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Wacker Qualitässicherung – Cleaning a wide portfolio of complex parts in the MAFAC PALMA

Premium cleaning quality – just in time!

Wacker Qualitätssicherung GmbH, a contract manufacturer for automotive suppliers headquartered in Untersiemau near Coburg, bets on the PALMA by MAFAC for the final cleaning of its components.

For us, there is no such thing as 'no can do' – For two generations, this has been the motto of the medium-sized family-owned enterprise. "When the customer has a wish, we'll fulfil it. If we are not yet offering what the customer is looking for, we're going to respond to the challenge," says Andreas Wacker, Commercial Manager and junior boss of Wacker Qualitätssicherung GmbH. Thus, he and his Technical Manager Lutz Saebelfeld were first confronted with the issue of industrial parts cleaning in 2010. A customer was asking for cleaning of its complex precision parts, and specifically for aqueous cleaning. In the purchase of the respective cleaning machine, the focus was primarily on the cleanliness requirements and then on the purchasing price and operating costs. Furthermore, the machine should be able to cover as many different applications as possible to allow Wacker to meet any subsequent orders by other customers "just in time". From among the many systems offered on the market, Wacker opted for the MAFAC PALMA, a dual-bath machine with rotating spray system.

Parts cleaning as a module of quality assurance
Wacker Qualitätssicherung GmbH was established in 2003 as an independent enterprise, first under the name of Wacker Rework-Service GmbH. In the previous years, the management had founded the independent enterprise Metallbau Wacker e.K. as a provider for special and serial production of metal components to extend the range of services offered by the fields of quality assurance and reworking. Because of the high demand, this entire sub-division was acquired by the newly established company Wacker Qualitätssicherung GmbH. Since that time, the company checks and assures the quality of punched, turned, and cut parts for various industries such as suppliers of automotive and furniture producers or the electrical industry, always in strict compliance with the directives pursuant to DIN EN ISO 9001:2008.

The parts are largely steel and stainless steel components weighing between 1 g and 3,000 g. The parts are cleaned to remove oil, grease and chips as well as loosened burrs, and to prepare them for further processing such as laser welding, painting or glueing. Quick, thorough drying complements the cleaning process. After machining, the parts are returned to the customer. Starting with their first job in the field of industrial parts cleaning, the two experienced engineers expanded their know-how with every new order. Today, Wacker Qualitätssicherung GmbH is considering an extension of their parts cleaning services. "We received excellent start-up support from MAFAC which helped us to set up parts cleaning as a new division and major module of quality assurance," explains Andreas Wacker. Thanks to the know-how acquired from the MAFAC lab, the training courses at the MAFAC Cleaner College and the discussions at trade fairs, Wacker is in very good position now, he says. As the company was aiming at a healthy growth, the purchase of another MAFAC cleaning machine to expand this business sector is under discussion.

Flexibility thanks to a wide range of applications
The two engineers had become aware of the MAFAC PALMA due to a customer's recommendation. The dual-bath machine offered everything their task called for: an operator-friendly front loading system, an efficient aqueous cleaning system, a flexible drying system, and – very important – a wide range of applications with great versatility. "What we liked best was that this machine allowed us to meet the concrete wishes of our customer while giving us much flexibility for future jobs. If necessary, the MAFAC PALMA can easily be retrofitted with an ultrasonic unit," Lutz Saebelfeld reports. The decisive factor for the acquisition was the rotation principle of the MAFAC PALMA, the rotating spray system with the counter-rotating basket receptacle system. It gives the operating company the freedom to adjust the cleaning process to the respective degree of contamination and the complexity of the components.

Before Wacker opted for the PALMA, test cleaning runs were done in the Alpirsbach MAFAC Technikum. For Wacker Qualitätssicherung GmbH, it was important that not only isolated spots but the entire surface of the components comes in contact with the cleaning fluid delivered through the nozzles. To access all dirty parts in a batch, the two processes – flooding and spraying – had to be coordinated in an optimised manner. The experienced MAFAC application engineers specified a detailed cleaning program which ensured clean results in terms of efficiency and of economy. Another purchase criterion was parts drying via a rotating hot air pulse blowing system. The rotation of the drying system provides natural drying at an even temperature, avoiding corrosion and visible spots.

Constant loading capacity in permanent operation
Wacker Qualitätssicherung GmbH uses the MAFAC PALMA every day in three-shift operation. Thanks to the easy handling of the PALMA and the coalescence separator which guarantees a long service life of the cleaning baths, the operating processes could be optimised. Thus, the company reliably dispatches the batches of cleaned components every day, true to its motto "just in time". "For us as a service provider, the time factor is of the essence. With the MAFAC PALMA, we found a solution which quickly and reliably achieves premium results for sensitive components. What's more, our qualified employees, having received appropriate training, can operate it easily – even though the machine is based on a highly sophisticated process technology," is Andreas Wacker's conclusion.

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