A need to radically improve the component cleaning capabilities at one of the UK’s leading precision engineering companies has resulted in significant savings, reduced production times and new orders, thanks to a new MecWash industrial parts washing system.
Nottinghamshire-based Swiftool Precision Engineering Ltd is an award-winning sub-contract manufacturing business boasting a range of blue-chip customers in the aerospace, nuclear, marine and petrochemical sectors, among others.
With demanding quality standards for its high integrity precision machined components, it found that an existing basic spray wash and small ultrasonic bench washing system was not as thorough as the exacting requirements needed to meet increasing demands from customers.
It turned to Tewksbury-based industrial parts washing specialist MecWash for a solution.
“Quality is what Swiftool is all about. The existing washing system was just not cleaning well enough. We needed to surpass the standards that not only we expected, but that our clients demanded,” said Andy Carnell, Project Manager Manager at Swiftool.
“The system was dated and, more importantly, unable to clean to the much smaller micron levels expected nowadays within the sectors we work in. Manufacturing high volumes of precision machined components in a range of materials also meant we needed to increase production time without losing quality.”
Working with the company, a MecWash MWX400 system was tested and configured, along with trials involving MecWash’s in-house laboratory and chemist to ensure the right wash chemicals were designed and matched, before the system was commissioned.
The MecWash MWX400 system provides ultrasonic wash and rinse, flood wash and rinse, mist rinse, spray wash and rinse, hot air dry and vacuum dry. All providing exacting washing and cleaning results.
Contaminants needing to be removed from the manufactured components included neat oil, coolant and metal swarf.
The MWX400 system was commissioned into the manufacturing process and in addition to significantly enhanced levels in cleanliness, production was also increased as a direct result.
“The MecWash system is far superior to what we had. It has saved so much time. It’s a lot quicker, more thorough and the results are so much better,” added Mr Carnell.
Swiftool has one of the most safety critical environments, with verification of the absence of foreign debris and contaminated material being critical. It has its own clean room certified to Rolls Royce SABRe standard.
Mr Carnell said the cycle times for cleaning both at the end and during process have been improved significantly and “this has allowed us to reduce lead times and overall costs thus attracting more business from our customers.”
Alan Atkinson of MecWash said: “Swiftool works with companies that have the highest level of cleanliness requirements. We are talking the size of particles having to be no larger than 500 microns. It’s vital there are no contaminants leaving the production process.
“Our systems provide the levels of cleanliness for such exacting results. They are designed to clean at much higher speeds with the same results that mean production processes can also increase without compromise. This saves time and increases productivity for our clients.
And that’s through our team working with each customer to ensure the final commissioned system is optimised for their needs.”