturer can also help to determine whether a filtration unit is necessary, or can advise if it is not worth the added expense.
If your company decides to purchase an ultrasonic cleaner, then there are a lot of add-on parts that can go along with the purchase. There are dryers, hoists, DI beds, auto filling, enclosures, auto drains, alarm devices and oil removing devices. Each of these parts will add to the cost of the new system, so be careful to research what is necessary for your application. At the end of the purchase, you will want to be buying an ultrasonic cleaner to clean the parts that are dirty, not buying something that has more bells and whistles on it then a futuristic spaceship! Ask yourself: With all of these added extras to a system does it clean better? Not all ultrasonic cleaners or companies are the same, and neither is their ability to clean parts.
There are several ultrasonic companies in today’s world, and they all have their own ideas as to what is best for a particular application. There will be different frequencies and different watts per gallon figures to be discussed. All cleaning applications have an optimal frequency in which they will clean the part the best. The majority of the frequencies around the world have been somewhat standardized to between 30 and 40 KHz. Many different types of industry parts can be cleaned within this range, with stupendous results on cleanliness.
One of the other large factors to consider would be the watts per gallon figure. This figure is easy to figure out, just by knowing the tank size and the watts of the generator or generators being used, then simply dividing the gallons into the watts, which will provide the watts per gallon. One of the most over-looked items for this is using a peak watt measurement versus a true run or sustained watt measurement. When you hear these two values, the peak watts will be much higher than the run watts; typically, the number is almost double what the run watts are.
So, does all of this mean that the peak watts are what we go with for the means of measurement since it will be higher than the run watts? Let’s look at it another way – what are you going to tell the electrician that has to install the power to the unit? An old formula for true or sustained watts of an electrical device is V (volts) x A (amps) = W (watts). If the volts are 240V and the amps are 10A, that would mean the watts are 2400. Assuming Peak is considered double the power of the true run power (RMS), then even though it has a higher verbal number, it will be drastically less power than the run power.
It is actually a very simple item to figure out – all that is needed is to have a qualified electrician clamp on the amp meter and check the readings that are given when the piece of equipment is running. This is easiest at the main breaker electrical panel: Simply clamp your meter to the circuit wire at the breaker, turn the generator on for the ultrasound, and read the meter. Once completed, the sustained run power or true ultrasonic power is known.
When a particular tank has been undersized in power for a particular application, a higher concentration level of chemical is typically needed to get close to the same result as the more powerful tank. Higher concentration levels – or stronger pH levels – come at extra costs to the customer, which result in harder disposal or more safety levels that are needed to be obtained. When the systems are not specified correctly, there will be greater values, extra run time, more chemicals, hotter temperatures and the potential to pay extra for the disposal of the higher concentration chemicals that are used.
It is important that a new tank is made from the strongest, most impervious to chemical metal etching available. If another project were to come up, in most cases all that will be required is a chemical change, then use the same tank for the other application. If the tank’s ability to resist chemicals is very low, then the ability to change chemicals will also be reduced, which could then stop the ability to clean multiple parts with the same tank. Additionally, a tank’s ability to resist moisture on the outside will keep it looking good for the life of the machine. Insulation should also be considered with the construction of the tank; this will keep the frequency of the heaters running to a minimum along with lowering the decibel rating of the cleaner.
In the end, choosing the correct ultrasonic cleaner for your application does not have to be a daunting task. With the very knowledgeable personnel available at SevereClean Ultrasonics, your questions can be answered in a very timely fashion. Letting our sales staff point you in the right direction for the purchase is what we are here for. It is important not to get caught up in the misconceptions that are in the industry today, so that cleaning problems will be considered a thing of the past.