Metal Finishing Guide Book


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have to answer. Why are you buying new cleaning equipment? Reviewing the goals of the project will keep you focused on what is most of value. That means you buy quality equipment – but you purchase exactly what you need. As we mentioned, you may find that the current cleaning equipment can be optimized to meet current production requirements – you don't actually need to make the capital investment. Even if that happens, it is still worthwhile to do the search, because it allows for a more informed decision. The Decision Surface prep is a critical cleaning process. Critical cleaning is not "cleanroom cleaning;" it's doing the right amount of cleaning at the right point in the process. Are you ready to choose the best cleaning equipment after asking six questions? Maybe not; you will probably develop additional questions. Asking the right questions involves understanding cleaning. There are many resources to help you ask the right questions. Will you know all the variables? It's highly unlikely; so at a certain point, preferably not during a process emergency, pull the information together, and make the decision. You will see more effective  cleaning, and more efficient production. It's just good business to clean it right. Question Examples 1 - What kind of cleaning Dip tank, in-line, equipment is it? sink-on-a-drum, spray cabinet, dishwasher, vapor degreaser, airless/airtight system, "non-chemical" (plasma) 2 - How does it work? Wash/rinse dry versus Wash only, cleaning action (spray, ultrasonics, agitation, immersion, electrocleaning, temperature range) 3 - What cleaning Water only, aqueous, chemicals can I use? semi-aqueous, solvent blends, solvents Follow up • look at current cleaning equipment • talk to the workers • determine your process needs • scope out company constraints • look at soil removal requirements • is the cleaning action of the type you'll need? • consider company policy and regulatory constraints • determine how flexible the cleaning equipment will be – what types of cleaning agents can be used • test the system with your product line - is it effective? Does it cause product damage? Table 1. Six Questions to Ask Vendors about Cleaning Equipment (continued) 103

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