This is like asking how much does a car cost. It will depend on many things including:
- Size, power and heating levels
- Optional extras like filtration and oil skimming
- Inclusion of parts like baskets, lids and lifting gear
- The complexity and non-standardised nature of the cleaning operation such as automation, the number of stages in the full cleaning process from wash to rinse to dry
Looking at each, in turn, we can see why and how these affect cost.
Size does matter!
Quite obviously larger Ultrasonic cleaning baths cost more. They require more steel, more Ultrasonic power, more heating and, quite often, will often have more optional extras such as filtration and oil skimming. It will usually require lids and baskets to handle the larger items being cleaned and maintain the work area atmosphere free of moisture and chemical vapour.
it is worth repeating the obvious that it is the volume of a tank that is the most important factor in determining the cost, and volume depends on all three dimensions of width, length and depth. Volume is the key determinant of the levels of ultrasonic and heating power required.
There will not be a doubling in price from doubling the volume of a bath. For example, a basic 28-litre bath will cost around £2,500 Under 58 litre around £3,500. Going up the scale a basic 100-litre bath may cost in the region of £6,000 whilst a 200-litre tank will cost around £8,000 and a 300-litre tank around the £10,000.
Similar to cars, ultrasonic cleaning baths can have a variety of optional extras depending upon the nature of the cleaning to be performed and the level of cleanliness to be achieved.
These extras include items like filtration which both prolongs the longevity of the solution and improves the level of cleanliness that can be achieved, filtration requires a pump filter cartridge and all the pipework connecting an outlet and inlet from the bath itself. stand-alone filtration units may also be used where retrofitting is done. the cost of a filtration system does not vary tremendously between large and small baths typically costing from 1500 to 3000 pounds.
Oil skimming or weiring is another common optional extra where oils and greases other contaminants to be removed and the oil is lighter than water. like filtration, it prolongs the longevity of the solution and it improves the level of cleanliness that can be achieved. Either process will require pump and oil specific filtration and separation together with the piping and waste receptacles. Again there is a minimum cost to all of this which does not vary proportionately between small and large baths. Costs from £2,000 to £4,000 would be typical of a simple oil separation feature.
Baskets, lids & Lifting Gear
Some form of carrier to hold the parts being cleaned is essential and the most common method is the use of a mesh basket. Like the bath itself, the cost of a basket will not increase proportionately to size. As a rough guide, a basket will represent around 8% of the cost of the bath itself, ranging from £250 for a 28-litre bath to £400 for a 98-litre bath and £680 for a 300-litre bath.
Lids are a common option on most size baths, reducing the level of evaporation from the bath solution and maintaining heat in the solution between cleaning cycles. For smaller baths simple lift-off lids with handles are adequate and will be relatively cheap ranging from £100 for small tanks (28L) to £250 pounds for large tanks (200L). However, for tanks above 200 litres, the lids may become too large and heavy for an individual to comfortably handle. Hinges and gas strut supports to assist the opening and closing of the lid are common from this size up, with costs increasing significantly as these features are added, doubling or trebling the cost. These costs are further increased when raising and lowering itself becomes automated.
However, lifting and handling of parts, both in and out of the bath, and possibly between different stages of cleaning, is undoubtedly the most expensive addition of any ancillary part to an ultrasonic cleaning bath. Even the simplest lifting mechanism can cost as much as the bath itself, involving not just the parts themselves but the design and control of the handling within the cleaning process. It should also be noted that ultrasonic cleaning bath manufacturers are not experts at handling equipment and will frequently subcontract this out, particularly in the more complex cases. Where the same part is being cleaned all the time, in large volume, and with a very standardised cleaning process, the cost of such automation may be justified. However, where volumes are low or intermittent and either parts or cleaning cycles vary, a more manual approach is usually more cost-effective.
Complexity & Standardisation
Complexity and standardization are similar but not quite the same. Complexity relates to the cleaning process itself, such as the rotation of items being cleaned rather than simple submersion, and the number of cleaning stages within the overall cleaning process. Some complexity can become standard where an ultrasonic cleaning bath manufacturer specialises in this area. Some manufacturers of the more complex ultrasonic cleaning systems adopt a modular approach, where extra stages of a process can be incorporated by adding a standard unit within the overall system. The overall system may be complex but each individual part is a standard unit. Whilst complexity does increase the cost this is minimised by buying from the right specialist manufacturer from their standard range of products. It is therefore important to make sure that you select the right ultrasonic cleaning bath manufacturer for the type of bath and cleaning system that you require.
Most manufacturers have a standard range of products typically defined by their dimensions and attributes. Asking for a bespoke and unique bath outside of this range will significantly increase the cost. Whilst any bath selected must meet the basic requirements of the cleaning application wherever possible this should be achieved within the manufacturer’s standard range rather than having a completely new one designed. The extra costs of selecting a bespoke and unique bath are numerous, including the design of the new bath, different instructions to fabricators, and the assembly and fitting of the bath itself being outside the norm. Such differences increase the time, material cost and risks to the manufacturer which must be reflected in the price. These costs can easily add 50% to the overall price of the bath compared to a standard bath with similar features and similar dimensions.