Ultrasonic waves clean up for one manufacturer
A pizza processing machine provider found a faster way to do a time-intensive task.
AM Manufacturing Company is well-acquainted with the mess pizza-making creates; they make, sell and refurbish the equipment used for mass production of frozen pizzas. AM performs a significant amount of testing, which entails running parts and machines through the dough-making and pizza-baking processes. The equipment can quickly become covered in oil and dough, which have to be cleaned off before more testing can be performed.
For years, AM employees would soak parts in soapy water and scrub away residue—a laborious and time-consuming activity. Even when thoroughly cleaned, built-up deposits of oil and dough remained in hard-to-reach crevasses.
Mark Van Drunen, president at AM, knew that there had to be a better cleaning solution. He learned of Cincinnati-based UltraSonic LLC and requested a rental unit to try the ultrasonic technology. When the appropriate machine was not in stock and renting one was not an option, the UltraSonic LLC president told Van Drunen that if the machine did not meet his needs, the company would take it back.
“We bought it, and it did everything he said it would. So, we kept it,” Van Drunen says.
UltraSonic uses a precision parts cleaning technology that employs high-frequency soundwaves to remove dirt and contaminants from parts. Micron-sized bubbles are formed from the alternating pressure waves generated from high-energy transducers. Energy is transferred to and stored within these bubbles. As the bubbles contact the parts to be cleaned, they implode, releasing the stored energy and creating a micro-jet with a kind of scrubbing action that dislodges contaminants from the parts. Dirt, oils and other dislodged contaminants then settle to the bottom of the tank.
The process of the formation and collapse/implosion of these tiny bubbles is called cavitation and is common to all ultrasonic cleaners. Unique to UltraSonic LLC technology is the placement of the transducers on the side of the tank rather than the bottom. Unlike bottom-mounted transducers, the side-mounted transducers provide a consistent cleaning action from top to bottom. Additionally, the V-shaped bottom allows dough, dirt and grime to collect on the bottom, without interfering in the transducer’s wave path, and allows for easy cleaning.
AM uses a model Ultra 2400FA, which has a 24-gallon main tank and a six-gallon weir tank with a working depth of 14 inches. The agitation table capacity of 100 lbs. is more than sufficient for the varied-sized batches of tooling and parts they clean. Working from 120V and drawing 18 amps, the equipment was installed into AM’s existing electrical system, and the machine dimensions fit into the shop space with a minimal footprint.
The UltraSonic cleaner has a touchscreen that enables operation with automatic ultrasonic, agitation and filtration cycles. No special training is required.