There is no compromise for component cleanliness when it comes to the demands and expectations of global OEMs involved in the automotive and aerospace sectors, as precision engineering specialist Grainger and Worrall Machining Ltd fully appreciated when they bought their first MecWash Maxi in 2016
With blue-chip OEM customers throughout the world, the company turned to MecWash Systems of Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, UK when it came to investing in a component washing system capable of not only meeting, but exceeding the stringent standards of the automotive sector.
So a few years later when the company was awarded the contract to machine V8 blocks and bedplates for a niche high-end OEM operating at the pinnacle of the performance car market, they again turned to MecWash.
As part of Grainger and Worrall’s £3 million investment to support the low volume production cell, MecWash Systems was to provide a second precision cleaning system which was versatile enough to clean both the block and the bedplate separately at various points during manufacture and in the assembled condition, whilst still achieving the highest cleanliness standards. The Maxi with its rear feed and dedicated jetting capability was the ideal choice.
MecWash Systems collaborated with Grainger and Worrall to identify the key features of the components and three bespoke fixtures were manufactured which were capable of dedicated jetting via the special rear feed, ensuring cleanliness of the oil ways, water jacket and blind machined holes.
Because of the Maxi’s versatility, Grainger and Worrall subsequently contacted MecWash again when the precision machining specialist won a contract to machine the cylinder block for a new high-performance engine. MecWash were able to manufacture a new fixture which also fitted into the Maxi and utilised the dedicated jetting facility for the new block, whilst not impacting on the production of the V8 block and bedplate.
Grainger and Worrall, based in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, is renowned globally for being at the forefront of sand casting technology and precision engineering development and innovation, particularly for prototype and low volume production of complex prismatic parts across many industry sectors as well as body structure, power storage enclosures and electric drive units for the next generation of transport. Grainger and Worrall count many major OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers among their customers.
The company commissioned the MecWash Maxi aqueous washing system with an Aqua-Save because of its versatility for cleaning all types of precision machined components, from small parts to blocks and heads for V8, V10 and V12 engine prototypes.
“Our customers expect a ‘production like’ solution, which means that whatever we are producing for them has to be as close to a mass-produced part as possible. This ensures testing is representative of the final product and significantly reduces time in bringing it to market,” said Mark Davies, plant director at Grainger and Worrall Machining Ltd.
“For that to happen we have to ensure there is no compromise when it comes to cleaning and degreasing any machined component. Even a microscopic contaminant can have a potentially devastating effect on testing and validation.
“That is why we must ensure we offer our customers the same levels of cleanliness on the prototype components as in the mainstream production facilities.”
He said the Maxi was a perfect solution as it is designed to clean complex and intricate machined parts, including the removal of many different types of contamination, like coolant and swarf.
“Coupled with bespoke fixturing and jetting, the Maxi delivers unrivalled and repeatable cleanliness on even the most complex of components, harnessing the advantages of traditional agitation, jet wash and spray wash technologies,” he said.
“It is capable of cleaning components to the most exacting standards, enabling us to measure them accurately against the ever increasing and more rigorous manufacturing tolerances demanded by OEMs.”
The addition of the MecWash Aqua-Save technology to the Maxi provides additional benefits for Grainger and Worrall.
John Pattison, managing director of MecWash, explains: “The Maxi is already at the forefront of aqueous washing technology. With the addition of our Aqua-Save water recycling system, the company is also reducing the amount of water it uses and cutting the amount of effluent it needs to dispose of. This ensures additional cost and environmental benefits for the company without compromising on the levels of cleanliness.”
The Aqua-Save system can be used with MecWash’s complete range of washing systems. Its principal advantages include a reduction in effluent disposal costs of up to 95 per cent and extending the time between changing wash solutions, reducing down time. The Aqua-Save range recycles 15 to 30 litres an hour and the systems can be used for treatment of wash water, waste coolants and general wastewater.
“Grainger and Worrall, like their global OEM customers, have no room for inefficient washing systems. They have to ensure the cleanliness standards are reaching the highest levels possible. It is a testament to MecWash and our washing systems that they have chosen a second Maxi as part of their significant investment in this process,” added John.
As part of the commissioning process MecWash works with its clients to ensure its systems are operating to the highest levels possible. This includes using its in-house laboratory to develop and provide bespoke detergents used in the washing process.