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Discover all the crucial insights you need before investing in a parts washer. Make informed decisions and ensure your satisfaction with your washer purchase by exploring our expert advice.

Here, you can discover some of the most common questions clients have about industrial parts washers, aqueous cleaning, and various materials

Aqueous cleaning solutions are preferred over solvents due to their safety and environmental benefits while being more cost-efficient. It is compatible with a wide range of materials and can easily remove different types of soils, making it the best option across various industries and applications.

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Sizing an industrial parts washer involves a comprehensive assessment of cleaning requirements, throughput, part size, and configuration, as well as the nature of contaminants. Typically, the washer size should be sufficient for easy part loading while keeping the distance between the parts and spray nozzles to a minimum.

Attention to space availability, maintenance requirements, budget considerations, adherence to environmental regulations, and foresight for future expansion contribute to a holistic approach in choosing the right industrial washer. Collaboration with manufacturers or experts is recommended to tailor the solution to the specific needs of the application, ensuring optimal efficiency and cost-effectiveness over time.

Choosing the appropriate industrial parts washer involves a methodical approach. Begin by precisely defining the types and cleanliness standards of the components to be cleaned, considering their size, shape, and materials. For most parts, spraying an aqueous solution is sufficient for cleaning. Nonetheless, to address internal holes, specific tooling can be added to flush contaminants. Finally, for complex geometries, a custom parts washer with a combination of spray, immersion, and ultrasonics can be necessary to clean internal cavities.

Generally speaking, having a larger tank in a washer is beneficial for 3 primary reasons: 

  • Less frequent changeouts of the tank, which in turn means less downtime. 
  • Less agitation in the tank, reducing any cavitation of the pump as well as providing enough time for heavier contaminants to settle at the bottom, and free oil to float at the top
  • Most applications require the use of detergent, which is likely to foam if the tank turnover ratio is low.

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Aqueous parts washers greatly rely on residual heat to dry parts. During the cleaning cycle, parts are sprayed with hot aqueous solution, which in turn heat the part. At the end of the cycle, the residual heat is such that water that is not pooled, flash dries within a few minutes. To accelerate that phenomenon, it is possible to use a regenerative blower with air knives (ambient or heated), leaving the parts with only a few droplets of water or completely dry. Compressed air can also help to address features such as threaded or blind holes. This method suffices in most applications. For parts with more complex geometries, such as engine blocks or cylinder heads, vacuum drying will ensure there is no moisture left in cavities or internal passages to have parts 100% dry.

A freshwater rinse means that there is no tank for that rinse stage. Water is directly taken from the plant water supply line and sprayed onto the parts, meaning that the pressure and the flowrate are low since it relies on the conditions provided by that line. The freshwater can either be diverted to the wash tank or directly to drain. 

As for a recirculating rinse tank, this by definition means that it is a closed-loop system where there is a tank for that rinse solution. This is normally used when a higher flow rate and pressure are required at this stage as well as when a specific type of rinse solution is needed. 

Both Freshwater rinse and recirculating rinse stages can be added in cases where more rinsing is needed to meet certain criteria.

It is most common to heat a parts washer solution in two ways, by either gas or electric means.  Gas tends to be less expensive in the long term, while the upfront cost of electric is cheaper.  This can differ from location to location.

Exhaust blowers efficiently remove mist from the interior of the washer, helping mitigate pollutants, odours, and harmful substances. Choose exhaust blowers when:

  • You must ventilate outside of your workshop.
  • Pollutant removal is a priority.
  • Noise levels are not a significant concern.
  • Energy efficiency is balanced with ventilation needs.
  • Washing solution temperature is high (140F and above).

Remove mist too, but they separate droplets from the solution mist; the liquid is returned to the solution tank while mist-free air is exhausted to the plant atmosphere. Initial investment and maintenance costs vary based on the type of demister. Choose demisters when:

  • Wash temperature is equal to or below 140F

  • Save on installation cost

  • Connection to the ventilation system is not possible
  • Space constraints favour compact design.
  • You look for a balance between cost and efficiency.

An oil skimmer is used to remove small amounts of oil in the wash tank, and is usually placed on a timer that turns it on after the washer is not in use and the wash solution has time to settle, allowing the floating oils to rise to the top.

An oil coalescer is used when you have large amounts of oil in the wash solution, and/or the washer is in operation 24/7 and can not be turned off to allow the oils to separate from the water.  The coalescer will syphon wash solution out of the wash tank allowing the coalescer to separate the oil from the wash solution and then send the clean solution back to the wash tank.  This helps prevent any unnecessary shutdown.

Transfer zones are very important for conveyor-type washers to avoid solution carry-over between stages. The transfer zone will provide enough time for the parts to drain before they reach the next stage and prevent solution transfer from the conveyor belt or fixtures. They also ensure that there will be no over-spray between stages and at the loading and unloading stations. Reducing the length of the transfer zone might compromise the quality of your solution tanks and result in an inefficient cleaning process.

Cooling tunnels are normally used when the part temperature for the next process is critical, and staging is not an option. The cooling tunnel will ensure that the parts are within the right temperature range. Typical operations that require a part at ambient temperature after cleaning are gauging and leak testing.

The sludge conveyor is beneficial when heavy debris and/or grease are present on the parts to be washed. The benefit of having a sludge conveyor extends the life of the wash solution due to the continuous scrapping of the bottom of the tank. The sludge is then separated from the wash tank and conveyed to an outside barrel or tote for disposal.

Carbon Steel is a popular choice for parts washers due to its strength and cost-efficiency. It's a sturdy and durable material making it suitable for applications where the washer will be subjected to heavy loads and harsh conditions.    

Stainless steel is durable and corrosion-resistant making it an ideal choice for parts washers that use corrosive chemicals. It is a premium choice for parts washers in various industries. They are inherently better equipped to meet stringent cleanliness requirements for newly   manufactured components.

There are different types of parts washers on the market. PROCECO offers aqueous cleaning equipment that can be divided into the following categories:

  • Turntable spray washers
  • Spray-immersion washers with or without ultrasonics
  • Conveyor-type washers
  • Automated tank lines
  • Reciprocating manifold washers
  • Slurry-blast machines
  • Custom parts washers for specific applications (i.e. aircraft wheel washing, railway bogies, tube-flushers, etc.)
  • Mechanical vapour recompression (wastewater treatment)

There are many factors that contribute to determining the throughput of a cleaning system, The geometry, material, and nature of the workpieces, the process strategy, the cleaning and dryness requirements, and available space, just to name a few. 

Ultimately, the throughput of the industrial parts washer will hinge on striking a balance between the customer's desired production and their space and investment constraints.


PROCECO develops aqueous cleaning systems that go beyond cleaning, by seamlessly integrating a wide range of processes and features that dramatically improve your productivity and profitability.