MecWash cleaning and Aqua-Save recycling work together for leading turned component manufacturer
The coming together of alternative component cleaning systems from MecWash Systems and environmental water recycling capability from sister company Aqua-Save Technologies, is now offering tangible benefits to one of the country's leading CNC precision turning component companies. Qualiturn, which can point to a growing international market for its products, has installed a MecWash Solo alongside an AVD 300 aqueous degreaser from the company, both of which are linked directly to an Aqua-Save water recycling facility. The result is enhanced production efficiency, greater throughput flexibility and environmental improvement - of equal benefit to Qualiturn and its customers.
The company's 18 machining centres produce a vast range of turned parts, mostly in steel, brass and aluminium, of varying dimensions and configurations, using neat mineral oils. With each component passing through CNC turning and milling operations, it is vital that the resultant oil and swarf is removed ahead of shipment to the end user, as Managing Director, Nick Groom explains -
"Each of our customers needs to be able to slot the component straight into his production process without the need for further cleaning operations," he says, "which is why all of our products now pass through the two MecWash units. The decision to use either the Aqueous Degreaser (AVD) or the Solo primarily depends upon the component type. The more complex designs gain from the benefits offered by the new AVD unit which includes in-built ultrasonic capability and vacuum drying."
Components are held in a series of baskets, many also supplied by MecWash, which are inserted in pairs via 180º indexing into the rotating drum units of each machine. From here they are subjected to six pre-programmed cleaning and drying processes as appropriate.
"The AVD is our latest development and offers extremely high performance capability through combining the safety of aqueous cleaning with ultrasonics, flood and spray washing and rinsing, followed by hot air and, where appropriate, vacuum drying - all in a single compact unit," comments MecWash Director, Paul Young. "Its particular specification at Qualiturn - which includes a full range of features other than vacuum drying - is thus ideally suited to many of the company's operations.
"Working in conjunction with the Solo, Qualiturn is gaining from maximum washing versatility whilst being able to maintain the highest level of cleaning quality irrespective of the component configuration." Paul Young points out that the installations have replaced an existing MecWash 'Mini' system that Qualiturn operated for some eight years.
The Aqua-Save Junior, located between the two machines, recycles the wash waters, removing the waste soils and returning clean water for re-use with only some 5% of the original volume then requiring off-site disposal. Nick Groom reports that water consumption has been reduced by some 75% for the cleaning processes whilst, at the same time, minimising waste disposal requirements has enhanced his company's environmental credentials. "A simple flick of a lever allows the Aqua-Save unit to link to either unit," he explains, "which we can then set to run overnight to ensure that the wash processes are optimised for the following morning."
With high profile customers in highly demanding industries - in areas as diverse as the military and the music industry as well as electronics, automotive and aerospace - Qualiturn has developed an international reputation of which it is extremely proud. The highly competitive nature of the industry means that maintenance of its standing is directly linked to quality and the use of both the MecWash machines and the Aqua-Save Junior are now making significant contributions to this objective.