Container Cleaning ends Residual Soiling
Mounting residual soiling requirements in the automotive industry not only require cleaned parts but also clean transport containers. Utilizing a customised BUPI CLEANER® small load carrier cleaning system, Tier1 supplier APF Produktionsdienstleistungs GmbH fulfils top quality standards, including the most stringent cleanness requirements.
APF Produktionsdienstleistungs GmbH, a member of the Stiwa Corporation, is a highly esteemed partner of the European automotive and window industries. On the foundations of experience and expertise in key production technologies such as laser welding, injection moulding, die cutting and assembling, APF manufactures cost-optimized high-quality products.
Part cleaning is not enough
Products manufactured with a high level of vertical integration at the plant in Gampern, Austria, meet elevated quality requirements. These call for similarly high levels of part cleanness. “A new contract from a German automotive customer for transmission components came with a definition of the maximum allowable residual contamination that would have been impossible to meet by treating the parts alone”, says Johannes Pichlmann, quality and production planner at APF. “The cleanest parts are often soiled by transport containers repeatedly used. This prompted us to clean these containers.” They come in all shapes and sizes, though, ranging from conveniently manageable boxes all the way to the Euro-Palette sized Big Box.
All major suppliers of parts cleaning equipment took on the challenge and submitted proposals. Thorough requirement, task and problem analysis performed by the cleaning technology specialists of MAP PAMMINGER, a manufacturer-independent Austrian supplier, resulted in a proposal for a BUPI CLEANER® two-phase small load carrier cleaning system with a custom automated feed. The in-line cleaning systems proposed by all other candidates failed due to the struts and undercuts of the containers behind which deposits of oil and dirt are difficult to reach.
The right solution, flexibly adapted
To rule out that dirt pockets are formed, the parts need to be rotated. At the given dimensions, this makes a small load carrier cleaning system best suited to the task. Its cleaning basket holding the goods to clean rotates vertically while the cleaning liquid is sprayed on from nozzles on three sides.
The sliding loading door normally opens vertically. Due to a low ceiling, this was not practicable. This is where the flexibility of the small-sized manufacturer managed by its owner came into play. At short notice, BUPI Golser implemented a customised solution with a horizontally opening loading gate to meet the specific customer demand. To facilitate optimal system utilization and high throughput, an automated feeder subsystem was attached. It allows baskets to be loaded at a convenient and efficient working height during ongoing cleaning operations with the other basket in the machine. “The plant has been in operation since January of 2011, and that is how long it has been working without any issues”, says Johannes Pichlmann. “We can now make sure transport vessels do not contaminate clean parts and fulfil the most stringent cleanness requirements.”