Car battery in new car

Though battery problems are often associated with cold weather, Consumer Reports magazine says heat is a bigger enemy of car batteries and will take a bigger toll on performance and reserve capacity. The magazine recommends that vehicle owners in hotter parts of the country have their car battery tested after two years of ownership and then every year after. Those who live in colder areas can wait four years to test performance and capacity, and then every year after.

“Heat kills batteries,” according to John Banta, a Consumer Reports project leader and part of the team that tests batteries for the magazine. “Many times in cold climates your battery fails to start your car on a below-freezing day. The reason this happens is that the heat of the past summers has weakened your battery. When you use it in the cold, the starter requires more electrical current to turn over the cold engine with its thickened oil.”

Testing a battery’s performance and reserve (or amp-hour) capacity is not just a matter of seeing whether it will hold a charge (or checking the electric eye found on some batteries to see if it is green), so testing is best done by an auto technician.

A belt that isn’t cracked or frayed may look like it’s in good shape, but grooves on the hidden side may be worn enough that the belt slips on the pulleys that drive the accessories. That will cause problems in systems that rely on the belt to keep things humming. For example, a slipping drive belt may cause the alternator to work intermittently or at reduced power, and the battery won’t get fully recharged as a result, perhaps triggering a warning light.

Another sign of a worn belt is a squealing noise under acceleration. That could indicate that the belt is slipping because of wear, a belt tensioner is loose or a pulley is out of alignment.

Most modern vehicles use belts made from ethylene propylene diene monomer, a synthetic rubber that lasts longer than older types of engine belts. Most belt manufacturers estimate the typical lifespan of an EPDM belt to be 50,000 to 60,000 miles, and some say it’s more than 100,000 miles. However, it can be hard to tell how worn one is with just a visual check because EPDM belts are less likely to crack or lose chunks of rubber than other types. They should be inspected by a professional.

 

When Should You Replace It an Air Filter

The cabin air filter, a feature found on most late-model vehicles, cleans the air that comes into the interior through the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. It catches dust, pollen and other airborne material that can make riding in a car unpleasant, particularly if you have allergies or other respiratory problems.

Recommendations on when it should be replaced vary by manufacturer — some say every 12,000 or 15,000 miles, others longer — and how often can depend on how much you drive and where. Check the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. If you drive in heavy traffic in an urban area that has poor air quality, you could need to replace the filter annually or even more often. However, that also could be true in a desert climate where there is a lot of dust.

Some signs that you need a new cabin air filter are reduced air flow through your climate control system, such as when you crank up the fan too high and get more noise than results. Another is persistent bad odors. Even if you don’t have these warnings, you should have the filter checked at least once a year, and you may be able to do that yourself.

Many cabin air filters are located behind the glove box and are easily accessible by freeing the glove box from its fasteners (instructions should be in the owner’s manual). Others are located under the dashboard and may not be easy to reach, or under the hood where fresh air enters the climate control system. Some of these filters are expensive, as in $50 or more at dealerships, so you could save money by buying a replacement at a parts store and doing it yourself.

If a dealership service department or repair shop recommends you get a new cabin air filter, ask to see the current one. Depending on how long the filter has been in service, you might be shocked at what you see: leaves, twigs, insects, soot and grime that literally cover the entire surface that comes in contact with incoming air. You’ll know it’s time for a new cabin air filter.

Wheels Be Balanced

unduhan-63Smooth driving is a balancing act that requires getting the wheels and tires to rotate at high speeds without vibrations. That’s not a slam dunk; a dirty little secret about wheels and tires is that they usually aren’t perfectly round, even when brand new. What’s more, their weight often isn’t evenly distributed, so they’re heavier in some spots than others.

Either issue can cause annoying vibrations. Out-of-balance tires can also cause rapid tire or suspension wear, so it’s not just about ride comfort.

That is why when new tires are mounted on wheels they’re spin-balanced to detect vibrations. Some vibrations can be eliminated by rotating the tire on the wheel so the heavy or “high” spot is in a different location that better matches up with the wheel. Small weights are attached to the wheels with adhesives or clips to counteract the heavy spots and provide a smooth ride. Over time, though, the weights can fall off. If that happens to a front wheel, you may feel vibrations through the steering wheel that typically become more pronounced as vehicle speed increases.

Many tire dealers include free lifetime rotation and balancing with new tires (something you should ask about before buying). Tire rotation is when the vehicle’s tires are removed and reattached at a different position to ensure they wear evenly, which should be done every 5,000 to 7,500 miles on most vehicles, or according to the automaker’s recommendation.

Many consumers neglect the balancing part and have their tires rotated only periodically. If balancing was included with the tires, it would be wise to remind the shop to check the balance at the same time. Even if balancing costs extra, it’s a good idea to have it checked at least every two years, or more often in areas where roads are not well-maintained.

Vibrations can also be caused by a bent wheel, a damaged tire (which won’t be fixed by balancing), worn suspension parts or worn wheel bearings, so balancing the wheels and tires may not eliminate all vibrations.

Tires and wheels are balanced before being attached to the vehicle by spinning them on a balancing machine that identifies heavier or stiffer spots that cause vibrations. Some tire dealers and repair shops use “road force” balancing machines that simulate the weight and forces applied to tires and wheels during driving conditions. They say this method provides more accurate and detailed readings that allow more precise balancing.

Mileage Engines Worth the Extra Cost

unduhan-62Most major oil brands market oil made specifically for engines that have more than 75,000 miles of wear, claiming that additives help reduce engine wear and provide anti-aging benefits. They are often a blend of synthetic and petroleum-based oils, and they typically cost at least a couple of dollars more per quart than conventional oils.

But are they worth the extra dough?

Some oils may be more beneficial than others because they contain conditioners purported to rejuvenate seals to prevent or stop oil leaks, a common ailment in engines with a lot of miles on them.

Internal seals and gaskets become brittle and shrink as they age, allowing oil to seep by. Sometimes this becomes visible as oil stains on a garage floor or as streaks of oil on lower engine parts. When valve-guide seals wear, oil can leak into combustion chambers and the engine will literally start burning oil. With small leaks, blue smoke from burning oil may not be visible from the exhaust, but your oil level will probably drop below the full mark on a regular basis.

The seal conditioners found in some high-mileage oils may reduce or eliminate small leaks and seepage by rejuvenating seals to their original size and shape. If an engine isn’t burning or leaking oil, or if it uses, say, less than a quart over 6,000 miles or so, switching to high-mileage oil may not be worth the extra cost for you. It’s really a judgment call if you should pay more for high-performance oil when your car has 100,000 miles on it but is using little or no oil. It doesn’t hurt and it could prevent leaks from starting. Most vehicle manufacturers would say it’s normal for an engine to consume some oil between oil changes.

In addition to having seal conditioners, high-mileage oils usually boast more detergents designed to clean out sludge inside the engine, plus other additives meant to reduce wear on moving parts. Every oil, though, makes similar claims that it does great things inside an engine.

Some mechanics recommend switching to a thicker (higher viscosity) oil — such as 10W30 instead of 5W20 — or using oil additives to stop oil leaks. Thicker oil makes an engine harder to start in cold weather, reduces oil circulation around the engine and increases oil pressure, which means there will be more pressure trying to push the oil past seals and gaskets.

Change Engine Coolant Tips

images-59For some vehicles, you’re advised to change the coolant every 30,000 miles. For others, changing the coolant isn’t even on the maintenance schedule.

For example, Hyundai says the coolant (what many refer to as “antifreeze”) in most of its models should be replaced after the first 60,000 miles, then every 30,000 miles after that. The interval is every 30,000 miles on some Mercedes-Benz models, but on others it’s 120,000 miles or 12 years. On still other Mercedes, it’s 150,000 miles or 15 years.

Some manufacturers recommend changing the coolant more often on vehicles subjected to “severe service,” such as frequent towing. The schedule for many Chevrolets, though, is to change it at 150,000 miles regardless of how the vehicle is driven.

Many service shops, though — including some at dealerships that sell cars with “lifetime” coolant say you should do it more often than the maintenance schedule recommends, such as every 30,000 or 50,000 miles.

Here’s why: Most vehicles use long-life engine coolant (usually a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water) that for several years will provide protection against boiling in hot weather and freezing in cold weather, with little or no maintenance. Modern vehicles also have longer intervals between fluid changes of all types partly because environmental regulators have pressured automakers to reduce the amount of waste fluids that have to be disposed of or recycled.

Coolant can deteriorate over time and should be tested to see if it’s still good, as it can be hard to tell just by appearances. Even if testing shows the cooling and antifreeze protection are still adequate, antifreeze can become more acidic over time and lose its rust-inhibiting properties, causing corrosion.

Corrosion can damage the radiator, water pump, thermostat and other parts of the cooling system, so the coolant in a vehicle with more than about 50,000 miles should be tested periodically. That’s to look for signs of rust and to make sure it has sufficient cooling and boiling protection, even if the cooling system seems to be working properly. It can be checked with test strips that measure acidity, and with a hydrometer that measures freezing and boiling protection.

If the corrosion inhibitors have deteriorated, the coolant should be changed. The cooling system might also need to be flushed to remove contaminants no matter what the maintenance schedule calls for or how many miles are on the odometer. On the other hand, if testing shows the coolant is still doing its job and not allowing corrosion, changing it more often than what the manufacturer recommends could be a waste of money.

Automotive Radical Innovation In Urban Transpor

The Mobilicity system is an automated, driverless system for GRT or Group Rapid Transit. It functions as an advanced bus or taxi substitute in a wide variety of situations. This approach offers significant environmental benefits, allowing its users to address the major problems associated with urban mobility: congestion, air quality, noise and fossil fuel use.

The Driverless Mobilicity

It is cheaper to operate than a conventional bus system and offers unrivalled flexibility in operation. The electric vehicles operate on any graded road surface and require no specific infrastructure; this is a major competitive advantage over its only current competition.

As typical new urban developments commit 30% of the available land to the private car for roads and parking, the application of the Mobilicity approach can reduce this to 8%; a very significant amount of land released for other uses.  Further, it can also bring benefits in sensitive areas such as historic city centres where it can improve the environment without any structural impact.

Mobilicity has no direct competitors. Its closest rival is the PRT or Personal Rapid Transit sector. As an example, the Ultra PRT system, which uses a car-sized vehicle requiring extensive infrastructure, has considerable capacity and operational limitations compared to Mobilicity.

This innovative GRT concept has a very wide range of potential applications; from small scale private estates through to entire city centres. An independent analysis carried out for the company estimates the global market for systems of this type to be worth more than $8 billion by 2026.

Automated Battery PRT Cars Replace Buses At Heathrow Airport, Courtesy Of Www.Cleantechnica.Com

The Mobilicity project had its first developments in 2002 when the parent company, Capoco Design Limited, reached its 25th year of incorporation since it was formed in 1977. The approach at Capoco is always to look forward so the company decided not to concentrate on a reprise of its past activities, but to investigate the fairly urgent requirements for future city mobility.

Copoco with its public transport background, it seemed natural to commission a research project into the needs of city transport over the next 25 years up to 2027. This was to take into account all the major trends acting on the transport scene as a whole. This particularly included population growth and the rural-to-urban drift. It was therefore logical to study the transport needs of the mega-cities that will increase in number as we move from a 50% urban share of a 6 billion global population, to a 65% urban share of a 9 billion global population.

This demographic trend is being accompanied by an ageing population profile in many countries, with its impact on national finances, individual wealth, social exclusion and different mobility needs. These effects will run parallel to the equally well-known trends of reducing oil supplies, environmental pressure on local and global air quality and ever-greater societal losses through traffic congestion.

To study these major trends in our transport world, Capoco collaborated with the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, headed by Jeremy Myerson, at the Royal College of Art, London. Also part of the team was the famous Vehicle Design department of the RCA, led by Professor Dale Harrow.

The work commenced with an in-depth review of the current situation, the many pre-determined global trends and all possible transport solutions. The project team invited a range of experts, from a range of sectors including city and transport planning, the built environment, social mechanisms, to ideas workshops to discuss and develop different approaches to the challenges ahead. To assist this investigation process, actual city journeys in London, Istanbul and Hong Kong were analysed by tracking actual individuals through a range of different commuter scenarios.

From studying the requirements, an idealised system was proposed that used automated vehicles, effectively of variable size, running over the assorted routes. Then a process of back-casting, or retropolation, was applied to discover how this ideal system could be achieved in practice.

It is important to confirm that the Mobilicity system was never seen as a universal solution to all the transport challenges in all cities. The characteristics were developed to be complementary to other existing systems based on the various existing road, rail and water vehicles.

One fundamental feature of the study was the need for strict technical and commercial realism. The approach had to be able to deliver practical solutions over the time-frame being studied. Therefore any solutions involving exorbitant costs, and those requiring total new city infrastructures were not pursued. This pre-condition of practicality related particularly to the road and fuel infrastructures.

Applications In Automotives

Power applications in automotives are dynamically experiencing changes and improvements. One of the benefits of slimming down the vehicle body weight is less power energy consumption. Getting more kilometers out of the same amount of energy can be possible by fully exploiting the technology available in the market. A multitude of innovative concepts, technologies and materials are in the market and are used in the vehicles and transport carriers today. The relative high costs associated hindered the development and implementation of advanced materials and production technologies.
Potential novel materials applications have large scope, but the focus on two issues:

  • The development of innovative materials for batteries based on nanotechnology
  • The development of new light weight materials and respective technologies for vehicle applications.

We already discussed reducing structural weight in Automotives Body Weight Reduction that discussed on different materials role in reduction of body weight of automotives. While, innovative automotive electrochemical storage applications based on nanotechnology technical content and scope is:

Ford has come up with volume production plans for large-capacity Li-ion rechargeable batteries that are being made targeting electric vehicles and other applications in automobiles. As per Ford, Li-Ion batteries are the obvious energy storage option for PHEV with 50% less weight and 30% less volume with

  • High degree of application compatibility
  • Well resolved SOC
  • Historic research focus on high energy
  • Reasonable power-to-energy ratio design flexibility
  • Wider range of electrode material choices
  • Long term cost potential

Lithium Ion Technology is one of the satisfactory methods that still most car manufacturers would agree for long distance EV use. Energy and power density, cost and safety improvements are needed at a higher ratio. The developmental projects shall solely address the development of innovative materials and technologies for battery components, material architectures and systems for automotive electrochemical storage at cell level within a responsible, sustainable and environmental-friendly approach looking at the entire life cycle. The affect of the battery properties at the nanoscale across a full cell includes modelling and simulation. The focus is on innovative technologies, architectures and chemistries and should address the issues like:

  • performance, safety, recyclability and cost
  • Potential capability for fast charging without significant life reduction
  • Effect of bi-directional flow at charge stations
  • Availability of other associated materials
  • Eco-design and the environmental impact by material production
  • Characterization, standardization and synergies with other applications.

Proof of concept in terms of product or process is encouraged as is participation from the manufacturing industrial sector within strong interdisciplinary consortia.

Globally many events take place on the power applications in automobiles and the industry members are thriving to bring a breakthrough in the technology.

Ticona Material Innovations for Fuel / Hybrid Systems presented its innovative automotive power solutions at ITB Automotive Energy Storage Systems 2012. Being a supplier of engineering polymers, Ticona showcased material innovations for automotive fuel and hybrid powertrain systems that are solutions for aggressive gasoline, diesel and bio-diesel fuel applications, including ESD polymers and hybrid Powertrain Systems Solutions for battery separator films and power distribution, and materials that can reduce overall system weight to offset battery mass, improve packaging and ensure powertrain reliability.

A123 systems, transportation energy storage solutions  are advanced lithium ion energy storage solutions that enable higher performance and increased efficiency in passenger and commercial electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The knowledge of electric drive-train technologies allows A123 to work closely with its customer’s fully-integrated system level to help commercialize new vehicle concepts. When compared to other battery chemistries, A123’s automotive class lithium ion battery systems delivers durability, reliability, high power density, extended life cycling, superior abuse tolerance for excellent safety performance and higher usable energy due to a wide usable state of charge range.

Absorbers In Automotives

A shock absorber is basically an oil pump, a device used to smooth the push or shake that take place abruptly and roughly and distribute it as kinetic energy. Shock absorbers are crucial in all the motorcycle and automobile suspension, where landing gear is a part of the support systems for industrial machines. A shock absorber is usually a cylinder containing a sliding piston which is cushioned by hydraulic fluid or air.

During 1900’s cars use to ride on carriage springs, which are a simple form of spring commonly used for the suspension in wheeled vehicles. With respect to suspension designs, the initial vehicle manufacturers faced early challenges in enhancing driver control and comfort of passenger. These early suspension designs found the front wheels attached to the axle using steering spindles and kingpins, those allowed the wheels to pivot while the axle remained stationary. Other than these, the up and down oscillation of the leaf spring was damped by device called a shock absorber. The initial shock absorbers were simply two arms connected by a bolt with a friction disk between them and were not very durable. Here the resistance was adjusted by tightening or loosening the bolt and their performance was least minded.

Technically, conceptually shock absorbers experienced vast developments over the 20th century. However, the developments in automobiles and the usage of automobiles demanding a new range of shock absorbers at every turn and milestone of automobile industry. Hence, 21st century has been witnessing more sophisticated concepts and designs of automobile shock absorbers.

Several shock absorber designs came into availability in the industry. The adjustable and nonadjustable shocks are basically of two different designs as twin-tube and mono-tube. Whereas, industry focus also turned to customization of the product based on the vehicles they are going to impart with.

  • Basic Twin Tube Design has an inner tube known as the working or pressure tube and an outer tube known as the reserve tube. The outer tube is used to store excess hydraulic fluid.
  • Twin Tube – Gas Charged Design is a major advancement in ride vehicle control technology and also solved many ride control problems that occurs due to an increasing number of vehicles using uni-body construction, shorter wheelbases and increased use of higher tire pressures. Currently, twin tube – gas charged design adapted in original equipment on many domestic passenger car, SUV and light truck applications
  • Twin Tube – PSD Design or Position Sensitive Damping Design is a leap beyond fluid velocity control is an advanced technology that takes into account the position of the valve within the pressure tube. The technology has solved the compromises between soft valving and firm valving. The twin tube – PSD design specialty is that it adjusts more rapidly to changing road and weight conditions than standard shock absorbers
  • Twin Tube -ASD Design or Acceleration Sensitive Damping Design is an answer to the compromises made by ride engineers to bring comfort and control together into one shock absorber. This technology moves beyond traditional velocity sensitive damping to focus and address impact. The intelligence in this technology is that the compression valve will sense a bump in the road and automatically adjust the shock to absorb the coming impact, leaving the shock with greater control when it is needed.
  • Mono-tube design is a high-pressure gas shocks with only one tube that is the pressure tube and does not have a base valve. The difference in actual application is that a mono-tube shock absorber can be mounted upside down or right side up and will work either way reducing the unsprung weight. In addition to its mounting flexibility, mono-tube shocks are a significant component, along with the spring, in supporting vehicle weight.

The 2012 release – Cadillac Escalade came with shock absorbers those decrease the impact of bumps and provides a smoother ride. 5788 from Monroe Sensa-Trac Shock Absorber is applied for 04-06 Cadillac CTS and 5787 from Monroe Sensa-Trac Shock Absorber is applied for 03-03 Cadillac CTS. Monroe Sensa-Trac shocks and struts have been recognized for their trusted ride control product for drivers who want ultimate comfort with added control.

MShock Absorbers In 21st Century

21st century is known for the innovations in shock absorbers. The shock absorbers and the autos are also structural friendly that the automobile owner him/herself can change or adjust or replace the shocks.

Performance shock absorbers are available in single- and double-adjustable configurations. Double-adjustable shocks have the ability to trim the bump and the rebound separately. Whereas, the single-adjustable shocks allows changes to the rebound portion of the shock. Single-adjustable shocks are more expensive than the traditional or nonadjustable shocks and very less expensive compared to double-adjustables. Few of single-adjustable shocks are the Koni, Competition Engineering, Tokico, and QA1.

Specialty Shocks purpose started with drag racing, because the situation actually requires shocks for the front and rear that are often much softer than stock. While nonadjustable stock replacement shocks do an adequate job of improving handling over worn-out original shocks in the high-performance applications and stock shocks are often found wanting.

Innovative Automotive Solutions

Windows Embedded Automotive has spent more than 15 years enabling vehicle-based infotainment systems that let drivers control their car stereos, mobile phones and other devices with voice commands. Consumers have since come to expect that they can access and share information — even while they’re driving. They have traded the legacy driving aids of the AM radio and road atlas for entertainment, navigation and communication services.

The in-car infotainment systems are now one of the top selling points and are helping the automotive industry create what it calls the “connected car.” Depending on the system they’ve selected, drivers can listen to text messages, connect to social media, receive driving directions and more, all without taking their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel. The connected car is one more example of what Windows Embedded calls intelligent systems.

Windows Embedded Automotive 7 includes state of the art hands free phone control including address book and calendar download with secure simple pairing.

New in Windows Embedded Automotive 7 is SMS Reply by voice. Drivers can reply to text messages using voice controls where the system matches the drivers reply to stored messages like “Running late” or “See you in 10 minutes.”

Support for media devices like iPod and Zune, a cornerstone of past Windows Embedded Automotive platforms, have been upgrade and improved including iPhone/iPod Touch Firmware 3.x support, Bluetooth 2.1 and the latest DLNA.

Additionally Microsoft provides regular device updates to car makers so that the platform always works with the latest devices keeping your solution relevant for years.

What’s New For Microsoft Auto Customers?

Those familiar with Microsoft Auto can enjoy the new tools that the Windows Automotive development environment (the Automotive Adaptation Kit [AAK]) brings to Windows Embedded Automotive 7:

  • Next-generation Automotive System Tools

The AST tools support the stable integration of advanced, high-performance systems. They include improved test modules and easy-to-use product engineering guidelines to help simplify the development process and increase reliability.

  • A wider selection of middleware components

These include Windows Internet Explorer and Windows Media technology, required for the development of an automotive multimedia system.

  • Significantly improved middleware

Updated Bluetooth profiles, enhanced media and phone modules and application cores all to make sure that Windows Embedded Automotive continues to be the preferred and leading in-car infotainment platform.

  • Microsoft Tellme speech technology engines and Silverlight for Windows Embedded

Ford Motor Company also used Windows Embedded Automotive to power the award-winning Ford SYNC, SYNC with MyFord Touch and SYNC AppLink.

Multilanguage functionality in Ford SYNC was unveiled with the all-new Focus available now in China. With the introduction of the Focus, SYNC will feature Mandarin as its interfacing language, recognizing wide-ranging accents from 13 provinces, while also responding to English commands. Spoken by more than 1.2 billion people, the Mandarin language has subtleties that necessitated extensive research to allow for the differences in the pronunciation of the same word.

Ford’s Expansion In China

China is known as the center of all nations, and it makes an ideal location for Ford to devote efforts to its largest expansion in a half-century.

“These are incredibly exciting times for Ford in Asia,” said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “So far, Ford’s investments in China and across Asia represent its largest and most rapid global expansion in 50 years.

Automakers from across the globe are establishing roots in China to take advantage of this growing market as witnessed by all the major car companies exhibiting at the most recent Beijing auto show. And Ford is taking steps to ensure it offers something the automaker likes to call a “ connected car experience ” to the Chinese consumer with an expanded and fresh lineup of new vehicles.

Achieving Cleanliness Reliably And Efficiently

Component cleanliness is a quality criterion in the motor vehicle industry. Requirements are becoming stricter and stricter with each vehicle generation – with simultaneously increasing cost pressure. And thus for the automotive industry and its suppliers it’s becoming more and more important to exploit optimisation potential in the area of parts cleaning.

Global emphasis is being placed upon reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, as well as increasing safety and comfort within the vehicle manufacturing industry. Downsized engines are in demand which run more efficiently with high power output, as are components that are capable of withstanding extreme loads and are distinguished by tight tolerances. However, this is only possible with high precision components – and this is associated with increased sensitivity to contamination. If they end up in the wrong place, even particles with sizes down to 500, 200 or even just 100 µm can cause damage and failure in the field. This is why, in the meantime, the automotive industry has started defining particle size distributions for certain parts in functional modules such as the power train, steering and brakes, for example no more than 1,000 particles between 100 and 200 µm, 500 particles between 200 and 400 µm etc. In order to fulfil and document these requirements, large investments in industrial parts cleaning technology are required in some cases. For example, based on calculations, the outlays required for cleaning technology which fulfils a specified requirement of “no particles larger than 1,000 µm” are two to three times higher than for systems in which cleaned parts are contaminated with larger particles.

Minimising Contamination

The issue of potential for economic optimisation in the parts cleaning process is pursued despite, or perhaps precisely due to the large investment sums involved in some cases. One approach is component design, because the geometry of the workpiece and the individual steps of the manufacturing process, for example turning, milling and assembly, as well as cleanability, are determined during the design stage. The latter usually plays no role at all, for which revenge is taken during the subsequent production process: The parts have corners, edges or drill holes from which particles and processing residues can only be removed with considerable effort, or not at all.

Due to the fact that material is removed during the course of chip-forming machining processes, contamination can never be entirely avoided. The quality of cooling lubricants and machining fluids influences the quantity of chips, burrs and particles on the workpieces. Suitable purification/filtration prevents previously washed away contamination from being returned to the component once again.

A special rinsing step with the tool in the machining centre – perhaps even with more finely purified fluid from a separate tank – can also make a contribution to reducing the number of chips. At first glance, this represents an additional expense. But it pays for itself later on in the manufacturing process thanks to shorter cleaning times and/or a longer bath service life, as well as better component quality. And residues which are removed after machining by means of mechanical pre-cleaning based on vibration, shaking, spinning or vacuum blasting the surfaces of the part do not place any unnecessary load on the cleaning agent.

In the case of multi-stage machining processes in metal forming and machining applications, intermediate cleaning steps prevent the accumulation of contamination, as well as any mixing or drying out of media on the workpieces.

Ideally Laid Out Cleaning Processes

Modern cleaning systems are capable of fulfilling even very high demands for component cleanliness – assuming the cleaning process has been ideally matched to the contamination to be removed, part geometry, the utilised material and the cleanliness specification to be complied with.

The limit value of “smaller than 1,000 µm” for components in engines and gearboxes can only be adhered to with a cleaning process which has been laid out specifically for the respective part. The current state-of-the-art makes use of a multi-stage procedure to this end. The workpieces are thus usually subjected to mechanical cleaning during the first step, which removes some of the adhering machining fluid. The second step involves immersion flooding: Water is injected into the cleaning chamber below the surface of the bath at a pressure of 10 to 15 bar. The resulting whirlpool effect rinses chips and contamination out of hollow spaces such as threaded blind holes. Water jet systems which are aimed at openings in the component, and lances which advance into holes, allow for optimised results within short periods of time. This applies as well to subsequent high-pressure cleaning or deburring. Rinsing is followed by a drying process.

Numerous engine and gearbox variants, as well as ever shorter product life cycles, necessitate a great deal of flexibility – even for individual part cleaning. This is accomplished by automated cleaning solutions with robots, which are integrated into the production line. Thanks to options provided for easy reprogramming, these assure levels of flexibility which are comparable to those offered by machining centres.

Large numbers of vehicle parts are cleaned in batch processes as individually positioned items or bulk goods. Single and multi-chamber systems which can be integrated into the production line are available for these cleaning tasks as well. A modular design with various interlinking options assures adaptability to specific requirements, as well as expandability in accordance with actual needs.

In addition to the utilised process technology and the medium, the container also has a great deal of influence on the results and the economic efficiency of the cleaning process. There are two primary questions in this respect: Are the parts in the container readily accessible from all sides for the medium and the washing mechanism? Is it possible to position the part within the container such that critical areas can be treated in a targeted fashion?

An additional requirement for efficient cleaning processes is the removal of loosened contamination from the cleaning bath so that it isn’t redeposited on the parts. In order to assure continuous particle removal, gentle but constant bath motion is necessary on the one hand, and effective filtration which is matched to the actual particle size is required on the other hand.