Industrial & Technical Cleaning: Everything to Know

process equipment cleaning

Manufacturing operations rely on a range of equipment to make products based on their particular industries. These machines may operate in environments that are prone to extreme amounts of sawdust, dirt, grease, grime, chemicals, and other particles. These particles may get onto products to cause damage during production or prevent certain processes from being completed on the product. 

Daily exposure to this dirt and grime may also get into the machines. The particles lodge within components, wearing them down or preventing them from operating at full capacity. In addition, certain industries require that no contaminants enter the shop floor, such as semiconductor manufacturing, which utilize clean rooms to get rid of particles from worker's shoes and clothing.

Process equipment cleaning helps to maintain industrial and technical machines as well as clean rooms. Workers use a range of cleaning equipment based on the operations, types of machines that need cleaning, and the types of contaminants in the workspaces. With proper cleaning procedures, your operations may avoid costly downtimes. Pressurized cleaning equipment innovations allow workers to direct air and water into hard-to-reach crevices to remove the build up dirt and grime from components, products, and work surfaces.

How to Effectively Clean/Maintain Industrial Manufacturing Equipment

Facility managers should evaluate the types of machines in the workspace. You may determine how often the machine is in use and the levels of dirt, grime, grease, or chemicals present that may hinder operations. In addition, also evaluate the components of the machine to determine the right types of cleaning methods to use. 

Some equipment may handle vigorous cleaning methods while other equipment needs specialized cleaning processes to prevent damage to delicate components. Once understanding the cleaning needs of the facility, you may use the right cleaning method for the space. Some cleaning processes that you may employ may include:

  • Decontamination techniques: Industrial decontamination refers to the removal of substances using deep cleaning tools. There are 3 typical decontamination methods of physically removing the contaminants or using chemicals to neutralize present substances. Decontamination may also be used in clean rooms to ensure the space contains no foreign substances that could get into processes or products.
  • Industrial Vacuuming: Industrial vacuuming relies on reverse air pressure to pull in any contaminants and particles from off surfaces. It may be used for walls, floors, equipment, products, and clean rooms. Industrial vacuums come in a variety of equipment, including stationary vacuums, mobile vacuums, and vacuum systems where workers pull hoses out from the wall that are attached to the main central system.
  • Hydro blasting: Hydro blasting, also called pressure washing, relies on high pressure water to remove substances from components, machines, and products. Typically used for lead and paint removal, this process may also be used to remove stuck on grime and other contaminants that are difficult to move. It may also be used on machines that are difficult to reach.

Develop a cleaning schedule for equipment that best fits the operations of the facility to minimize downtimes of equipment. Workers should follow all cleaning policies and procedures developed by the company and tailored to each specific piece of equipment.

Using Pressure Washers and Water Cannons

You may use pressure washers and water cannons to remove substances from off equipment in a range of indoor and outdoor environments. Workers often employ this equipment when machines have a buildup of grease and grime that is difficult to remove using manual cleaning processes.

High pressure washers come in smaller scale and are portable. The equipment may create water pressures ranging from as low as 2.2 gpm (gallons per minute) to 10 gpm. Workers may employ these machines on shop floors to remove grime from delicate components and fine details. Some industrial processes use pressure washers on during production to remove potential grease, dirt, and chemicals from the built products before the items move further down the process line.

Water cannons consist of larger systems with nozzles that remove large quantities of dirt during each passing of the jet of water. These cannons are commonly used in outdoor environments to rinse off dirt, grease, and chemicals from heavy equipment, storage tanks, and large pieces of machinery. Water pressures from water cannons may range from 20 gpm to higher than 150 gpm.

Schedule Preventive Maintenance on Your Cleaning Equipment

After using the process cleaning equipment, evaluate the machines for any signs of excessive wearing or damage. Perform the necessary repairs and replacement on cleaning equipment. Check cleaning equipment before use and perform a test to ensure the right amount of water or air pressure is released. If the wrong pressure comes from cleaning equipment, it may cause damage to machines that workers are trying to clean or not create enough pressure to completely clean the equipment.

Scheduled preventive maintenance allows you to keep the machines in working order at all times. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding the use of lubricants for equipment as well as other tasks that need to be performed to maintain them.

Track & Use Your Data

Technological innovations have allowed industrial equipment to connect virtually with each other as well as to monitoring systems. The equipment sends out real-time data regarding their operations. You may track both operational equipment as well as process cleaning equipment by gathering and analyzing this data. Any anomalies in the data may show workers about how equipment is not running at optimal levels. Then you may proactively use the data to create cleaning schedules as well as perform immediate maintenance work.

This equipment data may also show inefficiencies in operations due to the overall working environment. If equipment shows excessive wear and tear from contaminants in the workspace, you may need to employ additional cleaning and ventilation methods to further remove the substances from the workspace.

Here at Lechler, we are a nozzle manufacturer offering industrial cleaning technology to your operations. Our nozzles are designed to work with a range of process equipment during the production process as well as to clean equipment. For more information regarding our products, contact us today.