When it comes to ultrasonic cleaning for industrial parts, we at UltraSonic LLC field many questions—about how ultrasonic cleaning works, which parts can be cleaned, the cost of ultrasonic cleaning, the savings that it offers, and what it takes to get started.
In our last blog post, we compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about ultrasonic cleaning, along with answers to each one. In this post, we’re presenting more FAQs we receive from customers and prospects. We hope you find it helpful.
Question: How does ultrasonic cleaning save money over hand washing and other methods when it comes to cleaning industrial parts?
Answer: There are several ways to capture cost savings through ultrasonic cleaning for industrial, automotive, aerospace and medical parts:
- Lower labor costs drive increased profits. Ultrasonic cleaning is quick and easy, and it takes a fraction of the time of hand washing industrial parts. Even when you’re tasked with cleaning a small number of parts, the labor savings can be significant. But when you need to wash hundreds, or even thousands, of parts over the course of an entire year, the savings really add up.
- Lower cleaning product cost keeps more money in your pocket. Ultrasonic cleaners from UltraSonic LLC utilize hot soapy water and UltraSonic’s green-friendly cleaning solutions to clean industrial, automotive, aerospace and medical parts—unlike other cleaners and cleaning methods that use hazardous solvents. Such solvents are not environmentally friendly; they also are expensive, and the EPA fees to dispose of them properly can eat away at your bottom line.
- Increased lifespan for clean parts. Simply put, clean, well-maintained parts are likely to last longer and perform at optimal efficiency. This saves potential capital and repair costs.
Question: Are there advantages to a side-mounted transducer ultrasonic cleaning machine design?
Answer: Yes, there are significant advantages to this type of design. At UltraSonic LLC, we offer a stainless steel container that has ceramic transducers attached to the side of the tank, or in immersible containers. These side-mounted transducers give you more enhanced cleaning ability. The cleaning action from the top of the tank to the bottom of the tank remains the same. We offer horizontal cleaning from two directions, meaning you do not lose any cleaning power with the transducers on the side versus mounted on the bottom.
With traditionally mounted transducers, dirt and/or debris falls to the bottom of that tank, robbing you of cleaning power. An UltraSonic LLC machine with our side-mounted transducers provides a consistent cleaning action from top to bottom, with no “blind spots.”
To further ensure that all surfaces are cleaned, an agitation table, which holds either the parts or part baskets, oscillates within the tank. This movement guarantees that all surfaces of the components contact the transducer waves. A V-shaped bottom also allows dough, dirt and grime to collect on the bottom without interfering in the transducer’s wave path—and it allows for easy cleaning.
Question: What are the negatives associated with using solvents for industrial parts cleaning?
Answer: Solvents are not environmentally friendly – certainly not to the extent that soap and hot water are – and the disadvantages don’t end there. Solvents are costly to purchase, use and dispose of after use. Hot water and soap are a fraction of the cost—and they also are environmentally, or green friendly. Lastly, solvents are not employee-friendly; they have strong smells, and they can cause skin discolorations upon contact.
Question: What type of solvent is used with UltraSonic LLC’s ultrasonic cleaning machine?
Answer: Our UltraSonic LLC ultrasonic cleaning machines don’t use solvents—they don’t have to. Hot soapy water actually does clean even the toughest dirt, grime and contaminants off of industrial, automotive, aerospace and medical parts, thanks to the power of cavitation, and our unique side-mounted transducer tank design.
In addition to soapy water, UltraSonic LLC offers the following cleaning solutions for use with our ultrasonic cleaning machines:
- UltraSonic Ultra Soap Multi-Purpose Cleaner
- UltraSonic Ultra Soap Carbon Cleaner
- UltraSonic Ultra Soap Moderate-Duty Cleaner
Question: How much does it cost to operate and maintain an ultrasonic cleaning machine over time?
Answer: That really depends on how many dirty parts you put into it, and how often you use it. For comparative purposes, an ultrasonic cleaning machine that’s used to clean automotive parts (which often are the toughest parts to clean) can run for up to two months before it’s necessary to change out the filters. An UltraSonic LLC 3200FA 65-gallon machine uses two filters which cost approximately $15 each, and it requires about five gallons of carbon cleaning solution, which costs $144 and lasts anywhere from two to six months, depending on the number of parts being cleaned. So given regular use, and the cost of filters and normal use of cleaning solution, the approximate cost range to operate and maintain an UltraSonic LLC 3200FA is $45 to $87 per month.
It should be noted that contaminants cleaned from parts must be disposed of properly. Disposal codes vary by municipality, so there may be disposal costs to figure in as well. Check with your specific municipality on disposal regulations to learn more.
As mentioned earlier, other manufacturers’ machines that use solvents are generally significantly costlier to operate. In these cases, you’ll pay hundreds of dollars per month just to dispose of the used solvents—and that doesn’t include the cost of the solvents themselves, or a service fee for removing these hazardous chemicals.
As for disposing of the soap and water that was used to clean your parts, each municipality has its own regulations, so it’s essential to check with your municipality and adhere to its laws and regulations.
Question: What sort of cleaning and maintenance are required for ultrasonic cleaning machines?
Answer: Ultrasonic cleaning machines require regular care and maintenance in order to ensure that they run efficiency, effectively and do so over a long period of time. Thankfully, proper cleaning and maintenance essentially boils down to changing the filters, changing the soap, and cleaning the tank. That’s essentially it.
Question: Are there ways to test out whether ultrasonic cleaning is best for me before investing in the cost of a machine?
Answer: Absolutely. At UltraSonic LLC, we now offer our ultrasonic cleaners for rent. Through UltraSonic’s Try Before You Buy rental program, you can rent the following UltraSonic units:
Rental agreements are for one month or longer, and rent-to-own agreements are available as well. We believe the Try Before You Buy program offers a great opportunity for people in a variety of industries to try ultrasonic cleaning for their parts and see the dramatic results up close.
Additionally, UltraSonic LLC offers a free parts test-cleaning program for people who want to see first-hand how ultrasonic cleaning can clean their dirtiest industrial, automotive, aerospace or medical parts. If you’re interested in finding out more, please fill out this contact form, and an UltraSonic LLC representative will be in touch shortly to discuss your requirement.
We hope you found the answers to the FAQs in Part I and Part II of this FAQ series helpful. If you have questions about industrial parts cleaning methods or industrial parts cleaners – or if you would like information about ultrasonic cleaning for industrial applications and UltraSonic LLC industrial cleaning machines, fill out this contact form, and an UltraSonic LLC representative will be in touch shortly to discuss your requirement.