VOL. 14 July ISSUE YEAR 2013
in Vol. 14 - July Issue - Year 2013
More Eco-friendly Part Cleaning – At Higher Speeds And Less Cost
As the steam jet exits the nozzle, a jacket of high-speed hot air first bundles and concentrates the jet and then directs it at the surface to be cleaned
The systems outstanding cleaning performance is owing to the interaction of saturated steam with a high-velocity airflow
Dürr Ecoclean Group is the leading provider of industrial cleaning, automation and filtration solutions. The group provides innovative standard equipment, custom-designed system solutions and services to the automotive industry and its suppliers, as well as to general markets around the globe. As a member of the Dürr group of companies, Dürr Ecoclean maintains 10 operating sites in eight countries worldwide with approximately 1,000 employees. Dürr is a mechanical and plant engineering group that holds leading positions in the world market in its areas of operation. It generates a good 80% of its sales in business with the automotive industry. It also supplies the aircraft, machinery, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries with innovative production and environmental technology. The Dürr Group operates in the market with four divisions: Paint and Assembly Systems plans and builds paint shops and final assembly systems for the automobile industry; Application Technology provides automated paint application with its robot technologies; Machinery and systems from the Measuring and Process Systems division are used in engine and transmission manufacturing as well as in final vehicle assembly, among other areas; and the fourth division, Clean Technology Systems, specializes in processes to improve energy efficiency and exhaust air purification. Dürr has 51 business locations in 23 countries worldwide and approximately 7,700 employees. The Group achieved sales revenues of € 2.4 billion in 2012.
Filderstadt – With its EcoCSteam system, Dürr Ecoclean has developed a new eco-friendly cleaning technology that reliably removes both particulate and film-type contamination from parts and surfaces of diverse materials without any use of chemicals. The performance of this innovative steam- cleaning method is based on the use of saturated steam plus an airflow accelerated to a high velocity. Apart from its ecological advantages, the EcoCSteam process can be easily automated and excels in economic and quality aspects.
In industrial part and surface cleaning as in all other fields of manufacturing, the optimization of cost efficiency, sustainability and quality has gained increasing significance. Dürr Ecoclean GmbH's innovative EcoCSteam technology fully supports this trend. The new steam-cleaning process ensures a rapid and reliable removal of particulate and film-type contaminants – e.g., oils, grease, emulsions, mould lubricants, chips, particles, dust and fingerprints – from any material without the use of detergents. Another advantage of this eco-friendly technology is that it lends itself easily to automation and can hence be integrated into manufacturing lines without any problem.
One Solution For Many Applications
In the past, cleaning large and heavy parts such as wind turbine transmissions, railway engine blocks and vehicle bogies, or boat and ship engines used to require extremely large and expensive cleaning equipment. For such applications, EcoCSteam opens up all-new perspectives in terms of cleaning quality and cost efficiency. Moreover, the process provides optimum results when it comes to cleaning mechanical items such as, e.g., cylinder heads, housings and stampings. It is likewise suitable for cleaning tanks, composite parts and sectional material as well as metal and plastic parts intended to be subsequently painted or coated. Compared to conventional solutions, EcoCSteam provides higher cleaning quality in less cycle time. This has been demonstrated in diverse applications both in and outside of the automotive industry.
Process Reliability Through Innovative Steam Generation
A key factor contributing to the effectiveness of the EcoCSteam process is the new steam generation method developed by Dürr Ecoclean in cooperation with experts in this field. It is based on the principle of "flow-through" water heating whereby pressurized water is passed through a piping system comprising heater coils. Depending on the cleaning task, the water is thus heated to a temperature between 135 and 280°C. Its conversion to steam takes place before the water is pumped from the piping to the cleaning nozzle.
Unlike conventional boiler systems, the flow-through steam generating method ensures that steam is made available in constant amounts and quality, thus bringing unvarying steam properties to the cleaning task. The water and steam flow rates as well as heating power can be accurately adapted to the cleaning application via the EcoCSteam system's programmable logic controller (PLC) which also monitors and controls these parameters permanently.
Cleanliness Due To Interaction Of Steam And Air
The system's outstanding cleaning performance is owing to the interaction of saturated steam with a high-velocity airflow. As the steam jet exits the nozzle, it is enshrouded all around by heated air accelerated to a very high velocity and thus focused directly onto the surface to be cleaned. Any intermixing between the two media is prevented by the high flow velocity of the air and the properties of the steam.
For an optimum cleaning result, the moisture content of the steam can be accurately adapted to the cleaning task or specific contamination type. Thus, for removing oil, wet steam is applied to modify the oil viscosity so that the oil will be atomized into ultra-fine droplets. These are then blown off the part surface, along with particulate contaminants, by the airflow. Drying is provided by the high-velocity airflow as well.
Fast And Cost-Efficient Cleaning
The EcoCSteam cleaning process is commonly performed in one or two steps. This translates into shorter cleaning cycles compared to conventional methods, and productivity is enhanced as a result. But this space-saving steamcleaning technology also excels in cost efficiency. On the one hand, it involves much lower investment. On the other, it provides operating cost savings since no chemical cleaning agents are needed and no bath treatment and filtration equipment is required. Its exceptional ease of maintenance and high availability are further benefits speaking in favour of the EcoCSteam process.