We’ve previously talked about the importance of considering what kind of parts washer is best for a specific cleaning need. Since AEC Systems designs each parts washer to fit the application, we already incorporate learning our customers needs as a part of our design process. But often people will search online for “parts washers” or “part washer” looking for a product to buy off the rack. For small businesses whose parts-cleaning needs are not terribly frequent and do not require cleaning to exact specification, it would make sense to purchase a more general product.
These kinds of parts washers still have to do their job, however, or the money you’ve invested will have been wasted. Consider the following, then, when you go shopping for a generalized one-size-fits-all parts washer.
- Environmental impact – Recent studies have shown the chemical solvents once used so often in manufacturing and many other industries are terrible for the environment and bad for human health within both the short and long term. The good news is that other studies have shown that, unlike solvents, surfactants are safe. Aqueous parts washers – the kind we design at AEC Systems – rely on surfactants to remove dirt, grime, oil, grease and many other things from the parts they clean. They do so in a way that has significantly less risk to both the environment and the people who must handle them.
- Safety – In addition to choosing an aqueous parts washer over one that uses solvents, you must evaluate the quality of the parts washer you select. Is it well put together? Will it be safe for your workers to use? Have there been any complaints about the model or the manufacturer? Are there any lawsuits pending?
- Ease of use – How simple will this parts washer be to operate? How much training will it require the average user to have? Will it be easy to clean or fix if it breaks? When you purchase a mass manufactured solution, remember that this machine has been designed to clean a spectrum of products and not one specific part. This means in order for your business to get best performance out of it, you will have to figure out how to make that happen both in terms of employee training and modification of the machine itself or the way it is used.
- Efficiency – Again, you must calculate if your company will save money over time with a parts washer that is not designed for your need. Often a more automated solution can save money in terms of employee costs, paying for itself over time. Additionally a custom parts washer will only use the amount of water or chemicals necessary and will produce less waste to be disposed of.
- Cost – If any of the above factors prove expensive for your company, a cheaper parts washer will not be cheap in anything but the short run. Still, when selecting from among generalized parts washing solutions, it’s important to pay less attention to tag price and more to per use cost. And do not forget to factor in the cost to repair it or purchase replacement parts.
Not every problem needs a custom solution, but if your company’s experience using an off-the-rack parts washer has been less than satisfactory, AEC would love to talk to you about what kind of solution we can design to better meet your needs and save you money in the long run.