When the supplier MBH made the decision to acquire a machine for the cleaning of parts, they had clear ideas about cleanness and handling of the parts. An image of the design of the machine had also been conceived. ''We often have visiting customers who inspect the production line,'' says Ralf Hesping, Sales Manager of MBH Machinenbau & Blechtechnik GmbH, Ibbenbüren near Osnabrück, Germany, reporting on the beginnings of this project. These ideas were consequently incorporated in the construction of the unit and implemented together with the machine manufacturer Perkute. The result is the Clean-o-mat PF 150 system by Perkute Maschinenbau GmbH, Rheine, Germany, with a chamber volume of 1,500 mm x 1,500 mm x 1,000 mm and a maximum load of 1,000 kg. It has been especially used recently for cleaning welded plate constructions prior to the varnishing. MBH makes very different kinds of components out of profiles and plates: for the production of utility vehicles, systems and machines, for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technology. The focus is on racks and coverings that are also constructed on-site according to modern criteria. This high standard is evident in the in the machine itself: the massive dimensions, the complete enclosure, and the rounded edges. A lot of the work was done with bevelled plates whilst welding was reduced to a minimum. Pumps, power units, and filters are on one side of the system, the two 850 and 400-litre tanks (washing bath and rinsing bath) are on the other side of the machine. No parts of the machine are on the outside. Every part is still easily accessible through side doors. “Therefore nothing can get dirty and the components are protected and isolated from noise within their housing,” explains Hesping. Thus the machine does not only contribute to the high quality of the products but is also used a demonstration model for visiting customers. “We also want to present ourselves with this machine,” reveals the Sales Manager. The reason for the investment was the need for modernization. “We had to bring the process of degreasing up to date,” Hesping says. Until now a cleaner solvent was used and at least one person to apply it and wipe it off. Now the cleaning happens automatically and with a high repeatable quality. At the front of the machine the load is prepared on a loading cart and inserted and taken out of the rear, both clean and dry. At MBH the cleaning machine is operated cyclically. It is therefore equipped with two ramps and pneumatic doors. Hesping is already convinced by the robust design and the user friendliness. After loading the machine, the preliminary cleaning starts. The conveying unit is a powerful circulation pump. This is followed by a rinsing process. In both water circulations the absorbed dirt is removed through bag filters and plate phase separators. A side channel blower in combination with heater coils takes care of the drying. During the whole cleaning process the plate constructions are not moved because of the shock susceptibility. Instead a vertical nozzle pipe is moved quadratically along the walls and around the loading cart. Further rotating nozzles on the bottom of the chamber deal with the cleaning of all sides of the constructions, which are contaminated by dust and oil from previous processes. The swarf from the welding process is particularly problematic. “It is difficult to reach in corners and cavities using brushes and flannels, “Hesping says. However, not in the new machine, as he made clear by showing a cleaned part. This can only be an advantage for the subsequent varnishing.