The continuous monitoring of detergent quality of the washing and rinsing phases is essential for a reliable, economical and sustainable industrial cleaning process.
A widespread condition, particularly among companies that use industrial cleaning systems for metals with water-based detergents, is the great waste of money and resources by operators, in an attempt to act in safety.
Usually, the amount of cleaning agents diluted in the washing liquid far exceeds the level of concentration necessary to achieve quality cleaning objectives.
All this results in significant delivery delays of the components to the customers due to a rinsing phase that becomes much longer than expected.
By monitoring the washing and rinsing phases, the following targets are sought:
- make the whole process as stable as possible;
- obtain a high level of cleanliness and maximum protection from corrosion;
- define intervention thresholds to correct the quantity of cleaning agents used during the washing cycle.
Monitoring of the washing phase
The monitoring activity allows to identify the most critical parameters of the washing phase of a metal cleaning system thus creating a reliable process control base.
Normally there are a large number of measurement systems able to monitor and quantify the component of cleaning agents and that of contaminants and dirt residues present in the washing phase .
Some monitoring systems detect the tension on the surface of the metal components by measuring the pressure of the bubbles that form during the washing cycle (Bubble Pressure Method); other systems instead use special sensors developed on the basis of the specifications of the washing process.
Both these solutions measure the quantity of contaminants, both organic and particulate, which have deposited on the bottom of the washing tank.
The result of these evaluations immediately highlights the corrective actions that must be implemented on that specific machine for washing metal components.
Pressure, flow volume, temperature, PH and conductive capacities: these are the parameters to be considered during the monitoring phase.
In the most advanced monitoring systems of the washing phase following the identification of contaminants and dirt residues, corrective operations are automatically activated which restore the balance by entering the right amount of cleaning agents.
Industrial metal cleaning: the importance of maintaining the balance achieved
The condition of balance reached through the monitoring activity during the washing and rinsing phases must be clearly maintained.
The achievement of this objective depends largely on the type of cleaning agents used, the type and quantity of dirt residues that are deposited and the level of cleaning required.
Solid residues such as shavings, sand and various particles are retained by the filtering system present in the machine, however, based on the design of the degreasing machine, contaminants which are difficult to remove could accumulate.
In these cases it may be necessary to change the detergent and perform a regular deep cleaning of the entire washing system.
By applying the “hygienic design principles” to all components of the washing system that transport liquids, it is possible to improve the extraction level of the removed particles.
In aqueous parts washing systems, oils, greases and all contaminants that have not dissolved can be extracted through a gravity separator connected with the unit.
Evaporation and vacuum distillation processes are used in these complex circumstances both for aqueous detergents and for solvents: this is what practically happens:.
The advantages of evaporation and distillation phases
The contaminated detergent and all substances that in the process have a boiling point higher than that of water settle and become the waste of the evaporation phase.
To be clearer, we are referring to organic substances, such as oils and fats, inorganic substances, such as salts and other solids, or even traces of the cleaning agent itself when we are in the presence of water washing systems.
These processes are commonly used to condition the rinse bath: the vacuum distillation works at lower temperatures, configuring itself as the best alternative to reduce the risk of change and degradation of the chemical detergent.
The monitoring and maintenance activities just analyzed are fundamental to always maintain the high level of efficiency of the industrial washing system for metal components.
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