Technology road test: Pero 2500/0 closed-loop vapour degreasing unit
Supplier: Kumi Solutions
Installed: June 2004
Customer: Bodill Parker Group Ltd, Tipton, West Midlands
Core business: Subcontract precision pressings
Shift pattern: Single shift
Pero 2500/0 overview
- Closed-loop vapour degreasing with sub-zero air drying technology and PLC control.
- Rotary basket system with immersion, flooding, rinsing, ultrasonic and vapour cleaning cycles.
- Continuous vacuum distillation and filtration.
- Integrated parts handling system using automatic conveyors.
- Average cleaning duration for steel (50kg) = 4 minutes.
- Compliance with latest Solvent Emission Directive (SED).
- Built to CE standards.
- One of over 3000 Pero automatic cleaning and degreasing systems installed worldwide.
Bodill Parker overall verdict
With massive savings in solvent usage aiding a short payback period, the Pero 2500/0 makes sound financial sense. Throw in rapid throughput, enhanced cleanliness levels and happier customers and staff, and the machine proves itself a winner on all fronts.
Replacing an ageing ICI gas-fired, open degreasing unit, the Pero 2500/0 has made significant reductions in solvent usage at Bodill Parker. The previous, open-top system consumed 4,800 litres of trichloroethylene every year, whereas the Pero unit combined with the SAFE-TAINER(TM) system uses just 100 litres a year of perchloroethylene, equating to a saving of £11,000+ per annum. Solvent consumption is therefore reduced by more than 97%.
Quality of cleanliness
Parts emerging from the Pero 2500/0 are described by managing director Philip Sabin as “exceptionally clean” and “bone dry”. Rolling oils and machine oils collected by the parts during pressing operations are removed using ultrasonically agitated DOWPER(TM) MC (perchloroethylene) supplied by SAFECHEM Europe. Components are manufactured from brass, phosphor bronze, copper alloy, steel, stainless steel and aluminium. “Every scrap of contamination is removed using the Pero,” says Mr Sabin. “We’ve had no complaints from customers, which is crucial because many parts are subject to further processes such as plating, rubber bonding or powder coating, where dirty components cannot be tolerated.”
Processing approximately 25 million precision pressings every year keeps the Pero 2500/0 busy for between 35-40 hours every week. In a 12-month period, Bodill Parker cleans around 17,000 baskets (370 x 220 x 200mm) filled with parts ranging from 12mm diameter washer-type components, up to 60mm diameter cup-sized parts, equating to approximately 250 tonnes of material per year. Typical cycle times for a fully loaded basket are around 4 minutes.
“The reliability of the Pero 2500/0 has been very good,” states the machine’s operator Les Hayes. “During the course of the past four years, we’ve rarely required external help. We carry a small number of spares at Tipton, and on the odd occasion that a problem does arise, we are normally able to undertake the work ourselves.” In terms of maintenance, Mr Hayes says that he simply checks the solvent stability and performs a few visual checks on a weekly basis. The task takes no more than a few minutes and rarely have any problems been uncovered. Mr Sabin added, “this machine has less downtime or maintenance requirements than any other machine we own, delivering machine availability in excess of 96%”.
Health and safety
As a closed-loop system, the Pero 2500/0 complies fully with the recently implemented Solvent Emissions Regulations and offers marked improvements on the open-top system it replaced. “Our previous unit discharged solvents outside the factory via a flue,” explains Mr Sabin, “but it was very inefficient and vapours escaped into the working environment. With the new closed-loop Pero system we have no cause for complaint. Using the MAXICHECK(TM) test kits and MAXISTAB(TM) stabiliser maintains solvent quality, insuring clean parts, a protected plant, and reduces further any physical contact with the solvents.”
At a supplied price of less than £44,000, Mr Sabin says that payback on the Pero 2500/0 has already been achieved, on the strength of solvent reduction alone, in under 4 years.