There is barely any industry which does not have the need for the cleaning of equipment, products or infrastructure. Today, many UK manufacturing processes still employ traditional cleaning methods; a combination of aqueous and solvent cleaning processes, a number of which are manual, expensive to run and with long cleaning cycles.

Cleaning with carbon dioxide (Co2) is a fantastic alternative to traditional cleaning methods. The process converts liquid Co2 into tiny dry ice crystals, known as “snow” and combined with compressed air, accelerates the snow onto components for the purpose of cleaning.

Cleaning with carbon dioxide a perfect solution for the automotive sector

One of the key manufacturing industries which benefit the most from Co2 cleaning is within automotive plastics manufacturing, in particular for processes producing bumpers, trim, outer mirrors, grills and headlights.

For over thirty years, automotive manufacturers have been increasingly adopting plastics into their designs and the benefits include:

  • Plastics are durable, strong and resistant to corrosion and impact
  • Lower cost option than traditional materials
  • Lightweight and improve efficiencies within assembly processes
  • Offer up to 50% weight savings compared to traditional parts
  • Help to reduce fuel consumption (every 100kg reduces fuel consumption by up to 750 litres)
  • Reduce emissions whilst improving safety and adding comfort and aesthetics.

Cleaning is an important and often challenging step within the automotive production workflow. Manufacturers need a fast, effective, non-residual way to remove dirt, grease and other unwanted substances from car parts, infrastructure and tools. For processes which require power wash ‘wet’ systems in order to clean plastics parts prior to painting processes, wash process cycle times can range between 7 and 10 minutes per part, with additional drying process times of up to 5 minutes. Power wash plant footprints can also require up to an estimated 100 square meters of space, with full capital investment of between £2 and £3 million.

Significant reductions in cleaning cycles with BOC’s CRYOCLEAN®

CRYOCLEAN® systems from BOC are being adopted into automotive plastic manufacturing plants as replacements for power wash systems. Using carbon dioxide cleaning can deliver the same volume of part cleaning, whilst reducing cleaning cycle times down from 10 minutes to 30 seconds per part, with no additional drying process required. Commonly footprints of systems are around 80% smaller than power wash plants with the requirement for capital investment significantly lower.

Interested? Put us to the test

To really see this technology come to life, come and see CRYOCLEAN® in action at BOC’s Manufacturing Technology Centre in Wolverhampton.

To book your demo or for more information about CRYOCLEAN®, please email cryoclean@boc.com.

Stuart Wilders
Market Sector Manager
Advanced Manufacturing