Optimising Parts Cleaning is Way Forward
- January 16, 2017
One of the big cost drivers and concerns in remanufacturing is cleaning, but according to Michael Haselkorn, from the research faculty of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology, most of the time cleaning is done based on the way it has always been done and not on knowledge. “There is great opportunity for optimisation and innovation in the cleaning process,” he told an audience during his presentation Clean Up: Evolving Parts Cleaning Technology. He said that some remanufacturers are cleaning parts as many as four times during the remanufacturing process.
Haselkorn explained that there are chemical, mechanical and thermal cleaning methods and that before deciding how to clean a part remanufacturers should answer these questions:
- What is the part?
- What is the geometry of the part?
- What is the value of the part?
- Is it worth it to clean the part?
One thing to consider is where in the reman process cleaning takes place. “Push cleaning to the front because the cleaner you get the parts prior to disassembly the better you can see if the part can be remanufactured, plus the teardown will be faster and the [disassembly] work area will be cleaner,” he said. Haselkorn says a lot of research has been done on other areas of remanufacturing, but not on cleaning and while “many people think the cleaning process is inexpensive, if you consider the number of times you clean, the cost of chemicals, the environmental concerns and the fact that it is a non-value added operation, it can be costly”.