Improving part cleaning efficiency in the aerospace industry

Hayley Everett
The UCM multi-stage ultrasonic cleaning systems for precision cleaning are used for the most different tasks in production and the MRO of aircraft components including applications in a cleanroom environment. Photo via Ecoclean.

The cleaning of parts and surfaces is one of the most quality-related and essential processes in the aviation industry, particularly in the maintenance and repair (MRO) of aircraft components.

In addition to ensuring the long-term function of components such as engines, turbines, and gear units, part cleanliness also helps to maintain the quality of downstream processes like heat treatment, coating, and bonding. And, as current and future developments such as energy-efficient engines, fuel cell engines and commercial drones drive changes in aviation parts and manufacturing processes, new and modified requirements for the cleaning of such components are emerging.

Industrial part cleaning machinery, systems and services manufacturer Ecoclean produces a wide range of products specifically tailored to these challenging tasks, including its new UCMSmartLine ultrasonic multi-bath immersion system.

The UCMSmartLine system

Like Ecoclean’s other multi-level ultrasonic cleaning systems, the UCMSmartLine is used in both aircraft manufacturing and MRO operations, including within cleanroom environments. Designed for complex precision cleaning tasks, the system can be configured almost freely from standard modules and expanded at any time.

The UCMSmartLine is a modular, immersion-type ultrasonic system with up to nine wash and rinse stages to solve numerous individual cleaning tasks. The system works by agitating parts in its various wash and rinse modules and optional rotary and spinning movements, before its variable ultrasonic equipment for mono, twin and multi-frequency operation takes over.

The cleaned parts then pass through various hot air, infrared and vacuum drying stages via the system’s flexible transport system that handles product carriers and baskets. Up to 99 different cleaning programs can be easily created on the system, while engineers can take advantage of its process visualisation and fault diagnosis capabilities.

In particular, the UCMSmartLine is suited for the cleaning of precision mechanics and parts for aircraft, as well as thin film coated parts such as tools, automotive parts and fittings, precision optics like lenses and mirrors, and medical components.

Ecoclean’s industrial cleaning portfolio

Ecoclean’s industrial cleaning products and services are based on extensive technological expertise, application knowledge, and aviation-specific certifications. Alongside its standard product and service offerings, the firm also develops individually-tailored cleaning products and services based on the material, component geometry, and specific contamination and cleanliness requirements of specific applications.

The firm’s portfolio includes standard and special batch and single part cleaning products, which makes use of aqueous media and eco-friendly solvents. The products ensure that required particulate and thin-film cleanliness is achieved in a reproducible and sustainable way, with its EcoCvelox enabling the deburring and cleaning of hydraulic components in a single process.

Ecoclean’s dry cleaning technologies, which make use of steam, CO2 and plasma, have also reportedly proven their effectiveness in a variety of applications within the aviation industry and MRO sector.

Meanwhile, continuous monitoring and recording of key cleaning parameters helps to ensure the company’s products and services are both technically and economically optimised, while its service app for MRO tasks offers custom service and maintenance concepts, digitisation of the cleaning process, and options for modernising and adapting its systems.


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