The technology used by FIRBIMATIC to clean special tubes and components : the Medelec -Resonetics case

High production efficiency , emission and contaminant levels lower than those prescribed by the law in addition to washing cycles able to ensure impeccable results of cleanliness in an absolutely short amount of time are the key objectives of those companies manufacturing tubes that are used in the medical and precision technology sectors.

During these years, the medical industry has hard tested the technological capabilities of our sector: approximate values of residual contaminants at the end of each washing cycle were no more accepted.

0.1 mg/dm2: this is the threshold value that absolutely must not be exceeded.

Therefore the need to assure high production efficiency and, at the same time, excellent cleaning results has led to the development of highly customized industrial degreasing machines.

Firbimatic machines for tubes and pipe cleaning

To meet such requirements Firbimatic has developed degreasing machines for pipes, profiles and special components, through new partnerships and cooperations with established industrial companies in the sector.

These projects and “partnerships” have allowed the development of machines for the cleaning of pipes and special components that take advantage of a closed circuit industrial process that is also used in the aeronautic and military industries.

Main technical specifications

The special systems perform all cleaning phases under vacuum by using perchloroethylene or, with the necessary adjustments, modified alcohol or hydrocarbon solvents.

To solve any doubts and uncertainties regarding the use of these effective chemical compounds the reading of the following article on the hermetically sealed solvent degreasing systems to safely use Perchlorethylene is highly recommended.

The most stringent internal cleaning parameters are easily achieved and in terms of hourly productivity these systems are able to provide over 40 cycles a day for more than 320 days a year.

The operating scheme is similar to that of standard systems but much more flexible as it is modular and therefore able to easily adapt to production lines already present in the company.

 

Working cycles

In Firbimatic washing machines suitable for special pipes and components , each hermetic treatment cycle lasts approximately 20 to 30 minutes and includes the following phases:

  1. Pre wash with hot solvent
  2. Immersion with hot solvent
  3. Vaporisation phase
  4. Drying phase

In the initial prewash phase, the solvent is sprayed at high pressure in order to eliminate the contaminants; with the subsequent immersion. The kinetic energy produced by the movement of the basket that houses the pieces is used to remove dust, swarft and residues that have been deposited inside the tubes.

On request it is possible to apply ultrasonic equipment to reinforce the washing action.

The vaporization phase aims to prepare the pieces for final drying, when all the solvent is recovered inside the washing chamber.

The cycle ends once the level of the vapors present is equal or lower than that established by the standard.

 

From theory to practice: the Medelec – Resonetics case

Special installations for cleaning pipes, profiles and special components were purchased by the company Medelec (Puidoux, French Switzerland) for the first time in 2005 and, thereafter, in 2018.

Medelec is a Swiss company leader in laser micro manufacturing for life sciences. They are specialized in the production of flexible stainless steel, precious and semi-precious metals used in the medical sector, more specifically in the endoscopy branch.

Over the last year it has been acquired by the American firm Resonetics, expanding and strengthening its business on a global scale.

The first two degreasers purchased in 2005 by Medelec clean both the internal and external parts of special tubes by using chlorinated solvents such as perchlorethylene or trichlorethylene.

The new degreasers bought last year take advantage from the use of modified alcohol and allow the company (now Resonetics Switzerland) to clean, both internally and externally, effectively and efficiently, flexible stainless steel tubes, precious metals and nickel alloys, with a diameter that can reach up to 0.6 mm.