A UK Heat treatment company have expanded their degreasing capabilities with a Höckh hermetically sealed solvent degreasing tsystem for their new Birmingham factory in response to Solvent legislation and new customer demands.
The Heat Treatment group employs approximately 250 people offering a comprehensive heat treatment & hard coating service to the manufacturing industry. All these sites are ISO 9001-accredited, and specific sites also have other approvals such as NADCAP aerospace accreditation has numerous approvals from leading aerospace first tier companies.
According to the Engineering director: “the company set up a project team to review the effectiveness and costs of component cleaning systems, whether existing systems or possible alternatives, and to assess the future costs and regulation of available systems. It concluded that for heat treatment processes such as nitriding, Nitrotec and vacuum treatment, where the effectiveness of the pre-process cleaning is of paramount importance, the only cleaning process that satisfies the laid-down criteria is solvent degreasing.”
This led to a partnership developing with, HÖCKH Metall-Reinigungsanlagen GmbH and HÖCKH’s UK distributor, IB Industries. The outcome of their discussions was the installation in April 2015 of a hermetically sealed solvent system with a chamber size of 1800 mm x 1200 mm x 1200 mm and a load capacity of 5 tons. This has provided them with the equivalent capacity to heat treatment plants using a solvent spray and vapour process, with vacuum drying and a regenerating carbon absorption system removing the last traces of solvent from the chamber prior to the finish of the cleaning cycle.
“The decision to choose Höckh was based on the system’s capability to satisfy new legislation, its robust design and its qUality,” . “It is also energy-efficient and operationally effective by delivering the desired hourly throughputs. These features combined with a competitive price, a bespoke design offering low maintenance costs, and UK-based after-sales service and support made the decision relatively easy.”
The basket is pneumatically placed into the vacuum proofed chamber and the door is closed with a knee lever lock mechanism which is an added safety measure in case of any power failures. Once the chamber is completely under vacuum and the seal has been checked the process begins with a spray pre wash from tank 1 capturing most of the contaminants with the first stage with only a small amount of solvent. After spraying the solvent is pumped directly from the cleaning chamber for recycling ready for the next load. Pure Solvent vapour which is generated in a unique Höckh patented distilling system is directed into the working chamber where it condenses on the cold parts achieving a lasting finish.
With the vacuum Running at up to 2 loads per hour depending on the wash program the Multi clean system has allows Wallwork the flexibility to degrease and clean a cocktail of contaminants from a mix of different types of parts with geometries different materials
The vacuum drying process starts by lowering the pressure in the process chamber to aid the evaporation of solvent from the parts then the chamber is vented again to the ambient pressure. A Double regenerating carbon absorption system removes the last traces of solvent from the chamber prior to finishing of the cleaning cycle. For adherence to the legal regulations, the system is equipped with a concentration measuring instrument, which monitors the solvent concentration in the working chamber at regular intervals. Only after falling below the concentration value legally designated of 1g/m³ of air is opening of the transparent door possible. The double carbon adsorptions system can be regenerated automatically allowing the machine to be operated 24/7.
Höckh with 30 years of metal cleaning experience behind them have installed over 600 plants under the multi clean brand. Höckh have set the benchmark when it comes to innovation and quality whilst achieving various patents throughout their history notably the Vacuum Drying patent as far back as 1987. The Multi-clean range, are hermetically sealed plants and can be delivered for using Perchloroethylene, halogen or flammable solvents. The Höckh system is totally sealed and works under vacuum therefore allowing solvents to work under reduced temperature and perform consistently with parts with various types of oils concentrations, complex shapes and high throughput demands. Höckh’s speciality is to build customised cleaning plants from small to large chambers all based on standardised modules.
Multiple filtration and vacuum oil distillation keeps the solvent free from contamination, and the cleaning and degreasing process is monitored and controlled via a 9-inch touch screen. The Höckh range, which features stainless steel construction allied to high quality welding procedures, also includes fluid management facilities that can be interconnected with the SAFE-TAINER™ system provided by SAFECHEM, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company.
This SAFE-TAINER system comprises two separate containers each with a standard drum inside, one for fresh and one for used solvent. With the steel container protecting the drum from damage or spills, the SAFE-TAINER system is both integrally bunded and portable, ensuring safe and simple on-site storage and transfer. With a few simple connections, fresh and waste solvent transfer is easily and safely achieved within a virtually sealed system.
By installing a hermetically sealed solvent degreaser from Höckh in combination with the closed-loop SAFE-TAINER system, Wallwork is benefiting from the high-quality cleaning performance of chlorinated solvents used in a safe and sustainable manner – thereby complying with legislative requirements and contributing significantly to care of the environment.
As a supplier of chlorinated solvents, SAFECHEM offers a range of consultancy and other services that enable customers to effectively manage the product specific risks of solvents and to apply Chemical Management Services to the entire life cycle of the chemical.
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