How to clean parts

From Wine for Dummies to Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies, there’s now a step-by-step guide to everything.

However, it seems there’s a gap in the market. Many companies are still not cleaning parts effectively or efficiently and there’s no Parts Cleaning for Dummies guide available. Here, Richard Bastable, Director of Pure Solve Europe and the Global Parts Cleaning Platform Leader lists the steps that companies should take when deciding what equipment and chemistries to use for cleaning parts.

Step 1
The first step is looking at what you have in front of you. In all industries, there are a variety of parts that need cleaning, such as gear boxes or piston heads in the automotive industry, engine components or wing actuation controls in aviation, hydraulic rams, pumps and controls in the construction equipment, etc.

Smaller or fewer parts can be cleaned by using manual parts-cleaning machines, where you want to quickly clean the part for reuse or rebuild there and then. Automatic parts-cleaning machines are particularly effective for larger parts or a large number of parts. These may take longer to clean but the preparation is simple. For NCH Europe’s Automatic Degreasing System (ADS), the customer only needs to disassemble the parts and put them straight into the machine.

Step 2
Once you’ve decided what you’re cleaning and the type of cleaning machine required, the next step is to ask yourself what chemistry do I need? Traditionally, companies have used hydrocarbon solvent-based parts washers, ‘sink-on-drum’ design, and while these are common they come with enhanced HSE considerations for the user and the environment.

More and more these days these considerations are leading to the use of water-based parts washers and extended chemical lifecycles, these have the added benefit of producing waste with less hazards and also less waste overall.

Regulations also affect the stipulated chemistry used to clean parts in certain industries. For example, the aviation industry requires the use of only approved chemistries to be used for cleaning aircraft parts, approved by Boeing, Rolls Royce, Airbus, etc.. The same applies to the food industry, where cleaning products need to be NSF approved, meaning that the product is safe in case of incidental food contact.

Step 3
Consider the waste. After the parts are cleaned, it is important to consider how the chemicals (waste at this stage) are disposed of and how the machine is maintained. Companies must dispose of the waste from the machine in a responsible way. The waste often contains contaminants which classify the waste as hazardous and the producer (you the customer) is ultimately responsible for the safe disposal of that waste. NCH Europe offers an all-inclusive service that meets all local, regional and national regulations to ensure the safe handling, carriage and disposal of the waste produced in all of our parts cleaning equipment.

NCH Europe parts cleaning machines, which can be rented, come with a fully inclusive, full service plan. NCH Europe engineers visit regularly to provide on-site maintenance, clean the machine and replace or top up with the necessary cleaning materials.

Now you’ve learnt about the different steps to effectively clean parts, there’s no excuse and there’s no need for Parts Cleaning for Dummies guide. So, if you have a part that won’t clean and think that parts cleaning is too complicated, give us a call and the NCH team can show you how to clean parts in three easy steps.

To arrange an on-site demo, engineers can register on the NCH Parts Cleaning website or by contacting an NCH representative on 01902 510 333.