Identify the Root Cause
One of the biggest challenges operators face is knowing whether a part is clean enough . Many issues can be traced back to inadequate cleaning and pretreatment of parts. Variables are changing upstream that are out of your control, which causes downstream issues. While problems can sometimes arise due to bath issues, a significant portion correlates with ineffective pretreatment. Cleanliness is key. How do you know when your parts are clean enough? How do you know when to stop?
Understanding the Cleaning Process
Know what you have. There are two primary types of cleaning solutions: emulsifiable and splitting cleaners. Emulsifiable cleaners maintain oil in solution with the cleaning chemistry but should remain free of visible oil. Splitting cleaners’ separate oil from the part, often generating an oil slick on the surface, necessitating constant removal to maintain effectiveness. Operators should know how to recognize when the process is working properly or not.
Critical Shop Floor Checks
Crucial visual checks operators can perform, water break test and smudging test. Both effective means to determine if rinsing is adequate and to detect residues, respectively. These simple yet insightful tests provide a practical approach to assessing cleaning effectiveness in real-time.
There is an importance of proactive maintenance rather than adhering strictly to a predetermined cleaning schedule. Regular checks, filter installations and continuous agitation to ensure fresh and effective cleaning solutions.
The Danger of Routine
Sticking to rigid routines and schedules without accounting for changing variables can set you up for failure. Operators need to be adaptable and proactive.