The machine can process up to
6 parts an hour. Parts fit into a working space of 36” x 24” x 18” DIMS.
A key feature is the system’s ability to keep the parts submerged while
simultaneously cleaning with water, cavitation jets, and ultrasonics. This
results in the best possible cleaning of complex-shaped parts by penetrating
deep into every hole. A pump and filtration system recirculates the fluid within
the tank during the cleaning cycle to remove debris. The draining process fully
purges the cleaning chamber every cycle, flushing soils and chips from the parts
and process chamber, allowing even the most complex parts to be effectively
cleaned. During the final rinse portion of the cycle, the particle counter
checks the quantity and size of particles still being removed from the part to
ensure requirements are surpassed. The attached air knife dryer and vacuum
chamber ensure all liquid has been blown off or evaporated, leaving a clean dry
part. Years of SharperTek innovation
and development have resulted in proven, simple, rugged designs and construction
elements that provide continuous reliable operation.
The unique combination of
robotic motion and cavitation jets remove any particulate on the surface or in
blind holes. The cavitation nozzle
permits effective cleaning at dramatically lower flow rates, lower temperature,
and without chemical cleaning agents. The
robot is programmed to present every surface and hole on the part to one of the
high pressure cavitation jets which loosen any debris on the surface. The robot
does not just place a hole in front of the jets but moves the part back and
forth so that pressure pulses drag any debris out of the hole. Meanwhile, the
ultrasonics continuously blast the part with vibrations to remove macro and
microscopic particles. This ensures even the smallest pieces of debris are
Soiled water in the wash tank
overflows into the weir tank then back into the storage tank.
The storage tank is continuously churned with eductors, so there is no
place for particulates to settle. Chips
& particles ingested by the vertical pump.
Particles are then forced through large particle strainers, then through
5 micron filter elements before being delivered back to the wash tank via
cavitation nozzles. The
nozzles only ever spray the part with filtered water.
The system includes an
optical particle counter with a sensitivity range from 0.2 micron to 125
micron…larger particles are counted as 125 micron.
The counter measures an apparent optical size of a particle as it passes
in front of a laser, then reports a histogram of apparent size ranges.
Each bar of the histogram is the number of particles counted in that
range during a sampling time. During
testing at SharperTek, a correlation between apparent optical size and actual
particle mass will be established. This
allows us to determine the cleanliness of the fluid coming off the part at any
time. Testing will also determine
what level of fluid cleanliness correlates to empirical part cleanliness.
This way during operation, by measuring fluid cleanliness we validate the
part cleanliness specification. An
exceptionally dirty part can be run multiple times through the washing phase
until the fluid cleanliness threshold is met.
An administrator can reprogram the histogram bins and process parameters
from the HMI if alternative cleanliness specs or part geometries are encountered
over the life of the system.
The wash tank rapidly drains
into the storage tank. With the wash tank empty, the nozzles begin rinsing the
part again with filtered water. The robot repeats the cleaning motion to rinse
any remaining debris off all surfaces and holes and excess liquid drains back to
the storage tank. During the end of the rinse cycle, the particle counter
collects a sample to check how clean the part is.
The air knives are located
above the process tank. Water that
is blasted off the part will fall into the wash tank.
The air knives use cool nitrogen to displace atmospheric oxygen in the
enclosure. After blowoff the part
can be released to the staging area and picked up on the opposite face if
necessary for air knives to access opposite face.
Clever design of EOAT should obviate this step.
If the part is massive enough
it will hold enough heat at ambient temperature to vaporize remaining water
during vacuum drying. If not, then
undesirable ice crystals may form. This
shows the advantage of blowoff…to minimize water on part.
The design will include optional warming plates in the staging area, if
the part must be warmed before the vacuum phase.
After staging, robot docks
with already dried part in vacuum chamber and returns it to the parts nest or
conveyor. Next, robot docks with
staged part and releases it into the vacuum chamber.
When robot signals it is clear, vacuum lid closes.
The scroll pump drops the chamber to a rough vacuum forcing lid tight
against oring seal. At room
temperature water vaporizes and is pumped out of the chamber.
A dual vacuum chamber is an option to reduce process time.
With the separate washing and
drying tanks, the machine is capable of processing 2 parts simultaneously; one
part in the cleaning tank while another cleaned part in the vacuum chamber
dries. When the cleaning is
completed, the robot quickly removes the dried part and loads the damp clean
part into the vacuum tank and then starts the cleaning process on a new part.
This process continuously maintains a 2 part cleaning cycle, doubling
The wash tank bottom is
sloped from three sides for 100% quick drainage and chip removal.
These chips and other debris drop into the storage tank, which also has a
sloped bottom. Chips and particles
are maintained in suspension by eductors. Suspended
solids are ingested by a vertical pump, which rapidly turns over the fluid
volume. The pump discharges through
dual strainers and filters. Each
strainer-filter set can be isolated so that an operator can dump the strainer
basket or change the filter element while the system is online.
Pressure gages on the filter housing visually indicate to the operator
when a filter element needs changing. However,
they should also be changed on a PM schedule, or to troubleshoot cleaning
As magnesium is less reactive
in low temperature water, a chilling system constantly cools the water in the
storage tank to 50°F. This will not only remove any heat that was added during
the pumping or cleaning portions but also keeps the fluid well below room
temperature. A temperature sensor in the storage tank monitors this process.
Additionally, a conductivity sensor in the storage tank monitors the PPM of
dissolved magnesium in the solution. In the case that the water is too warm or
conductive, a warning message on the control panel is activated and the cleaning
process will halt until the water returns to appropriate operating conditions.
At low temperatures the
production of hydrogen should be trivial. However,
if the hydrogen reaction proceeds for some reason, a roof mounted ventilation
and mist collector are present to remove the hydrogen.
If for some reason these systems are insufficient, a backup hydrogen
sensor continuously monitors the process chamber checking for elevated hydrogen
levels. At 1% Hydrogen, it activates
a non-urgent warning and begins to add nitrogen to the chamber, pushing the
lighter hydrogen up and out through the ventilation duct.
At 2% hydrogen, an alarm sounds, operation is halted, and the nitrogen
purging continues. This prevents and
undesirable 4.1% hydrogen level.
An ergonomically designed
loading mechanism helps operators work efficiently and stress free. An operator
places a parts nest outside of the process chamber window and the robot does the
rest. In the case of a conveyored system, an operator is not necessary except to
periodically monitor the functionality and safety of the machine. In both cases,
monitoring systems stop a person from interacting with the robot. If a roll-up
parts nest is used, a light screen around the docking location for the cart will
temporarily halt operation if it detects a person. In a conveyored system, the
conveyor is covered by a housing at the point of robot pickup, eliminating any
possible contact between an operator and the robot.
Operators are free to unload and load additional parts nests or work on
other tasks while the AMT2000-115G4T-DEBURR cleans the parts. Easy
loading and unloading speeds cleaning and reduces operator stress.
The robot is IP67 rated.
This means it can withstand being submerged in water 1 meter deep for 1
minute. No part of the robot will be
submerged or placed in front of a nozzle. The
EOAT extends beyond the robot wrist and will be submerged.