Corporate Profile: KYZEN
In today’s manufacturing world, most production parts are cleaned before being released. In an industry where production time, volume and quality are critical, it is increasingly important to ensure the production process of metal parts obtain desired results. That is why parts cleaning is more necessary and beneficial than ever.
Posted: March 23, 2023
In today’s manufacturing world, most production parts are cleaned before being released. In an industry where production time, volume and quality are critical, it is increasingly important to ensure the production process of metal parts obtain desired results. That is why parts cleaning is more necessary and beneficial than ever. Engineers are seeking to become more familiar with both solvent and aqueous cleaning solutions to learn the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
Users have choices to make when defining and implementing a cleaning process, but identifying the optimal chemistry to achieve the required performance level is arguably the most important. Complicating the process development challenge is the dynamic reality of soils and metal alloys. A robust process that can meet tomorrow’s challenges as well as today’s is more important than ever. The most important requirement is ensuring workers are safe while operating or working near every manufacturing process. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) both have been aggressive in issuing new guidance and regulations regarding cleaning the past few years. Be sure you are familiar with these new regulations and their impact on your operation.
Solvent Degreasing is well known to many manufacturers today. Today’s precision and critical cleaning standards demand that no contaminant or rinse water residues remain on the product, naturally increasing the interest in solvent cleaning agents. However, due to new regulations many familiar solvents are no longer options requiring everyone to learn about the new options. Let’s walk through what you might consider as you explore your options.
CHEMISTRY / PROCESS OPTIONS
Exceptional cleaning performance is the result of a thorough evaluation of process needs and required capabilities. This includes considering the following parameters: cleaning chemistry, soil compatibility, solution concentration, solution temperature, proper exposure time and required mechanical action. It takes an accurate combination of all these ingredients to achieve maximum results for production, quality, personnel safety, and environmental requirements.
VIABLE OPTIONS TO CONSIDER
When evaluating alternatives to traditional solvent cleaning your goals should include a safer workplace, a modern and efficient, and hopefully faster process — all of which will save money.
Job #1 is select an approved solvent replacement for your existing vapor degreasing equipment, if that equipment is safe, modern and efficient. If not, you will need to consider additional options and select the best one for your operation. The alternate solvent option is vacuum degreasing technology which provides the benefits of waterless cleaning but requires an investment in new cleaning equipment. The alternate aqueous cleaning option also requires an investment in new equipment but may have unique cost saving benefits in the long run. There are pros and cons to every option. Change is always work. That work is easier when the upfront work of evaluating needs and alternatives in a technical manner is done well. This results in a robust cleaning process that will serve you well for many years.
Whether you opt for an aqueous or solvent process, the right chemistry will help you improve your parts cleaning. Many characteristics and different aspects must be evaluated.
Things to keep in mind when evaluating your cleaning options:
- EH&S concerns first!
- Solvent process – stay or change to alternate process?
- Compatibility with your parts and if possible, your current equipment.
- How will change affect production issues?
- Total costs of operations?
Calculate the “END COST” for all alternatives:
- Cost of Compliance
- Cost to Change Process
- Cost of Quality
- Cost of Operations
For the user who elects to retain a solvent cleaning process whether by choice or necessity, the future solvent direction is still viable using modern enclosed automated degreasers or vacuum systems.
There is an abundance of information publicly available for you to consider when making your choice. Many companies will perform cleaning analysis of your parts using a specific process to verify the results before you make a commitment. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact your local KYZEN Representative today.
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