Finishing coatings such as zinc and electroplating are not effective if they are applied on a dirty surface.
Parts washer varieties include industrial washers, which are manual, semi-automatic or, most commonly, fully automatic. Parts cleaning systems differ depending on many factors. Most are aqueous parts washers, which can be spray washers, rotary washers or agitating parts washers; each variety cleans parts with a different method.
Parts cleaners wash many different parts, from large collections of small parts to individual large parts like drums or automotive parts. Aside from industrial manufacturers, the electronics, automotive and medical industries often use industrial parts washers.
Equipment, furniture and technology often require paint, powder coatings, zinc coatings, lubricants, electroplating and other surface treatment, none of which would be possible without thorough parts washing in many cases.
Parts cleaning equipment, which makes up the washer machine, consists of a cabinet, a water heater, a filtration system, pumps, scrubbers, brushes and nozzles. Cabinets (also called enclosures or housings) are often made of stainless steel, though some cabinets also feature glass and plastic components.
Water heaters can be gas, electric or steam powered. The filtration system collects waste and debris generated by the cleaning process. Pumps increase the pressure of sprayers, and scrubbers and brushes help dislodge contaminants from parts. Hot water, detergents, solvents, vapors, acids and alkaline solutions, some synthetic and some natural, are used to break down contaminants and remove them from parts.
Some are fully automated and controlled by a CNC machine to adjust settings, while some require manual loading. The parts being washed can be front or back loaded, and they can be washed in a basket, tray, rack system, by a robotic arm, a rotary table or conveyer belt.
Most part washers are aqueous, meaning they use water and a water-based chemical or natural solvent in which they boil, blast or soak the dirty parts until they have been cleaned.