REL’s Part Cleaning Equipment | REL Inc.
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REL’s Part Cleaning Equipment

Many newly fabricated components and refurbishment of components require a process capable of prepping a part’s surfaces for inspection (i.e. FPI), repair and/or subsequent coatings. This cleaning and/or surface treatment is vital for each of the subsequent processes these components must go through.

REL’s automated iFPI equipment is often accompanied by a surface treatment stations. In many instances, a cleaning line is a dedicated piece of equipment. REL designs and builds automated cleaning lines that are capable of consistently and efficiently cleaning baskets full of parts. This week the below large cleaning system is being installed at our customer’s site.

REL Part Cleaning Equipment Front Top

REL Part Cleaning Equipment Front Panoramic

The 10 tanks of this system are designed for a part envelop of 6’ long x 5.5’ wide x 5 deep’. A basket filled with part(s) (to be cleaned and etched) is handled by an overhead traversing system, which picks the basket up at the beginning of the line and ‘carries’ it from station to station.

REL Part Cleaning Equipment 3
 
REL Part Cleaning Equipment 4

Each tank is equipped with a powered lowerator (1000lb capacity) that accepts the baskets and dips them for a predetermined cycle. The fluid in the tanks is agitated to enhance fluid flow over the part surfaces to insure consistent part cleaning.

The system is controlled and monitored through intuitive HMI’s mounted on the front of several of the stations. Recipes are a stored in the PLC and can be selected with each basket. This insures process consistency from basket to basket.

REL Cleaning Line Agitators

REL’s cleaning and surface treatment (CaST) equipment basic operating procedure is as follows.

  1. Operator selects recipe on HMI by load station.
  2. Operator hits process start button on HMI
  3. Machine takes basket and conveys it to the far end to start the process to maximize throughput. The size of the maximum part envelope does not allow for the crossing of basket paths when the elevators are in the up position. Steam heat with immersed coils will heat the process tanks. The lowerators will be electrically driven up and down. The eductors in the tank will be driven from a magnetic drive pump to eliminate seal issues in the permanganate tanks.
  4. Upon recipe completion the basket will index to the load/unload station to be removed from the line. If the station is occupied the HMI will alert the operator that the system is trying to unload a basket.
  5. A system process clock will alert the operator to the time remaining until completion of all baskets in process in real time. This allows the operator to have visibility into what stage the line is in with each basket in the system.
REL Cleaning Line Controls Overview

REL Cleaning Line Load Unload Controls

When the system is not in use, garage door type covers are powered into position to minimized fluid loss to the environment and to help maintain fluid temperature.

REL Cleaning Line Door
 
REL Cleaning Line Baskets
More details of the system are below:

Hot Water Rinse Tank

  • The hot water rinse tank includes heaters to heat rinse water to predetermined temperature (i.e. 180°F). The tank is heated by a submerged steam coil and controlled by a modulating steam valve from the PLC.
  • The tank includes a lowerator system to raise and lower the baskets into and out of the tank. No moving parts, guides, or wear items associated with the lowerator are installed inside the tanks.
  • The drive is fully column supported on the outside of the tank to ensure that rolling/wear elements are not wetted by the tank contents. (See Figure above).
  • The tank includes eductor agitation to ensure proper chemical solution mixture. The eductor is driven with a 5HP magnetic drive pump through nozzles located in the tank. This pump is mounted at floor level.
  • The tanks are fully insulated with closed cell polyurethane foam (R value of 7 per inch). The ventilation will be a push pull design in accordance with ACGIH. Two separate high static blowers are used (4 tanks per blower) to provide the ‘push’ air.
REL Hot Water Rinse Controls

Alkaline Tanks
The system includes two tanks for use with J-84AL alkaline solution.

  • These tanks include the same eductor agitation, insulation, lowerator and ventilation features as the rinse tank.
  • The tanks heat the solution to 190°-200°F and sustain that temperature by a submerged steam coil and controlled by a modulating steam valve from the PLC.

Acid Descaler Tanks
The system includes two tanks for use with J-3 acid descaler.

  • These tanks include the same eductor agitation, insulation, lowerator, ventilation and heating features as the alkaline tanks.

Rinse Tanks
The system includes one rinse tank for the alkaline solution and one rinse tank for the acid descaler.

  • Fresh water circulating through the tank with the eductor agitation to ensure proper removal of all residual chemicals.
  • A stainless steel gutter shall collect all any overflow and direct it back into the tank.

Permanganate Tanks
The system includes two tanks for use with J88L permanganate.

  • These tanks include the same eductor agitation, insulation, lowerator and ventilation features as the rinse tank.

Permanganate Rinse Tank
The system includes one rinse tank for permanganate.

  • These tanks include the same eductor agitation, insulation, lowerator and ventilation features as the rinse tank.
  • Operator shall be able to select either to rinse with fresh water or with a solution of 0.25-0.5% of Nortex heated to 150°-170°F.
  • A stainless steel gutter shall collect all any overflow and direct it back into the tank.

REL designs and manufactures automated surface treatment equipment.
Contact REL today for your automated equipment needs. www.relinc.net

REL Inc.