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Electronically cleaned encoder bases await inspection prior to any further assembly or finishing operations.
The ultrasonic cleaning action is able to infiltrate the smallest crevices and hard-to-reach surfaces, penetrating areas normally inaccessible to other cleaning methods.
Maintaining efficient machine shop and parts finishing production is dependent on many factors. Even when operating at near optimum levels, inefficient parts washing systems and procedures can slow throughput. Such was the case at Renco Encoders (Goleta, CA), which manufactures high-quality rotary optical encoders for precise sensing of motion and speed control.
Prior to installing the Omega Pro parts washing system, Renco was using a hand-washing procedure to pre-clean the components before bathing them in their small capacity, ultrasonic tabletop unit. Renco's spokesman stated, "We couldn't even apply heat, so more hand labor was required to blow the parts dry with a pressurized air gun."
In addition to the costly and time-consuming hand operations, the ultrasonic tabletop unit could only hold a small quantity of parts. As a result, each batch of newly minted parts had to be divided and washed in several small batches with frequent solvent changes. The Renco company pointed out that more than just being inefficient, the solvent was costly to use, store and dispose, since it had to hire an outside service to pick it up and take it away.
"Good to the last drop."
"The non-toxic, enzyme-based cleaning solution we now use is long lasting and cost- effective. We also like the way it smells. Even in our heavy-use application, OmegaZyme maintains its cleaning power for about three months." The Renco company spokesperson added, "After such a long period of use, the solution actually has a second life. When we are ready to change the bath solution, we crank up the heat in the tank and use the Omega Pro to do the scheduled maintenance on our tooling equipment. We clean all the screens and filters from the CNCs and other cutting machines. And finally, we use the old solution to mop the floor and let it dry itself out. Aside from changing the bath, the system has not required any maintenance other than a wipe down at the end of the day. Basically it has been a reliable workhorse for our company. We are very happy with it being here."
Safety concerns about the use of toxic solvents is rapidly becoming a significant problem to companies like Renco. Many states, California among them, are beginning to outlaw their use. Since Renco installed the new ultrasonic cleaning system about a year and a half ago, parts are getting cleaned a lot faster. Smiling with satisfaction, the Renco spokesperson quickly pointed out, "That's why our cleaning output has tripled. With the new system, the entire process is safer and environmentally friendly."
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