Parts Degreasing by the Million

When the solvent emissions regulations (SER) came into force on 31st October 2007, turned parts specialist, Tenable Screw Co Ltd, had already decided to take early measures to avoid potential fines by replacing a non-compliant Pero solvent degreasing machine with a new Universal solvent parts degreasing machine from sole UK agent Kumi Solutions Ltd.

“This particular machine simply didn’t meet the emissions,” states Norman Runciman, facilities manager. “We have a number of parts degreasing machines already and they perform really well, so it was a fairly natural choice to acquire another degreaser from Kumi Solutions as a replacement.”

The SER restricts emissions from organic solvents to limit worker exposure and protect health. Companies failing to comply with the emission limits set under the SER will face investigation and possible prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive. Firms may also face increasing compensation claims for associated health problems from affected employees, as well as hefty fines.

Moden solvent systems reduce VOC emissions to below that of the incoming regulations and are in fact built to the tighter German laws, 31 BImSchV and 2 BImSchV. All US and European emission regulations are surpassed. The Vacuum Series machines work with the entire system under negative pressure (V standing for vacuum).

Another advantage considered attractive to Tenable Screw is that the machine can be used with all solvent types for parts degreasing, hence the word ‘universal’ as its model suffix. In fact, it is possible to swap from chlorinated hydrocarbons to hydrocarbons in a couple of days. Although Tenable Screw’s current focus is firmly on the former, Mr Runciman confirms that with constantly amended legislation, the move may prove fruitful in economic terms in future years.

The Tenable Screw Company

Established in 1940, Tenable Screw Co Ltd has expanded from producing specialised screws by the hundred to the manufacture of high precision turned components by the millions. Through a programme of continuous investment, the company is today one of the largest producers in the UK with a full range of turning capacity available, including 35 CNC machines, multi-spindle automatics, coil-fed automatics and rotary transfer machines based at three sites: London, Wiltshire and Coventry. The current annual turnover is in the region of £7.5 million.

Typical products range from tiny precision pins and sockets up to 32mm diameter components in all materials. The electronics industry is a speciality of Tenable Screw, machining shells and pins for a huge range of electrical connectors. Terminals and screw assemblies are also produced in their millions to suit most electrical or electronic applications. Batch sizes at this ISO 9002 accredited company range from 1000 up to millions. Other prominent industries served to include automotive, aerospace and medical.

The Solvent degreaser works at full tilt across a single day shift at the company’s Marlborough site in Wiltshire. It is used for parts degreasing across Tenable Screw’s part size range. Each basket can be loaded up to 80kg – the V1 is able to process 6-10 basket loads per hour depending on the selected cycle.

“This is a significant investment for us,” states Simon Schlaefli, managing director. “The V1 was the most practical and suitable choice for our application available on the market. Whilst we have bought the machine in order to comply with the SER, ultimately our customers will benefit. Providing customers with a good presentation of parts is undoubtedly an increasingly important factor. Today all customers expect components to be super clean.”