Manufacturing Today
- Page 9
A Nice Finish
UniMetal Cleaning Up After Major Financial Investment
>>> by David Krechevsky

When you clean something, whether it’s a sink, a car or a pair of pants, the objective is simply to remove the dirt or stain. Precision cleaning, as practiced in the metal-finishing industry, seeks a more measurable goal.

Just ask UniMetal Surface Finishing LLC, which is headquartered in Thomaston and has a processing facility in Naugatuck. UniMetal is an industrial precision metal-finishing company that offers precision cleaning of metal components.

Industry Standards

According to Jim Orsatti, UniMetal’s vice president of sales and marketing, precision cleaning of manufactured parts involves removing “oil, residual metal particles and debris to a qualitative and quantifiable specification.” These specifications, he said, are established by customers, engineers, and/or industry standards.

The standards are measured, achieved and maintained through periodic “white-room laboratory analysis” of the size, weight or count of residual contaminants and particles, Orsatti said.

New Machinery

UniMetal recently made a major financial investment in a new, state-of-the-art, automated Roll parts vacuum ultrasonic cleaning machine. The company’s Thomaston facility already had four self-contained Ransohoff & Jenfab precision cleaning machines, which are designed to maintain an enclosed, controlled environment for cleaning parts that eliminates possible contamination of components during the cleaning process.

The new Roll machine, installed earlier this year, uses both spray and immersion technologies to clean products from various industry sectors. The machine uses solventbased vacuum degreasing solutions to achieve not only a cosmetic clean, but an “exacting cleanliness” as measured by specifications needed for parts used in aerospace, automotive, medical, and military applications.

UniMetal also offers ultrasonic precision cleaning, which uses “ultrasonic irradiation while parts are submerged during the cleaning process,” Orsatti said. “This facilitates the removal of impurities in difficult-to-reach recessed areas. The cleaning cycles are timed through the computer controller based on the amount it takes to achieve the desired results.”

Cleaning Cleaner

The new machine not only is more efficient, helping to increase productivity and reducing downtime, it also recovers 97 percent of the solvent used during the cleaning process, significantly reducing emissions into the environment, the company said.

The new machine also uses solvent at higher temperatures, which improves its ability to clean, and is capable of meeting particle and weight cleanliness requirements. Productivity is also improved because the machine can process six loads per hour, compared to four per hour for the other machines, and can run three shifts daily instead of two.

>>> see Finishing the Job ... page 12