How to Select an Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaner

How to Specify an Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaner

Industrial ultrasonic cleaners come in many sizes, shapes and features.  Before you select your industrial ultrasonic cleaner you should have a clear idea of what it is you want to accomplish, then match your requirements with features offered in the many models offered by Tovatech.

This post takes you through the decision process that we hope will lead to your selecting the best industrial ultrasonic cleaner for your requirements.

Topics include:

  • What is an “Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaner”
  • Important Features to Consider
  • Typical Applications with Relevant Links
  • Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaning Solutions and Maintenance
  • Investment Considerations and Pricing
  • Getting More Information

Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaners – Not Just “Size”

You might think an industrial ultrasonic cleaner must be “big” because it is handling industrial products.  Not necessarily so.  Your industrial parts washer size (or cleaning solution capacity) is governed by the size of parts you are cleaning.  They are offered as benchtop and floor mounted models. 

Another consideration to keep in mind is the duration of your cleaning cycles.  Long-term cleaning cycles (i.e. operating continuously over a work shift) mean your unit should have heavy duty tanks to prolong their service life.

An example is the heavy-duty, Elma xtra TT series benchtop models with tank sizes from 0.79 to 4.8 gallons that are designed for industrial ultrasonic parts washing.

Another example is the large-scale, floor-mounted  TOVA Pro ultrasonic cleaner with 5 tank capacities from 25 to 110 gallons. 

Additional Ultrasonic Cleaner Content:

Important Features in Selecting Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaners

Critical and important points to consider when selecting your industrial parts washer.

Make Sure your Unit will Handle the Parts

Purchase a unit that will allow the largest parts to be fully immersed in the cleaning solution.  Check what is called the working depth of an ultrasonic cleaner.  This is defined as the distance between the parts basket bottom or bottom rack  and the surface of the cleaning solution.  If you use baskets to hold your parts keep in mind that they are slightly smaller than tank internal dimensions.

How heavy are the parts? This will determine if they (1) are cleaned in baskets (2) are suspended from overhead or (3) rest on racks built into the tank bottom 

Specify the Ultrasonic Frequency

Ultrasonic cleaning occurs when billions of microscopic vacuum bubbles implode against surfaces being cleaned to blast loose and carry away contaminants. 

As they vibrate at frequencies measured in kilohertz (kHz or thousands of cycles per second) they cause the bottom of the tank to perform as a membrane, thus creating the bubbles.

Lower frequencies such as 25 kHz produce larger cavitation bubbles.  When these bubbles implode they release a larger amount of cleaning energy.  For extremely dirty parts such as removing lapping abrasives or polishing paste, a lower frequency will be more effective. 

A higher frequency produces smaller cavitation bubbles.  These cover fine featured complex surfaces more thoroughly and are gentler than low frequencies. 

6 Useful Ultrasonic Washer Features  

  1. Temperature controls let you set cleaning solution temperature to the level recommended by the cleaning solution manufacturer.
  2. Timers control the duration of the cleaning cycle.  Some units are designed to start cavitation when the selected temperature is reached and shut down at the end of the cycle.
  3. A degas mode speeds the removal of trapped air in fresh cleaning solutions  An alternative is allowing the equipment operate for a period of time without a load.    
  4. Sweep provides a slight ± fluctuation in the ultrasonic frequency and serves to even out the cleaning action to avoid “hot spots” or possibly damaging cavitation action, “dead zones” or no cleaning action, and harmonic vibrations.  
  5. A pulse mode boosts ultrasonic power up to 20% to remove stubborn contaminants. 
  6. While more ultrasonic power usually indicates faster and more effective cleaning, more power is not always better.  Too much power can damage delicate items.  If you are cleaning a variety of products adjustable power is a useful feature. 

Additional Commercial Ultrasonic Cleaner Information:

Typical Applications for Industrial Grade Ultrasonic Cleaners

The extent and type of contamination (i.e. dirt, gunk, greases and oils) to be removed may require longer cleaning cycles, pointing to the selection of an industrial ultrasonic cleaner.  The following examples provide you with greater detail on when and how these units are used. 

A  Quick Look at Ultrasonic Cleaning Solutions and Maintenance

Today’s biodegradable cleaning solution concentrates are a far cry from the environmentally unfriendly formulas used in the past. We encourage you to visit our cleaning solution selection guide for helpful information.

What’s The Best Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaner for You?

The best commercial ultrasonic cleaner depends on your requirements. Here are some of the cleaners available from Tovatech.

Elmasonic xtra TT Industrial Cleaners

Elma xtra TT

If you clean small to medium-sized parts, have demanding production schedules and must meet strict cleanliness requirements, the Elma xtra TT benchtop ultrasonic cleaners are a great choice.

More info

Elmasonic xtra ST Ultrasonic Cleaning System

Elma xtra ST

When cleaning large products the caster-mounted dual-frequency elma xtra ST units let you roll your ultrasonic cleaner where it is needed, requiring only a power source.  Dual-frequency capability handles tough and gentle cleaning tasks.  Ideal for cleaning critical components used in processing lines, thus minimizing down time.

More info

Elma Flex 1 and 2 Floor Mounted Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaners

Elma Flex 1 and Flex 2

Floor-mounted units from 9 to 45 gallons deliver improved efficiency, uniformity and throughput.  Multiple and selectable performance features on Elmasonic Flex units are headed by a precise vertical cleaning basket oscillation that delivers up to 20% faster and more thorough ultrasonic cleaning than fixed cleaning baskets.  Available as single Flex 1 Workstations or paired Flex 2 Workstation and Rinsing Station, Elmasonic Flex units deserve careful consideration if your shop handles a wide variety of complex tasks that must meet high standards.

More info on Flex 1 or Flex 2

TOVA Pro industrial ultrasonic cleaner

Tova Pro Industrial Cleaners

From aerospace to auto restoration, save time, labor and cleaning solution life using the Tova Pro for cleaning a wide variety of parts more quickly and more effectively, without toxic chemicals.  These units deliver professional results and extend the effectiveness of ultrasonic cleaning solutions using weirs, spray bars and filters.

More Info

Customized Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaning Units

When “off the shelf” units as described above cannot meet your requirements, a customized system can be created with tank dimensions, cleaning cycles, heating and ultrasonic power, electrical power supply, cleaning solutions and accessories based on your specific requirements.  The Tovatech engineering team is competent, flexible and quick, designing and building your system in a short time period.

Additional information on Customized Ultrasonic Parts Washers

Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaner Costs

Industrial ultrasonic cleaners are available in a number of price ranges based on size and features. Cost-benefit analyses are important to any investment in plant and equipment.  When it comes to cleaning industrial parts – or any part for that matter – time saved to achieve desired results is an important consideration.  Download our free pricing guide for more information.

About Bob Sandor

Bob began working as a chemist in 1987 and remains a science geek to this day. After his PhD he worked on the bench in materials and inorganic chemistry for 10 years. He then took on a love for marketing and sales. He combined his passion for science and business and took entrepreneur general management positions in large corporations like Hoecsht Celanese now Sanofi Aventis, Bel-Art and Smiths Detection. There he learned what it would take to run a business and finally Tovatech was co-founded in 2006. Bob’s hobbies include playing, listening and composing music, skiing, working out, the internet and all things science. Read More