PLASTIC PARTS CLEANING [Oct 2011]
November 11, 2011 6:08 am
Apart from the advantages of the cost-benefit comparison and a higher, reproducible cleaning quality; the CO2 snow jet cleaning has also enabled reject rates to be lowered by around 3 per cent at Volkswagen Plastics Technology in Braunschweig
For about a year now, Volkswagen Plastics Technology in Braunschweig in Germany has been using the CO2 snow jet technique developed by acp to clean interior components before painting. Apart from aiming to improve quality, the main reasons behind the investment were cost-efficiency, sustainability, ease of automation and the low space requirements of the cleaning system. The process also enables high-gloss injection moulded components to be cleaned gently and efficiently before a single layer of metallic paint is applied.
A corporate philosophy of the Volkswagen concern is to increase sustainability and cost-efficiency as well as to constantly improve quality and work conditions. The development and manufacture of interior components such as panels, trims, ventilation grilles and air diffusers at Volkswagen Plastics Technology, which no longer need to be painted or only require the application of a single layer of paint, are additional factors. One of the components produced is a decorative panel made of ABS-PC blend (ABS – Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene, PC – Polycarbonate). Although the part already has a high-gloss surface on leaving the injection-moulding machine, it is subsequently coated with a layer of high-gloss metallic paint to give it a sophisticated finish.
Efficient cleaning required which is gently on materialsAs the paint is applied without an undercoat, the tiniest dust particles or water marks would cause rejects. Thus, a cleaning solution was needed which was not only fast, economical and reproducible, but also dry and gentle on materials. At the same time, the cleaning system had to fit into a small space and be integrable into the painting process. These demands could be fulfilled by the dry, environmentally-neutral CO2 snow jet technology from acp – advanced clean production GmbH. Extensive series of tests on high-gloss components and ‘conventional’ plastic parts showed that the cleaning process was capable of attaining the level of cleanliness required to pre-treat the entire spectrum of components to be painted.
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