Rigidity of linear motion system vital to parts washing process

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In designing a dedicated system to wash out the oil galleries of large engine heads post-manufacture, engineers at MecWash Systems in Tewkesbury had to work to very tight tolerances. The application required a cleaning lance to be automatically driven deep into the head with a clearance of just 1mm. To ensure the lance was not damaged in the process, a rigid drive system needed to be employed and for this purpose MecWash specified a BSP, precision ballscrew Rolled C7 Class, guided by an SL2 stainless steel linear system, both from HepcoMotion

Rigidity of linear motion system vital to parts washing processMecWash Systems specialises in the design and manufacture of a complete range of aqueous parts cleaning and degreasing systems for metal and plastic engineering components. These are widely used in the aerospace, automotive, defence, medical and general engineering sector, and the company is particularly competent at achieving high standards of cleanliness for components with complex geometries, difficult substrates or tenacious contaminants.

The company’s reputation has resulted in many blue chip automotive manufacturers regularly seeking its expertise, and it was one such company that ordered the bespoke washing system for which the HepcoMotion components were specified.

System designer Francois Chatron-Michaud says: “Weighing around 80kg, there was no danger of the engine head being damaged if the cleaning lance wasn’t correctly positioned. The problem was the other way round, and with just 1mm to spare, we had to make sure the driving system would remain sufficiently rigid to prevent the lance colliding with the walls of the oil gallery.”

Once in the engine head the lance jets water and detergent into the cavity at a pressure of 40 Bar to remove swarf and any other production debris.

The ballscrew selected by MecWash is from the HepcoMotion BSP Ballscrew Premier Series. A ground screw was specified for this precision application with a lightly pre-loaded, single DIN nut. To guide the ballscrew and lance into the engine block a HepcoMotion SL2 linear system was chosen. This guideway provides long life and virtually zero maintenance in wash down and other harsh environments.

HepcoMotion offers stainless steel and corrosion-resistant linear motion systems within its standard range. For MecWash this is an important benefit. Francois Chatron-Michaud explains: “The product is available quickly and doesn’t carry a price premium.” And as SL2 components are used on the MecWash standard range of washing systems too, ex-stock supply is valued by the company.

Francois Chatron-Michaud continues: “MecWash has worked with HepcoMotion for many years and we have an excellent relationship with its sales engineers. They provide us with sound technical support and this project is a good example of our collaboration.”

For further details about the BSP, precision ballscrew Rolled C7 Class, and SL2 stainless steel linear system from Hepcomotion, pleasego to

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